After Microsoft's press conference on Monday, Marc Whitten of Microsoft revealed plans to launch Games on Demand, which will let players purchase and download full Xbox 360 titles over Xbox Live. Clearly this seems like it would hinder Microsoft's relationship with game retailers like GameStop. I spoke to Microsoft VP John Schappert about why he doesn't foresee this being a problem.
"The titles [we're showing] you can't find at retail anymore. Retail space is at a premium and these guys have only X amount of titles they can carry. And actually, if a title is out of its launch window, you'd be hard-pressed to find some of them. So your friend buys and Xbox today (which we would like him to) and he wants to go find Civilization Revolution, he can't. So now he can, these games can live on in the digital realm. Currently there are no plans to release new titles on the service.
While this does give GameStop and its ilk some leeway, it seems like it's only a matter of time before Microsoft (and all other publishers, for that matter) cuts out the middle man and goes 100% digital.