Microsoft may have eased off on its always-online, all-digital future prior to the Xbox One's launch, but the company hasn't abandoned the concept — and its fight against against the used games market — entirely. Microsoft plans to begin "testing" deals for the digital versions of select Xbox One games, starting tomorrow with Crytek's Ryse: Son of Rome.
From Tuesday, February 18 through Monday, February 24, Ryse will be available for $39.99 when purchased digitally through the Xbox Games Store. Although Xbox studio manager Mike Ybarra credited the temporary price drop as a response to player feedback, it's clear from his tweets later on that Microsoft could have an ulterior motive — like destroying the used games market.
That’s far better than the used price at GameStop and others! Go digital!
— Mike Ybarra (@XboxQwik) February 17, 2014
To Microsoft's credit, the prices are much better. Currently, Ryse sells for $59.99 new at GameStop, while the used version still goes for a whopping $54.99. And remember, Microsoft or Crytek doesn't see a penny from that used game sale. Microsoft's push to a digital future — one that likely prevents used game sales — is certainly understandable, but the platform-holder attempted this sort of thing in the past and it blew up on them. Perhaps seeing the more attractive price offered digitally through Microsoft will convince consumers that an all-digital future isn't necessarily a bad thing.
$39.99 for Ryse is definitely a great deal, and I love competitive prices, but would you embrace an all-digital future?