Will We Really Keep Our Digital Games Forever?
I was a hard sell on buying digital games. Steam opened my eyes to it on PC with crazy sales that I couldn't pass up. Consoles were different though. $60 for a full retail game download. I couldn't do it. Sure I bought tons of Xbox Live Arcade games in the life of the 360 and over the past year I have jumped on the PS3 band wagon with great sales they have had for PS+ members. But I can't help but think in the back of mind when Microsoft ended online for the original Xbox a few years ago. I don't remember paying for any DLC for games but I did have levels downloaded for games and maps for Halo. I remember being sure to download all those things before servers were shut down but what about with the 360 and PS3?
I own a Vita and I can backup my games to my PC and re download them rather than download them again from the store, but the PS3 and 360 does not work like that. Yes I can back up my PS3 HDD to a external HDD but if I swap the HDD in my system for a bigger one the only things that will move over is gamesaves, full games will need to be redownloaded from the store. 360 doesn't even offer backing up to an external HDD. What happens when Microsoft and Sony say that online is shut down for 360 and PS3 and my HDD crashes? How can I get all these games I paid for?
If next gen consoles are not backwards compatible with disks or downloads they are just gone. Is this were Playstation Now comes into play? Can and will Sony look at my PSN account and say "He bought Red Dead digitally so he can play the streaming version for free" and Microsoft doesn't really have any streaming service that we know of in the works at this moment. Digital on PC and digital on consoles are really two different things right now and there is that little voice in the back of my head that keeps telling me that even though game X is onsale for a great deal digitally on the PS3 now will you still be able to access it down the road or is the good deal you are getting just a glorified rental that will last as long as they keep the servers up?
I really hate the thought of all the PS3, 360 and Vita games I have bought being more of a "rental" with no way of getting them back if and when the online is shut down on the systems. We like the idea of Xbox's Games With Gold but when live is shut down for the 360 and our HDD goes bad in the system how will we ever get those games back? I hope that maybe Sony and Microsoft can allow a way to always have access to re download digital games you own through the PC but who knows at this point. Only time will tell.
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