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Found 13 results

  1. In a rather surprising leak, the unannounced Alien title currently in development by Creative Assembly has been sighted on the Xbox Live Marketplace. Entitled Alien: Isolation, the game follows the exploits of Ellen Ripley's daughter Amanda 15 years after the Nostromo incident. Amanda is hired by the ever-shifty Weyland-Yutani and sent to a remote trading station to recover the Nostromo's recovered black box. Following the leak, SEGA officially announced Isolation and released a preview trailer (check it below) of the lo-fi survival-horror game. It totally reminds me of Routine and Outlast, especially with the grainy '70s film texture and era-appropriate props. Since I'm a die-hard sci-fi nerd I am, to say the least, pretty darn excited. I know I should have reason to be suspect, especially given the absolutely awful Aliens: Colonial Marines, but Creative Assembly has assured players that there's only one (terrifying) Xenomorph that will hunt you. Amanda can only hide and distract it, despite the fact that a weapon or two has been hinted at. The dev team is trying to go back to the franchise's roots, stripping down the experience to pure terror and adrenaline. Curiously, the Xeno isn't the only living threat aboard the station. It'll be interesting to see what Creative Assembly does in order to keep the game a horror title. Going back to the endless waves of Xenos and human soldiers in Colonial Marines is definitely off the tables. Are you excited for Alien: Isolation or cautiously optimistic? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below! Source: Gamespot
  2. Now that Sony has officially announced the PS4, all eyes are now on Microsoft to announce their own next-gen console. What would you guys like to see from their next console? Personally, I would like to see something more than just getting a beefed-up 360. I would like a reason to get whatever they offer other than better graphics. Although, some new exclusives would certainly help...
  3. I have heard the same tired arguments far too often over the years when it comes to console generations. People seem to think there are specific qualifications for a console to truly be considered “next-genâ€; that if other consoles outmatch another in horsepower, the less powerful one belongs in the last generation. And according to these people, with some disregard for the word“s literal definition, “generation†means something else entirely. Look, I respect everyone's opinions and all, but they won“t change facts. Many gamers' definition of “generation†isn“t correct; the less-powerful consoles do not belong in previous generations, and above all else, we shouldn“t even be fighting over something so pointless when we can just enjoy the most important part of this medium: the video games themselves. All this Console Wars nonsense is making gamers forget what gaming is all about. It's making gamers forget what generations are all about. So perhaps it's about time for a little refresher on what it truly means to be "next-gen," and most importantly, what it truly means to be a gamer. The Definition of “Generation†When a new generation comes along, what does that mean? Does it mean what a lot of gamers seem to think it means; that you can only be in the next generation if your power far exceeds that of the previous generation? No, it doesn“t. What it does mean is that the previous generation has another generation to succeed it, and that“s it. But what exactly IS a “generationâ€? Well, let“s see what Dictionary.com has to say: gen·er·a·tion [jen-uh-rey-shuh n] noun the entire body of individuals born and living at about the same time: the postwar generation. the term of years, roughly 30 among human beings, accepted as the average period between the birth of parents and the birth of their offspring. a group of individuals, most of whom are the same approximate age, having similar ideas, problems, attitudes, etc. Compare Beat Generation, Lost Generation. a group of individuals belonging to a specific category at the same time: Chaplin belonged to the generation of silent-screen stars. a single step in natural descent, as of human beings, animals, or plants. a form, type, class, etc., of objects existing at the same time and having many similarities or developed from a common model or ancestor (often used in combination): a new generation of anticancer drugs; a third-generation phone. the offspring of a certain parent or couple, considered as a step in natural descent. the act or process of generating; procreation. the state of being generated. production by natural or artificial processes; evolution, as of heat or sound. Biology. a. one complete life cycle. b. one of the alternate phases that complete a life cycle having more than one phase: the gametophyte generation. Mathematics. the production of a geometrical figure by the motion of another figure. Physics. one of the successive sets of nuclei produced in a chain reaction. (in duplicating processes, as photocopying, film, etc.) the distance in duplicating steps that a copy is from the original work. The most basic definition you can get from the 14 definitions above is that a generation is what comes after another generation. Simple enough, right? In other words, my generation came after my dad“s generation, his generation came after his dad“s, and so on. Therefore, that made-up definition a lot of gamers have given to console generations earlier isn“t at all correct. Honestly, I don“t even know how that particular definition came about in the first place. People have gotten so caught up in console wars and power battles that they have forgotten the meaning of the term “next-gen.