We hear a lot about how digital downloads are the future. Games that come through the pipes, and not a disc. But just how many downloadable console games are we actually buying?

It's nowhere near as many as people playing/enjoying WipeOut HD, Street Fighter II HD and Braid would probably realise. In fact, according to Screen Digest analyst Piers Harding-Rolls, "sales of download games across 360, PS3 and Wii represented only one percent of a combined packaged and download console game market in 2008".

In other words, 99% of the console game market is comprised of games you buy on a disc, from a retailer. Sure, it helps that packaged games are generally more expensive than downloadable ones, which normally run to around $10 or so, but still. If Harding-Rolls' numbers add up (and we're guessing they'd come pretty close), that's one tiny share of the market.

Online Business Heats Up [Edge]