Used games retailers fighting against downloadable only content devices ala Sony PSP Go?

Written by: Mike, Wednesday, September 23, 2009 12:08

The PSP Go to some is the same machine with a slightly redesigned control scheme and inflated price tag. To others it is the way of the future as it drops physical games and ushers in the era of software/downloadable only games. That very same “futuristic” feature may be hurting it in the classic retail environment. First Dutch based retailer “Nedgame” pledged to ignore the PSP Go as they felt it “didn’t offer them the customer any value” with its lack of physical media. The lack of physical media means no game trade-ins which for Nedgame and other used game retailers means no sales, no money, and no job. Some may see this as an issue, but for many I would assume the lack of physical media is a blessing. Gone are the bulky cartridges that take up valuable space as well as minuscule game card formats that are insanely easy to lose. Once you step back and look at the bigger picture, one can see the only people that will be “hurt” by the shift from physical media are outlets that thrive on physical media sales and re-sales.

If you thought Nedgame was the only PSP Go foe I’m sorry to tell you that you thought wrong. EB Games Australia while not outright announcing plans to not carry the device is certainly doing a good job of implying it won’t be carrying Sony’s latest and greatest mobile gaming unit. How so? For starters they don’t have any units in stock. Second, not a single shred of advertising material for the Go can be found anywhere online or in physical stores. Third, EB Games Australia is telling customers they can’t pre-order it either. Even when questioned by Kotaku, EB Australia completely ignored the topic on hand.

Then again, EB could somehow be protesting the relatively thin profit margins the device will bring retailers. Or, it could shed a light on an industry that is sadly like so many others coming under pressure from the digital age. Instead of innovating the industry with some new form of service or product that will drive people in to spend countless sums of money, they are (appearing to) ignore the inevitable truth by pretend as if it doesn’t exist. Such tactics are sure to bring mass layoffs and closings. Just look at the newspaper industry. An industry that has long resisted change and innovation is now in a very tough place all because they failed to adapt and innovate. It’s no secret that at some point, we are not going to use physical games anymore as games move more and more online. How will the used game industry survive?

The PSP Go being accepted/rejected by physical game retailers is but a small piece of the bigger digital trend. Is EB Australia refusing to carry the PSP Go because it won’t make money off of physical games? It sure looks that way. Though I guess we’ll just have to wait this one out and see what develops. Can you see the same trend in the gaming industry? What about taking in to account multiple industries as a whole when the move to all online/digital is concerned?

IGN, Geek, Kotaku

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