The Revolution vs Xbox Live Arcade

Just a forenote, this only applies to NES, SNES and N64. Gamecube games and Revolution titles are not downloadable at all, and cost money to buy. Just a preclarification to make sure you don't get confused.

Posted on SlashDot was a report that Nintendo's first party games for the NES, SNES and N64 would be downloadable for free. While the claim does not seem to be 100% verifiable, analysis of the source shows that at the very least, a good number of games will be free and anything else will be rather cheap.

It is important to note that anything not made by Nintendo, such as MegaMan, Castlevania, World Cup, or other such offerings are not within Nintendo's control. They are leaving it up to those companies whether to charge and how much.

In any case, it has been brought up that the Xbox 360 will have a similar service dubbed Xbox Live Arcade. This service will allow you download classic arcade games (not Nintendo games), at a price.

The cheapest game you'll find there is a whopping $9.99 (or for those of us who see through such marketing, $10). While that is the norm, you'll also see others going for $15 or even $20. Seeing as how Nintendo is, in the utter worst case scenario, only thinking about making some of their games free and making those that aren't rather cheap (mind you this is the worst case), Microsoft's service seems like a ripoff. In Nintendo's best case scenario, everything's free. I don't really see how Microsoft could compete with that by selling games at those ridiculous prices.

It is my opinion that it is in Nintendo's best interest to, at the very least, make all but perhaps the absolutely, positively most special game (and yes that is singular) downloadable for free. The reason? A lot of people, including casual gamers, have emulators or already own these games. When you charge for something a lot of people already have for free (or in some cases are even emulating on an Xbox), you don't make many friends.

While third parties can decide for themselves (or perhaps ask Nintendo for money to make their games availible for free), Nintendo has enough of their own games to make it work. I honestly don't know what Microsoft is trying to pull with Xbox Live Arcade, but it's obviously something involving turning my wallet into a void.

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Petamaka said...
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