Totilo At Play

June 9, 2009

Game Diary - June 9, 2009: Buyer’s Remorse

Filed under: Totilo Game Diary — Tags: , , , , , — stephentotilo @ 8:00 am

As we enter the age of mainstream digital distribution for video games, via not just Steam but devices like the iPhone, DSi and PSP Go I believe we’ll be entering a new era of buyer’s remorse.

I was reminded last night that a regrettable purchase through a gaming download service can’t be traded in. If I buy a bad disc-based game, I can trade it in or even give it to a friend who might enjoy it more. But, last night, I downloaded a WiiWare game that I thought I was going to have to review. I hated the game, but I had no way to compensate for my bad purchase.

I was stuck.

You can’t return a digitally downloaded game you don’t like. You can’t re-gift it. You can’t trade it in or pawn it off. Those options, rightly or wrongly, are ones I’ve been accustomed to with disc-based games. For digital games? Buyer beware.

One caveat: if WiiWare offered demos of the games on the service, as Xbox Live Arcade does, I might not have run into this problem.


  1. Reminds me how XBLA games once purchased will always be connected to your account. If I dislike a game on my shelf I can physically remove the case or like you say trade the game in, but on XBLA not only do I lose the right to trade the game I also lose any control over how that games filed and displayed in my virtual library.

    Comment by enandrews — June 9, 2009 @ 10:25 am

  2. One admirable thing about Google’s Android Marketplace: any game you download can be returned for a full refund within 24hrs of purchase. I’d love to see this for WiiWare, since there are no demo options.

    Comment by thesimplicity — June 9, 2009 @ 10:36 am

  3. Which game was it?

    And, really, I think that this is a problem with WiiWare and DSiWare in particular. The games show up with no fanfare, and most major sites do not even cover the software (unless it is Nintendo-published or one of the rarely advertised/anticipated ones). Thus, no demos = a Wild West scenario.

    I imagine Sony is going to lean on publishers to provide a demo for the PSP now that it is going all-digital. It encourages use of the PlayStation Network, and it allows for an easy “buy the whole package right now” scenario.

    Comment by GohanGVO — June 9, 2009 @ 9:28 pm

  4. Gohan, I’d rather not name the game in case someone else from Kotaku winds up reviewing it.

    Comment by stephentotilo — June 10, 2009 @ 8:17 am

  5. No worries. I have it narrowed down to a list of seven based on what I believe Kotaku readers would be interested in. ;)

    Comment by GohanGVO — June 10, 2009 @ 2:04 pm

  6. Me personally I dont see anything worth buying this PSP but just the bluetooth feature which really not much fun when you have to spend a bit more to get yourself a bluetooth headset for the PSP Go.


    Comment by PSP Custom Firmware — September 6, 2009 @ 3:31 am

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