Day 1 Digital Sales held back by retail: Microsoft
Unlike Xbox Live Arcade or Xbox Live Indie Games, "Games on Demand" allows players to buy full retail games directly on their Xbox 360. However, downloadable games typically appear weeks and months after their boxed counterparts. For example, the most recent batch of titles include Risen 2, Dance Central 3, and PES 2013--games that are at least five months old.
Games on Demand senior business manager Erik Yeager said that the delay is due to a "strong partnership" with retail.
"Theyre the ones out there selling the consoles, selling the peripherals and, in this time, were trying to figure out how to fit that in to the whole digital landscape shift. Were just taking a bit of a measured pace with it," Yeager said at a recent MIT Business in Games conference (via Joystiq).
While pointing out the Games on Demand has been getting better with games being available on release day, he stressed that the partnerships are important because the retailers sell the companys console. "The ability to sell our console is the most critical thing for us. If you dont sell the console, you cant sell anything else."
However, Yeagers explanation makes little sense when looking at Xboxs rivals. Both PlayStation Store and Nintendos eShop offer day-one downloads of retail games, both first and third-party. And last time we checked, Sony and Nintendo consoles are still sold in retail stores.