†What It Means to Be Next-Gen I hear this far too often: “The Wii U isn“t next-gen!†I“m sorry, what? And what makes YOU the expert on generations? You say the Wii U isn“t next-gen, but why? Because the graphics don“t look leaps and bounds more realistic than on the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 from the last generation? Because it doesn“t use the most powerful pieces of hardware money can buy? First of all, the Wii U graphics looking like they do in the console“s infancy is pretty damn impressive. It“s like a 3-year-old lifting as much as its uncles, if not more. So giving it time will only show more impressive results later in its lifetime, as has been the case with every console in every generation. Secondly, a console being considered “next-gen†isn“t determined by power and expensive hardware. As I“ve laid out for you above, one generation is what follows another generation. Power and expenses have nothing to do with it. I mean, if I“m not as powerful as other people my age, and if I wear clothes from Goodwill and drive a cheap car from 30 years ago (I“m depressing myself…), does that mean I should be placed in the same generation as my dad? Hell no! Hypothetically speaking, even if one of the big three companies suddenly decided to release an 8-bit console when generation 9 comes around, it would still be considered next-gen, because what it truly means to be next-gen is simple: you have to be in the generation following your predecessor. In which case, the Wii U following the Wii makes it next-gen, just like the PlayStation 4 is a generation following the PlayStation 3 and the next Xbox will be a generation following the Xbox 360. These are all next-gen consoles. Period. Play Games, Not Consoles Remember when gaming was all about playing video games? Those were the days… Now you can“t get into a conversation about the medium without someone bashing a certain console. Whether they consider Nintendo consoles as being for kids, Sony consoles as being for graphic-obsessed meat-heads, or Microsoft consoles as being for kids who like to scream profanity, “fanboys†will pull arguments out of their butts and hope people agree with them. None of these arguments ever hold merit, of course, but there are countless biased soldiers in the eternal conflict we call the Console Wars, and they all feel like the only option is to pick a side and fight. But why do we have to pick sides? Can“t we all just get along? Apparently not, because the Console Wars have never been won, and they“ve been waging on for decades… There was a time when Sega was known as Nintendo“s rival, with Sonic the Hedgehog being the “more mature†alternative to Mario. There were even those famous commercials from back in the day – one with the slogan “Sega does what Nintendon“t†and another with the slogan “Nintendo is what Genesisn“t.†Needless to say, this was the generation that first saw the Console Wars. And you know what I did in that generation? I owned both the SNES and the Genesis and played some pretty amazing games both consoles had to offer. Fast-forward to today and things haven“t changed all that much. Well, Sega may have been thrown out of the console market since then, but I still prefer owning all consoles and playing whatever the hell I feel like playing. So why can“t we all just do that? Why must gamers feel the need to pick sides and bash whoever isn“t their favorite brand? People might say that the Wii U isn“t next-gen, but more than likely that argument has something to do with the arguer attempting to find ways to put the console down, especially since they usually follow up or lead in with something about how the PS4 and next Xbox will be “true next-gen consoles.†Yeah, you can go play your Console Wars if you want, but I“d rather just play my games instead. So now that you know every definition of the word “generation,†can we stop all this next-gen bickering? There always seems to be a fight among gamers, and many of them think that to be considered “next-gen†you have to be über powerful compared to the last generation. People like to say that the Wii U isn“t next-gen, and yet it clearly is when taking the literal definition into account. But when you get rid of biased brand loyalty altogether, does any of this really even matter? Games are games, and they are meant to be enjoyed. So why don“t we all just enjoy the Wii U, PS4, and Xbox 360's successor and whatever games they provide for our gaming pleasure, regardless of what generation we think they“re in? In fact, I think I“ll go play an old SNES game now…
  4. Jordan Haygood

    Console Family Tree

    From the album: Kaptain's Gallery

    © CakeDojo

  5. Marcus Estrada

    Rumor: PS4 Priced Cheaper Than PS3?

