In a somewhat confusing message, Microsoft has defended its Games on Demand release schedule as a way to give consumers more options.
“It comes down to choice. The customer has the choice of going to retail on day one if they really want to buy a particular title,” Xbox Live product manager Pav Bhardwaj told MCV.
“Or to wait a couple of months and buy it full price from the Xbox Live marketplace.”
Although gamers have long railed against Games on Demand’s slow release schedule, particularly as general retail has often cut prices considerably by the time digital copies are available, Bhardwaj seems adamant the system is working.
“It’s a successful part of our business, we’re very pleased with the growth and it continues to do really well,” he said.
“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].”
Sony has aptly demonstrated that there’s an audience for day-and-date digital releases, too, but Microsoft isn’t having any of it.
“We don’t do Games on Demand on day one, we focus on boxed retail for day one. That’s where our focus has always been and will remain that way for the foreseeable future,” Bhardwaj maintained.
“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?”
Microsoft has been consistent in its refusal to close the Games on Demand gap since the service first launched, which is probably quite a comfort to retailers.