Paying money for a game download rather than one you carry home can be a difficult step for some. Yet, such a purchasing experience offers many advantages over traditional shopping.
Buying games online is a radical departure from the traditional shopping experience. Driving to the mall and hoping the game is in stock is a thing of the past. However, if you’re used to bringing home a tangible good, it can be difficult to transition into the world of digital products.
The beauty of the internet lies in the way it has transformed how, when, and where we consume entertainment. No longer are we shackled to the publication dates of the local newspaper or bound to the daily TV schedule. In our digital world, entertainment is available 24-hours a day, 7-days a week. No exceptions.
Digital entertainment can be sent directly to your computer via the internet whenever the mood strikes you.
The gaming industry has benefited tremendously from this revolution. Great content is now available to gamers around the world for a very low price.
For those of you who are still trying to come to grips with the concept of ‘downloading a game’, we’ve come up with 6 reasons buying games online offers you a better shopping experience.
1. No Shipping
Entertainment is uniquely positioned to take advantage of the ‘no shipping’ model. Games, movies, and music are all ideally suited for the digital world. We all watched our music go from 8-tracks to LPs to cassettes to CDs to MP3s. Games aren’t much different. Raise your hand if you ever played a game from a cassette tape. Stand up if you remember Hasbro’s punch card driven Think-A-Tron? Now, contrast those examples with today’s multitude of computer games.
We’ve finally reached a point where a physical product is no longer necessary. Just give us the bytes and we’re ready to play.
2. Instant Updates
Some games are released with bugs in them. Even with world-class QA, some glitches just slip through the cracks. Imagine your disappointment if you get home from your trip to the local game store only to find our your game has a bug (or is just broken). It’s pretty frustrating to have to jump back in your care and drive back to the store only to exchange the game for a working copy.
3. Always Open
For the most part, website are always open and ready for business. If you want to buy a new game at 3:00am, it’s not a problem. The internet is always ready to deliver.
4. Massive Catalog
Physical stores have one major limitation. Shelf space is precious due to their fixed size. Imagine you’re looking for a copy of Dig Dug (featured on Geekwire’s Name That Tech Tune a few weeks back). The chances you are going to find it at your local game store are pretty slim. It’s a classic and typically classics are hard to find.
Websites that deal in digital products, on the other hand, have no foreseeable limitations in terms of size. Our catalog is only limited by the speed at which we can get games cleared for inclusion.
5. Trailers and Screenshots
How many times have you seen a game, a CD, or a movie with amazing cover art that you had to buy. No sooner did you get it home that you realized you just threw $10 down the drain.
Don’t be fooled by crafty marketing. With online game distribution, you get to see actual game screenshots as well as the game trailer before you make a purchase. Still aren’t sure you’re going to like it? There are plenty of forums and blogs that offer in-depth reviews and discussions. There isn’t much of an excuse for a blind purchase given how fast and easy it is to do research on the web.
6. Try Before You Buy
If #5 doesn’t offer enough options for making a purchase decision, let’s not overlook the Try Before You Buy business model. Want to find out if a game is worth purchasing? Play it for an hour and find out!
Can you imagine a store letting you take a game home to try for an hour before you commit to buy? No likely!
To be fair, there are used merchandise stores that do allow the potential customer to try the media in the store before committing to purchase. However, for new releases, you won’t be getting such special treatment.