    It's time to don your tinfoil hats once again as yet another rumor about Sony's upcoming system has gotten out. This time it's not about system specs, used games, or even a new controller design. Instead, it is the still tasty rumor of a price for the system. This latest rumor comes thanks to TheTimes.co.uk, an extension of The Times, a U.K. newspaper. They have not gone so far as to say this is 100% true but that "industry sources and leaked internal documents suggest" the price they've heard is correct. And what is said price? £300, or $465, for those of us wanting to see the conversion. Although systems are given their own prices per region, it would not be so far off to imagine a new home system costing somewhere between $400-$500. The PS3 famously launched at a price poitns of $499/$599, which was deemed too high at the time by many. Perhaps Sony have learned their lesson from that. Or perhaps this information is bogus and Sony will not reveal the actual price for months. If anything, we may just be lucky enough to hear a price point during tomorrow's PlayStation event.
  6. Was last week's rumor about the upcoming Xbox ditching used game play not enough for you? If you're rumor hungry then you'll be pleased to know that Kotaku has published another large and informative post about what the system will supposedly be like. Of course, the information does not come from within their team but from a person who is known to have a development kit for the system. It could all be true or an elaborate ruse, considering the source superDaE and his, er, bombastic Twitter account. Regardless, here is the information specified. First off, the Kinect will be an integral part of the upcoming system. It did not become the must-have accessory for Xbox 360 users, but there is definitely some interesting technology behind it. Apparently, all new systems will come with a Kinect that is superior to the current 360 and PC version. Unlike its use on current systems however, they say that the accessory will have to be plugged in to even use the console. That doesn't mean you'll be forced to flail around to log in and start up a game, but that the device is standard to every SKU, which allows any developer to make use of it. Next there is the statement that all games for the upcoming system will have mandatory installations. It has already been possible to install games on 360, but so far has never been a requirement like it is for some PS3 games. Unlike a PS3 though, it's also said that games will be capable of installing in the background. That way, a game can be played right from the start without having to wait 10 minutes for the process to finish. Apparently the system will come with a 500GB drive standard which also alleviates the fear of immediately cluttering up the system. Less unexpected is the word that the system is able to run multiple applications at once. This is always an amusing feature considering PCs have been doing the same for many years. Of course, consoles and handhelds have only recently gotten on board. This even extends to games, where you may pause one and jump into another. Just don't go game pause crazy, as it is doubtful the system would support that much game swapping at once. Is all or any of this true? What do you think of these rumored changes to the next Xbox system?
  7. There are more and more retailers which have begun dealing in reselling used games, but GameStop is the leader of that pack. As it stands, they manage to make half their profit off of used games, which should come as no surprise to anyone who has ever traded in a game there. As such, all the rumors swirling around Sony and Microsoft's latest consoles have got them talking. In an e-mail to Bloomberg, GameStop spokesman Matt Hodges shared his company's opinions on what anti-used consoles would result in: “We know the desire to purchase a next-generation console would be significantly diminished if new consoles were to prohibit playing pre-owned games, limit portability or not play new physical games.” Regardless of how you feel about GameStop and their practices, they do not believe that either console will block access to used games. They also are of the opinion that the majority of gamers still want to be able to buy used. If it turns out that GameStop is wrong then they'll need to work very hard to find a new stream of revenue. When yesterday's Xbox rumors broke, their stock dropped 6%. It would go much lower if any of these rumors turn out to actually be true. Would you be less interested in buying the upcoming Xbox or PlayStation systems if they blocked access to used games?
