Downloadable content boosts video game sales 114 percent on average, according to a new study by the research firm Electronic Entertainment Design and Research. EEDAR’s study says publishers can create significant incremental and long-tail revenue streams beyond their retail sales through console storefronts on the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3.
According to the study, Xbox 360 games offering downloadable content sell more by 129 percent, while PlayStation 3 games sell 16 percent more. However, the study noted that the Nintendo Wii has the most downloadable content of any of the next-gen consoles (51 percent of all 187 downloadable titles on all game systems).
The study evaluated each console’s storefront in terms of its online offerings. Nintendo’s Wii leads in the quantity of downloadable games and the Xbox 360 offers the highest number of original downloadable games, while the PlayStation 3 trails in both categories. Ironically, the PlayStation 3 charges the most for its downloadable content, while Xbox 360 has the largest roster of downloadable content to monetize.
EEDAR found that PlayStation 3 has 19.2 Gb of downloadable game titles and game content, while Xbox 360 has 106.5 Gb, which makes a case for why Microsoft is offering the Xbox 360 Elite with 120Gb of hard drive space. The average size per piece of PlayStation 3 downloadable content is almost double that of an Xbox 360 piece, which shows that PS3 users may run into trouble with storage space.
Despite having more downloadable games, the Wii makes no use of other online functionality while 45% of PlayStation 3 downloadable games and 84% of Xbox 360 downloadable games utilize online functionality such as leaderboards, online multiplayer, voice chat, stat tracking, etc.
So far, the study says, developers have not rushed to embrace console storefronts as a dedicated outlet. Only 12 percent of all downloadable games are original titles, the rest being re-releases from earlier platforms. Microsoft is dominating in this area, with 77 percent of these original titles available exclusively on the Xbox 360.