Effects of new distribution channels in gaming business models
Xbox Games on Demand Senior Business Manager Erik Yeager noted concern with console sales as the reason the 360 doesn't sell games via Xbox Live on launch day. Microsoft's Games on Demand has been noticeably lagging behind Sony, Nintendo - and, yes, PCs in general - on digitally distributed titles launching day-and-date alongside retail releases.

"We have a lot of strong partnerships with retailers," said Yeager at yesterday's MIT Business in Games conference. "We really need them to do a lot for us. They're the ones out there selling the consoles, selling the peripherals and, in this time, we're trying to figure out how to fit that in to the whole digital landscape shift. We're just taking a bit of a measured pace with it."

Microsoft's Xbox 360 has been the top selling console in the United States for the past 26 months. Asked if the company would have moved faster on day-and-date if that weren't the case, Yeager responded, "I probably can't comment on that one."

He continued, "We really strongly believe it's important to have these retail partnerships and the ability to sell our console is the most critical thing for us. If you don't sell the console, you can't sell anything else."

Yeager pointed out that Games on Demand titles have gradually decreased their lag time between retail and digital distribution on the service. Sony's PlayStation 4 has already outlined a heavy digital distribution strategy. Microsoft is expected to announce the plans for its upcoming console in the coming months.

This article was originally published on Joystiq.