  8. Note: Keep in mind that while the information presented by Asahi Shimbun and Nikkei is likely true, it is not necessarily going to correspond to PS4 systems in the West. Aside from controller design, price and software functionality will likely vary between regions. By now, those hotly anticipating the next generation of video game consoles are probably aware that Sony is going to have a big announcement on February 20th. Many have suggested the event will be the reveal of the next PlayStation home console. If that does turn out to be the case, then many of the rumors we're seeing about the system as of late have a very short shelf life. The latest news about the upcoming system is an apparent price for Japan. Two news publishers, Nikkei and Asahi Shimbun, have both posted information about the "PS4" that has otherwise only been speculated thus far. The most notable news is that Asahi's article states the price to be 40,000 yen. This equates to a fair bit more than $400 in dollars, but keep in mind that consoles are not specifically priced equally between regions. Still, it gives you an idea of where Sony may be heading with price. Beyond that, both groups agreed with previous speculation that the system's controller would have a touch screen in the center. Beyond that though, it is going to retain the Dual Shock design that fans are used to. Finally, Nikkei spoke a bit about network features being upgraded to allow for players to communicate with others while playing. This could mean social networking or voice chat, but the article doesn't delve into specifics. What price should the PS4 be to entice gamers?
  9. It looks like the rumors of next generation consoles are heating up again. Just this January, a patent filed by Sony came to light which spoke of the ability to cut off players from used games. Although patents do not mean that something is actually going to happen, it only further escalated the fears that some gamers have been having for a while now. Early last year, a boatload of Xbox rumors cropped up as well although they have been mostly dormant until now. In fact, looking the old rumors over again reveals that what Edge Online has posted today is incredibly similar. Seriously, just look over the older rumors posted by VG247 and see that all the main bullet points are the same. Either way, let's get into what Edge is now claiming about the upcoming Xbox. First there is talk about Microsoft ditching their HD-DVD discs in favor of Blu-Ray. Considering the fact that HD-DVD did not win the format race this makes sense. Specifically, the discs are said to have 50GB capacity, which is not a jump from what is currently available to PS3 games. Of course, disc space is usually not a big issue. Next, there is talk of the Kinect still playing a major role for the system. They say an improved Kinect will ship alongside new systems. It's surprising that this rumor doesn't go as far to say that the Xbox will simply have the device integrated into it (like VG247 did), but that must be too far-reaching. Not too much of a stretch, according to Edge, is to assert that the next Xbox will require an always-on internet connection. This is great doom and gloom talk for the industry, but there are still many areas around the world (and in North America) that lack stable and quick internet access. Then paired with this rumor is the big one stating that the online connection paired with Xbox Live accounts will keep users from making use of second hand games. Take from it what you will, but Microsoft is not set to deny or confirm any rumors until they make their own announcement. Do you think some parts of the rumors are true or are they all just educated guesses?
  10. According to the website of their parent company ZeniMax Media, Bethesda Game Studios appears to be looking for programmers for an unknown upcoming project for next-gen consoles. Bethesda is, of course, responsible for such classics as Fallout 3 and the Elder Scrolls series, so it's possible that this could be in one of those universes. This could even support hints of a possible Fallout 4 being in the works, for all we know. The job listing on ZeniMax Media's website calls for a "Future Generation Console Programmer," and they will be looking for "experienced programmers to work on cutting-edge technology for an unannounced game on future-generation consoles." Anyone who wishes to apply must have no less than five years of game development experience, must have shipped several games, and must have "extensive experience" with PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. Aside from that, having worked with DirectX 11 and spent some time with Bethesda's own games will really help your chances. With rumors of Sony's and Microsoft's next-gen consoles flying around in swarms, and with an upcoming PlayStation event expected to involve the announcement of the PS4, such a job listing can only make gamers more anxious for the arrival of these companies' new consoles to the next-gen party. What do you hope this unannounced game is? Fallout 4? Elder Scrolls VI? Or perhaps a new IP?
