There's Hope Yet For Buying "Proper" Console Games Online (And On Time)

Illustration for article titled Theres Hope Yet For Buying Proper Console Games Online (And On Time)

One of the great unfulfilled dreams of the present hardware generation is the ability to buy full, retail console games online. On the day they're released in stores.

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Microsoft sells old games via Xbox Live, but they're laughably over-priced. Sony has sold a few as well, like Burnout Paradise, MAG and Warhawk, but had never offered one for sale on the same day GameStop or Walmart had.

Until Mass Effect 2 came along.

BioWare's sci-fi RPG was quietly released day-and-date on the PlayStation Network, meaning if you felt lazy and didn't want to leave the house on the day it came out in stores, you could just download it from home. And it looks like a lot of you did just that.

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EA boss John Riccitiello says that, despite not marketing the game's online availability at all, the downloadable version accounted for "a double-digit percent of total sales for Mass Effect 2 on PS3".

Considering Sony was using the release as a test - the company having never released a retail game online on the same day it was out in stores - it's surely an encouraging sign that we could be seeing more of this in the future.

Mass Effect 2 Passed the Digital Test [IGN]

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DISCUSSION

I've gotta say, the experience of buying and downloading ME2 on the PS3 was a fucking nightmare.

It's not really ME2's fault, it's more how the PSN is set up. They need to actually tell you how much space is required before you buy the game. ME2 takes up an ungodly amount of space on your HDD (it requires twice as much space than it actually takes up on the drive, because of how the PS3 installs games — anyway it's like 24gb!) If you don't have 24gb of free space you won't be able to download the game you already bought. Which is especially frustrating because the game actually only requires 12gb of space, once installed. I hope I'm explaining this properly. The download is 12gb. The installed game is 12gb. The required space during the install is 24gb.

Think about it this way. If you have one of the launch 20gb PS3s, you can mosey on over to the PSN and buy ME2, before ever being told that the game won't even possibly run on your PS3. No refunds.

Also it took 13 hours to download.

Ugh, PSN. Anyway ME2 is awesome, obviously.