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How Digital Delivery Can Save the Pack Rat
Digital delivery is one of the most popular buzz words in the game industry as of late. Allowing players to directly download games is a fast way of getting a product out there and it saves the costs associated with packaging and distribution. Those aren't the only benefits passed on to the customers though. It also helps cut down on the clutter, and I I'm not talking about the most obvious of ways.

Of course, games stored on a hard drive (or miniscule amount of internal memory) take up significantly less shelf space than games stored in DVD cases, but that's not what brought me to writing this post. If you are a serious gamer like myself, and by serious I mean wanting to play more games than you physically have the time to, you probably stress about the possibility of certain must play titles becoming rare before you get around to purchasing them.

Herein lies the problem. Taking a quick look at my own shelf, I see great games like Okami, Shadow of the Colossus, Xenosaga, Killer 7, Chibi Robo, and Prime 3, all of which are still safely wrapped in their original plastic. Why haven't I touched these games? Because I don't have the time to play them all. Why did I buy them anyway? Either I got a good deal, or I was genuinely worried I wouldn't be able to find them again. When you look at what happens to some games, like DDR Mario Mix or Pikmin 2, you begin to see why the possibility of rarity can definitely be a stress point for game purchasers.

Now when I look at online stores like the Wii Shop Channel, I breathe a big sigh of relief. I feel like I can legitimately say that I have every Virtual Console and WiiWare game. The only difference is that some, well most, will require a payment just prior to the first time I want to try them out. This is a nice feeling to have. I no longer have to monitor games on ebay until I stress enough to plunk down some of my cash, thus filling my closet with DVD cases. It's like they say, "Let your money work for you, not someone else."

The online stores aren't perfect though. Nintendo of Europe only put Super Mario Bros. The Lost Levels on the VC for a limited time. Microsoft is going to start pulling down underperforming titles from Live Arcade. This trend will never benefit the gamers and we shouldn't stand for it. I thank the stars that NOA hasn't done anything like this with the North American Wii Shop Channel yet and I hope they never will. Sadly, if they do, I'll probably just binge buy almost every single game that was going down. Here's to hoping they aren't reading this.

If you have the same problem as I do, support digital distribution wherever you can! It's no fun paying money for something you don't even have the time to play right away.

Note: This entry was cross-posted over at NWR
By Mike on June 4, 2008 at 11:51pm EDT Topic(s): games digital delivery virtual console live arcade wiiware

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