  11. Jordan Haygood

    A Wii U Price Cut is Not in the Cards

    After Nintendo's recent financial report, which showed an overall profit but an operational loss, company president Satoru Iwata wanted to make one thing abundantly clear: there are no price cuts planned for the console. During a briefing following the announcement of their financial results, Iwata addressed certain issues regarding his company. The Wii U was brought up a lot during that briefing, with Iwata presenting data showing an initial burst of momentum for the console, followed by a rapid loss of momentum. For this reason, Nintendo has changed their forecast, predicting just one million worldwide sales from January to the end of March. You will no doubt remember that Nintendo's current handheld, the Nintendo 3DS, received a price cut due to poor sales very soon after its initial release. The Wii U, however, will not be receiving such a price cut anytime soon. Iwata stated that the console's value needed enhancements from the upcoming system updates, along with games, and that they need to actually convince more consumers why they should want one instead of lowering the price. Here is a full statement from Iwata: "While it was pointed out that, unlike in the case of Wii, it was difficult to instantly understand the appeal of Wii U, those who purchased it, although there are issues to be addressed, have shown a certain degree of satisfaction with our product value, but since its value by nature is something that takes time to appreciate and hence cannot be spread amongst society instantly, we have yet to communicate its value to the wider public. To put it another way, we delivered Wii U to those consumers who we thought would be the first to buy it, but information has not successfully been passed on to those consumers who we think will be the next people to buy it. This must be one big factor with which Wii U could not maintain its momentum. "People always try to compare the sales of Wii U with that of Wii, but the current situation is requiring us to focus upon how to reenergize Wii U sales irrespective of any comparisons with the previous platforms. "With Wii U, we have taken a rather resolute stance in pricing it below its manufacturing cost, so we are not planning to perform a markdown. I would like to make this point absolutely clear. We are putting our lessons from Nintendo 3DS to good use, as I have already publicly stated. However, given that it has now become clear that we have not yet fully communicated the value of our product, we will try to do so before the software lineup is enhanced and at the same time work to enrich the software lineup which could make consumers understand the appeal of Wii U." After Nintendo cut the price for the 3DS, the company suffered quite a bit financially, with employees cutting their salary to accommodate, including Iwata himself. This is a testament to its pricey financial cost, and with the current price of the Wii U being lower than its manufacturing cost, refusing a price cut is more than understandable. Once the console receives a more impressive software line-up and some system-enhancing updates, more people are bound to see the true beauty of the console. What do you think about all this? Source: Nintendo Life
  12. The Wii U had what is best described as a really confusing launch. After the console“s initial announcement at E3 2011 following some pretty accurate rumors, there was quite a bit of hype about it, and gamers were anxious to know the specifications, release date, and price point... for a while. For months and months we heard very little about the Wii U aside from what we already knew, and it got to the point where people began bad-mouthing the console and the company, even going as far as to make baseless claims about how Nintendo was too afraid to release their new console“s specs because they were unimpressive. This, of course, was not the case. Once we all got the info we wanted, it became obvious (for those who understand what the specs mean) that Nintendo“s next-gen console was indeed more than a match for any of the current-gen consoles. There was certainly room for excitement in seeing games like Mario and Zelda in HD, but more importantly, the console“s GamePad spoke waves to people looking for new ways to play games. All this excitement showed ever-so-plainly when stores were immediately flooded with pre-orders, and the console was pretty much sold-out right away. That didn“t stop the bad-mouthing, though, and people then started to predict the console“s failure, saying that the console wasn“t worth the price for either of the two models. And after what seemed to be a lackluster launch involving retailers all over the U.S. still carrying plenty of Wii U“s and most other consoles outselling it over Christmas break, it appeared that these guys were right, and that the Wii U had a terrible, horrible, no good very bad launch. Recent sales statistics say otherwise, however… Reggie sits down to discuss sales figures with Nintendo's higher-ups The NPD Group has recently finished their December report, showing sales figures for the Wii U between its launch on November 18th through