critical-strike

Retailers Holding Off Digital Downloads

December 12th, 2006 . by Josh

GamesIndustry.biz reports that, Head of games at HMV Tim Ellis, had this to say in a recent interview:

"There's a lot of doom-mongering about downloading, but downloading audio has been big for quite a long time, and we're selling more music units than ever.

"You've got to be rational about it and think, 'Where will we be in five years' time?'. Yes, downloading will be an element of it, but can Microsoft do without retail partners? Can Nintendo? I don't think they really can, because they wouldn't get the standout," he continued.

"You need standout on the high street to get that perception out. If you're just relying on people sitting in bedrooms to buy your product, you're not going to get that excitement factor."

According to Ellis, HMV is "only seeing growth" for the games market at present – although, he conceded, things could change in the long term.

"In ten or fifteen years' time, will we come under pressure? Perhaps we might, but I don't think it's in the interest of publishers or platform holders to do away with retail, because they won't get the standout any more," he warned.

"So I think there will always be a retail element. Where we'll be in 20 years, who knows, but I think there will be a retail element to all the formats we currently sell."

Personally, I believe it will be a lot sooner than 10 or 15 years before digital downloads over take retail sales. Especially with how current-gen consoles are pushing demos, movies and now games on the Playstation 3 Network. 

[Source: GamesIndustry.biz

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