Cheap distribution model
Apple with iTunes has ushered in an era where CDs and DVDs are fast becoming extinct. CDs and DVDs require packaging to be produced, space in warehouses to store, and discs to be fabricated. Presumably offering the music and movies on iTunes is cheaper because all the costs to manufacture have been cut. The savings get passed on to the customer.
The Lazy Tax
Video games are different though, and I can’t really figure out why that is. You can get the game L.A. Noire from Amazon for under $19. It ships free (if you’re a Prime customer) too. The only problem is it comes on disc. You have to load it into your console when you want to play. You have to find someplace to store the game when you’re not playing it.
You can download the exact same game for $40 on Xbox Live. It gets saved to your console. You don’t need to insert the disc to play. You don’t need to store a case. You don’t have a box laying around.
My friend calls this the “Lazy Tax” because you pay extra for the convenience of not having a disc to insert into your console when you want to play. This doesn’t make sense to me though. App stores seem to be the future, so why are game manufacturers still encouraging gamers to buy physical media?