December 29th, and Nintendo of America has deemed it necessary to show us exactly what they are. Why? Because these statistics are actually a lot better than most people are aware, and we need to know that. In the first six weeks of the console“s launch, it managed to sell 890,000 units in the U.S. alone. Coupled with Japan“s 636,000 units sold, it“s doing really well so far. So then, why does it seem to be doing the complete opposite? Why does the Wii U seem to be doing poorly? The answer is plain and simple: we like to compare it to how the Wii did at its launch and how the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 are doing nowadays. As we all know, the Wii was a hit. Nobody had seen anything like it for home consoles, and it was a widely popular novelty ridden with potential. People wanted to get their hands on one, which caused it to sell a whopping 600,000 units in the U.S. in only one week. In comparison, the Wii U sold 400,000 in that same timeframe. So when compared with its cheaper, more casual predecessor, the Wii U didn“t do quite as swimmingly here in the U.S. However, Nintendo has pointed out an area where the Wii U trumps its predecessor: generated revenue. In the console“s first six weeks, approximately $300 million has been generated in revenue, whereas the Wii“s first six weeks generated $270 million. This is obviously due to the Wii U“s higher price point, but it still shows that the Wii U is actually doing better than the Wii by Nintendo“s standards. Japan certainly has a more impressive revenue difference, since the Wii sold 544,034 units after its first three weeks while its successor sold 557,901. For those who don“t like math, that means the Wii U actually did better in its first three weeks than the Wii did. Luigi collects the revenue generated by the Wii U So now we“ve compared the Wii U with its predecessor, but how does its launch stack up against the PS3 and 360? To answer that, let“s take a look at the actual U.S. sales figures of the three consoles after the first four weeks of each of their launches: Wii U: 849,068 PS3: 378,603 360: 477,303 When you compare how these three consoles are doing at the moment, it“s easy to think the Wii U isn“t doing so hot, but as you can clearly see, it has actually done really well. Especially when you take into account the fact that we currently live in tougher economic times than we did back then. Looking at the European sales during the first three weeks, however, shows a different result: Wii U: 340,310 PS3: 691,843 360: 403,037 From what I understand, Nintendo hasn“t made much of an effort at all to make their new console all that visible to the U.K. You think the advertising in the U.S. is bad, people over there aren“t even aware that there“s a thing called “Wii U†unless they managed to see one of the very few TV spots about it. Japan does make up for those low figures, however. Here are the Japanese sales figures during the three consoles“ first two weeks after launch: Wii U: 437,390 PS3: 130,335 360: 65,430 Pretty good, don“t you think? So how about we tally up the sales of all four of these consoles (Wii included this time) and compare how they did in the first four weeks of their respective launches: Wii U: 1,817,166 Wii: 2,071,242 PS3: 524,687 360: 948,162 Obviously, these figures are off by a little due to the fact that they weren“t launched worldwide at the same time, but you get the picture. The Wii U hasn“t had a bad start by any means, and almost reached the Wii“s level of sales in terms of launch while surpassing it in generated revenue. It“s not easy to beat the explosive launch that the Wii had, but the Wii U has actually gotten pretty darn close. And since Nintendo has shown us that the Wii U is currently generating more money at launch than the Wii did at its own launch, this new console is nowhere near the disappointment people are thinking it is. Nintendo skeptic Video Game Analyst Michael Pachter after we told him the news The fact of the matter is that all home consoles typically have a slow start. Or at least, what seems to be a slow start when looking at the consoles that are already out and about. But if you do some simple research, you can see that history has always repeated itself; the PS2 sold more than the PS3 during its launch, the DS sold more than the 3DS during its launch (until the 3DS turned the tides), and so on. Though seeing how Nintendo is the first company through the gates of the eighth generation of home consoles, and therefore the only one around, I can understand how people may overlook this and make comparisons a little too hastily. When you compare the console“s launch with the launches of last generation“s home consoles, however, you can see that the Wii U's launch is actually right on target. Of course, it“s way too soon to predict its success later on; we'll need to give the Wii U another year or so before we find out for sure. Nonetheless, the whole point of this analysis is to tell you one simple fact: the launch of the Nintendo Wii U was actually fairly good, not bad. Sources: IGN, Nintendo Life, The Motley Fool
