Originally Posted by melgross
The flash media simply adds to the cost of the game. Even if the media costs the manufacturer a few bucks, they are going to double, or triple that price at retail. That's one reason why the games for the DS cost what they do, and why games for the iPod can be so cheap, though we'll see what Carmack will be charging.
They don't need to add profit margins onto the media as they make the money on the game. It's different selling flash media on its own for consumer use. It is added cost though.
I wish Sony had sold their games on flash for the PSP. UMD was just awful. Noisy drives, slow load times, much bigger compared to DS cartridges.
The download model has limitations.
It prevents game resale - quite good for the seller of course as Valve discovered when they locked down resale of CD-Keys.
If the servers go down or you lose your internet connection, you don't get any software - games or otherwise. Whereas I could easily go to a local store and buy a game sold on other media.
If your connection is slow, big games won't be popular and how do you reinstall them after a device reset?
The advantages are that you aren't limited to local store selection.
You should get the games cheaper as there is no packaging and physical distribution costs.
And if they manage to get the games under 500MB like classic games from the PSP online store then you can get pretty good quality games and the download should only take about 30 minutes.
Since you'd only have 3-4 big games max at a time, you could easily fit those onto an 8GB ipod/iphone.
In the case of the iphone, I think that the online method is a good way to do things. I still think it would have been better allowing apps to be distributed outside of itunes but Sony didn't do this either and I still used their service.
I think the iphone would excel more at adventure games and RPGs like Final Fantasy. Action games don't work so well with touch - I personally found Super Monkey Ball more frustrating than challenging. I miss games like Escape from Monkey island, Broken Sword and Discworld. You can actually play some of these with ScummVM for unlocked iphones/ipods but I've played those games years ago.
Companies like Microids and the Adventure Company would do well to get in on this market:http://www.microids.com/http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ivdz0IsTGc8
< excellent gamehttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vTP_rLch_qw
These games were around 1GB in size but they had a lot of cut scene that could use better compression nowadays. Game like this are perfect with a touch screen and better for say flights and train journeys as you have to get involved in the game and think about what you're doing. It's like an interactive book.