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Microsoft slow on digital game releases to appease retail

So why exactly are triple-A digital releases on Xbox 360 so much slower to appear than they are on either PS3 or PC?

Because Microsoft doesn’t want to upset retail, according to Xbox Games on Demand senior business manager Erik Yeager.

"We have a lot of strong partnerships with retailers," Yeager told yesterday’s MIT Business in Games conference, as reported by Joystiq. "We really need them to do a lot for us.

They’re the ones out there selling the consoles, selling the peripherals and, in this time, we’re trying to figure out how to fit that in to the whole digital landscape shift. We’re just taking a bit of a measured pace with it.

"We really strongly believe it’s important to have these retail partnerships and the ability to sell our console is the most critical thing for us. If you don’t sell the console, you can’t sell anything else."

However, with rivals like Sony, Steam and even Nintendo routinely releasing digital versions of their games at the same time as their boxed retail releases, don’t expect Microsoft to stick with this strategy for long.

And all the delayed digital releases in the world won’t pacify even the most relaxed retailers for long if talk of the next Xbox blocking pre-owned games proves to be true.

Image credit: Playwatchlisten

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