  13. What is the future of video game sales? If you ask Electronic Arts, it“s a digital-only library. In an interview with Gamesindustry.biz ( Brightman, 2012), EA Labels president Frank Gibeau stated that EA“s “fastest growing segment...is clearly digital and digital services and ultimately Electronic Arts, at some point in the future...we“re going to be a 100% digital company, period.” Hold up, a gaming future where there won“t be any more discs? Is EA absolutely insane? Before we cry foul, EA has assured us that it will not be dropping standard retail services right now. “If customers want to buy a game at retail, they can do that too. We“ll continue to deliver games in whatever media format makes sense,” said Gibeau. That means all of you lovers of physical game copies can breathe a sigh of relief; your next EA purchase will likely come in a plastic case. The fact remains, however, that EA is still pushing towards a digital services-based future. While many gamers may naysay EA“s efforts, I“d say the company“s decision is completely sound. Take a look at the success of Valve“s digital distribution service, Steam. At any one point in time, more than 3,000,000 users are logged into the popular digital game delivery app. At its core, Steam is meant to be a universal platform for easy, fast, and convenient gaming. You can log in to Steam from your laptop, mobile device, or Mac. Valve has also ensured users are treated well with regular sales including the Steam Daily Deal, Midweek Madness, and seasonal clearances such as the Winter Sale. For frugal gamers, what“s not to like? Given Valve“s commitment to making digital distribution the most viable platform for buying games on PC, just how much has the company made? A report from the Forecasting and Analysing Digital Entertainment group estimated a whopping $1 billion in revenues in 2010. Forbes Magazine estimated Valve took a 30-40% cut of third-party game sales revenue, meaning Valve may have made as much as $400 million in 2010. When questioned about first-party release figures, Valve said profits were roughly comparable to its third-party game sales (Chiang, 2011). Think about it. That means Valve made between $600 million and $800 million almost two years ago, in a company that continues to grow by leaps and bounds. Are you seeing the dollar signs in digital distribution? It“s a massive market that hasn“t seen a true competitor to Steam in many, many years. Services like Direct2Drive and Impulse have come along, but Steam still remains the dominant force in digital gaming. Even EA attempted to counter Steam“s success with its own digital service platform, Origin. Though Origin“s success is relatively limited when compared to Steam, it represents a bold move on EA“s part to enter the digital gaming market and, perhaps, the publisher“s first true attempt at making a digital-only future. Now, the most important factor when considering digital distribution is the gaming platform of choice. Where EA“s plan still holds question marks is digital content in relation to game consoles. The disc-based monoliths such as the XBOX 360 and PS3 haven“t been known to cater to digital distribution. User interfaces make sorting through digital game libraries a pain, and most gamers aren“t willing to pay higher prices for the same games they can find cheaper in brick-and-mortar stores. For example, Call of Duty: Black Ops on the XBOX Marketplace is still $49.99 while stores regularly clearance the game as low as $19.99. There“s a disconnect between digital and physical prices, a divide that can“t exist if digital distribution is to thrive. By removing the hard-copy element, EA effectively makes this issue null and void. Only having digital releases means brick-and-mortar stores won“t compete with digital markets by having the lowest prices. EA will also eliminate the need to regulate used game sales, since digital copies can“t be resold once the product key or DRM has been activated. For EA“s digital future to really take hold, I doubt its library will become all-digital until the next generation of consoles. While the PS3 and XBOX offer games on demand, the service is not the simple, convenient form which consumers want. Sorting through lists of digital games is a chore when it“s cheaper just to buy them in-store. Future consoles are under debate as to whether or not they will use disks, and it seems EA has fired its own answer; yes. What does a digital-only library mean for consumers? If EA doesn“t properly reward customers for purchasing their digital content, the consumers will likely stop purchasing EA products. It doesn“t make sense for a consumer to put up with inflated prices or a lack of sales if a company refuses to change its sales policy. For EA, this means the company must adapt. Having sales is one thing, but ensuring the customer experience is smooth and rewarding is paramount to the success of digital distribution. Valve won the PC battle with an easy-to-use, accessible platform that features great rewards for user loyalty. Can EA do the same for consoles with its digital-only future? Sound off: What do you think of EA's decision to go digital? Is it a great idea, a terrible one, or a mixture of the two? Leave your opinion in the comments below!