Fox Broadcasting, Paramount Pictures, Sony Entertainment, Universal Pictures, Warner Brothers and Wal-Mart are unveiling an “Ultraviolet cloud locker system.” After purchasing a DVD released by one of the studios, customers can go to Wal-Mart and pay between $2 and $4 more to have that movie stored digitally in a “cloud locker.” The movie will then be accessible on any device that features the VUDU app or with Internet access. Disney, Apple and Amazon are not participating. (Forbes, 4/27/12)
Even after watching record labels get it wrong for years, movie studios can’t get it right. DVD sales dropped 20 percent between 2010 and 2011, and increases in Blu-ray sales and digital downloading didn’t make up the difference. Expect an increase in piracy, not an increase in consumers spending time and money to get access to watch a movie they have purchased on any device.
On the other hand, in August, Nintendo will sell New Super Mario Bros 2 and other games for its gaming platforms, the 3DS and Wii U, as both direct downloads and physical packages. The company has previously offered high-end games on discs and cartridges, and smaller games via download. Customers can purchase via Nintendo’s eShop online store, or they can buy download codes from traditional game retailers. (Wired, 4/27/12)
Unlike the movie studios, Nintendo understands the changes that Pervasive Computing is bringing. Digital games on smartphones are training individuals to want and expect immediate access, which is changing business and delivery models for traditional game companies. How long will it be before sales of physical games sold at brick-and-mortar stores disappear completely?