Microsoft’s greatest triumph with the Xbox 360 is undoubtedly its Xbox Live service, buoyed by robust selection of downloadable games. You can buy digital versions of classic arcade titles, original Xbox games (and starting next month, Xbox 360 games), avant-garde indie gems and even some Nintendo 64 classics. Customers are so in love with the service that they haven’t even noticed that prices for downloadable games have crept up more than 15 percent since the system debuted in 2005.
Kotaku broke down the economy-defying inflation:
The average price of an XBLA game in the 360’s first month was just under 600 points at about $7.31. That has risen to more than 700 points as of last week, or $9.05. And that’s not counting how the average will likely rise again during the Summer of Arcade. Four of the five games offered for the new promotion will run 1200 points ($15).
The digital format makes for a non-fluctuating supply, but it looks like demand keeps pushing the prices up. Microsoft has wisely instituted a weekly sale program and an occasional free game to keep cheapskates happy. You wonder if the price of downloadable games has hit a sweet spot, or if gamers will allow Microsoft and its partners to keep nudging the prices upward.