In a surprising turn of events, European retailers have decided to bid farewell to physical Xbox games. According to the ever-insightful Christopher Dring from GamesIndustry.biz, sales of physical games for the console have plummeted to such abysmal depths that retailers have taken the drastic step of ceasing to stock these products.
Dring revealed on the Games Industry Microcast that a major publisher had disclosed this intriguing nugget of information just before Christmas. Apparently, several European retailers have made the bold choice to stop listing Xbox games altogether. Why, you might ask? Well, it seems that Xbox has become the epitome of a digital console, with physical game performance sinking to astonishing lows. When you're selling a console that most people use to download games, the physical market becomes about as useful as a square wheel on a unicycle.
It's worth noting that the margin on hardware is often quite slim, leaving retailers yearning for more substantial profits. Dring wasn't able to confirm which retailers are partaking in this digital revolution, but the news came directly from a senior European publishing boss. So, we have some credible sources here!
This development follows earlier claims that Microsoft had closed down its internal departments responsible for bringing physical games to market. Legal documents leaked in September hinted at Microsoft's gaming strategy, unveiling plans for an "adorably all digital" Xbox Series X console with the codename 'Brooklin.' While these plans may have shifted since then, the documents indicated a targeted launch date in November 2024, with a price point of $499.
Daniel Ahmad, the director of research and insights at Niko Partners, chimed in on the matter, stating, "There are certain AAA games with 80%+ digital shares on Xbox these days, so it's not too surprising." It seems to be a sign of things to come in the next generation of gaming, according to the analyst.
While most AAA games currently enjoy both physical and digital releases, some have embraced the digital realm exclusively. Notable examples include last October's highly anticipated Alan Wake 2 and Xbox's upcoming Hellblade 2, set to grace our screens in May.
Picture this: A bustling European retailer, known for its towering shelves filled with vibrant game boxes, suddenly undergoing a transformation. The once vibrant aisles now echo with emptiness as the physical Xbox games vanish, leaving only the distant hum of servers and the glow of digital downloads. The retailer's staff, dressed in mourning black, stand in silence, staring at the empty spaces, contemplating the digital storm that has swept through their world.
So there you have it, an extraordinary tale of European retailers abandoning physical Xbox games in favor of the digital realm. It's a sign of the times, a glimpse into the future where physical copies may become rare artifacts, cherished by collectors and nostalgia seekers. The digital storm is upon us, my friends, and it's time to brace ourselves for a gaming landscape that exists purely in the realm of ones and zeros.