What Should An Online Console Be

Competitive Pricing

This is something even steam has done for a while now but it bears saying, your kingdom won’t survive if you’re the only Lord in your domain. The only retailer on Xbox Live is Microsoft and the same goes for the PSN, however on PC there have always been and continue to be many alternatives to simply giving in to the one retailer to rule them all.

Third Party Retail Competition

CombinedUsing codes (like steam) or similar simple validation, other retailers should be able to sell something that is redeemable in the console’s store for a video game or other available content.

These retailers buy the codes from the console provider in-order to resell them. This means when they put games on discount prices they either have to take a loss or first get a discount from the original retailer in-order to sell the product. Additionally, if third-party retailers build up a bigger market than the home store, console manufacturers still get paid for all of their hard work.

The game is already rigged in Steam’s / The Console’s direction, no reason to stop people from injecting some healthy competition to keep prices accessible to those who can’t afford $60 at launch.

Direct Publisher Sales

This doesn’t seem like much but it is the final frontier for indie publishers.

If you can self publish to the PSN on the PS4 then you should also be able to make your own sales, such as in the case of promised copies for kick starter backers or press copies handed out by small time publishers looking for added media coverage.

What’s more is these codes should not be the property of Sony Online or Live, they should be the property of the developers who should be able to distribute them as they see fit. The console creators are already getting a cut of each sale and, at-least in Microsoft’s case, the cost of licensing the game for the system. There isn’t a great reason to be the sole proprietor of the sale except to create a buggy system which hinders development and game progression (see the Apple App Store – Polygon).

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