With Nintendo, Sony and Microsoft pushing digital distribution, one might think those brick and mortar retailers that carry all their stuff would frown upon bypassing GameStop's middleman. You'd be wrong, according to GameStop VP Tony Bartel. He tells GameSpot that "About 2 percent of the entire console market is downloaded today, and that's growing at a rate that's slightly less than the actual boxed product on video games." It's all newfangled microtransactions, really, says Bartel, who adds "there's very little of the full game download that is actually taking place on the console side." What will help GameStop stem the tide of digital distribution? Helpful GameStop employees of course!"What we see is that the games are incredibly complex, and with the complexity—and especially with the investment that they actually have as well both in terms of time and money—we actually see that there is an increased need for someone to explain the game," implying that GameStop employees will help you with such matters. Bartel also says it has game "transferability" on its side. That means trade-ins or flipping it on eBay. It's true; some of do like having a box to house our dust. He may be right — the company did just pull in $1.69 billion and that sort of quarter doesn't just happen by accident. But we'll see how well the retailer's Black Friday holds up. Q&A: GameStop illuminates Black Friday strategy [GameSpot]
Downloads are not really a threat, because Broadband hasn't spread enough. By broadband, I mean Verizon's Fios. If the whole country (or at least the areas that wanted to be) were wired like the east coast. Well digital distribution would probably have more of an impact.
On another note. I guess I might as well say when pigs fly. Because it will probably be a long ass time 10 years. Before ISPs start investing in Fios. It will probably be another 30 lame ass years before it is fully realized.
And personally I really like my box's that collect dust.