Microsoft takes a cue from Steam, offers deep sale on downloadable games

Microsoft logoIn the endless battle between console and PC gamers, those on the computer side have been able to point to semi-regular, ultra-deep discounts on downloadable legacy titles through services like Steam and GOG as a point in their favor. Microsoft seems to be realizing this, and today it will begin offering downloadable versions of some big-name titles at discounts of 75 percent and more.

Microsoft's sales event, which runs through March 4, kicked off last night with massive reductions on downloadable copies of Halo 3, Halo: Reach, and Halo Wars, all of which are reduced from $30 down to $10 for a single day. The more recent Halo 4 was reduced as well, from $60 to $40. This morning, Microsoft rolled out more steep reductions on 15 third-party titles ranging from BioShock and Tomb Raider: Legend to El Shaddai and Rayman: Raving Rabbids. All of these titles are now temporarily available for $3 to $5, down from normal download prices of $20 to $30. The coming days will see daily deals on dozens of other downloadable titles.

Xbox Live

All of these sale prices are comparable to or a bit lower than the going rate for preowned retail copies at places like GameStop, meaning you actually get to pay less for the convenience of not leaving the house. In many cases, the sale even makes the console version of the game temporarily cheaper than PC downloads, which is a pretty rare treat for console owners. Plus it's always cool to get a modern classic like BioShock for less cash than some iOS games.

If Microsoft's next system does end up blocking play of preowned retail games, as has been heavily rumored, these kind of downloadable deals for older titles could help ease the pain quite a bit (a fact services like Steam have proven again and again). Heck, even with a healthy resale market for discs, it never hurts to revive interest in classic games with rock-bottom prices.

Source: Ars Technica

Tags: computer games, Microsoft

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