This Week in Digital Downloads

If you haven’t played Rez yet and you have an internet enabled XBox 360 and you’re in the US, then there’s no excuse now: it’s on sale. If you are in the rest of the world, no such luck for you. In a bizarre decision, Microsoft’s online sale is restricted to the US. Now, I understand it when they can’t offer content or features here — like Netflix — because of all the copyright and ownership restrictions, but not discounting content that is already available here? That’s no way to win back goodwill for all the red-rings and missed content.

Catan is on sale too. That one’s also worth getting.

I shouldn’t complain, really, as I already have both of those games (and gladly paid full price for them) and the other discounted items are forgettable. And yes, it is a pure marketing ploy — discount some stuff nobody wants and stick in one or good items in there to give them some exposure, force people to spend more on points than they need — but it’s the principle of the matter. There’s no shelf life for digital content, there are no stocking costs, so sales on downloadable content don’t come about because of necessity. In the digital space, they are 100% marketing: a good way to get people to spend money on games that they considered borderline purchases or a great way to revitalize sales on titles long past their initial rush. Why the console digital download providers don’t do it more often I don’t know. Other digital retailers do it. Hell, it’s the entire business model for woot.com.

Sales work. The evidence is right here: Sony has a sale on too. I bought two games. I wouldn’t have spent $10 on Echochrome, but $10 for that and PixelJunk Eden? Sold.

The best thing about Sony’s sale? It’s available to Canadians.

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