Microsoft resists simultaneous digital and retail Xbox 360 releases

Games will not arrive on Xbox Live on the day they hit retail shelves any time soon, says Microsoft.

The computer giant has not been influenced by Sony’s push to launch titles on its online PSN platform the same day they arrive in stores in boxed form. Many PS3 titles – such as Mass Effect 3 – are released like this, while all Vita retail titles are available to download.

Instead, Microsoft will continue to release its Games on Demand titles around six months after they hit shelves.

It comes down to choice,” Xbox Live’s UK product manager Pav Bhardwaj told MCV.

The customer has the choice of going to retail on day one if they really want to buy a particular title, or to wait a couple of months and buy it full price from the Xbox Live marketplace.

It’s a successful part of our business, we’re very pleased with the growth and it continues to do really well. Clearly there’s an audience out there who are happy to purchase a product at full ERP six or so months after [its retail release].”

When asked if Microsoft would follow Sony’s lead and release new games at retail and in download form on day one, the platform holder emphasised the importance of retail.

We don’t do Games on Demand on day one, we focus on boxed retail for day one,” added Bhardwaj.

That’s where our focus has always been and will remain that way for the foreseeable future.

We release a game roughly six months after it arrives at retail at full ERP. That’s our model and we’ll be sticking to that.

It’s a successful model, so why change something you don’t need to?”

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