Video Game Sales Wiki

Digital distribution is the means of selling content via the Internet as opposed to going to a retail store and purchasing the physical disc. Digital distribution includes downloading entire games (such as PS1 games) to digital content within a game. PC gaming has increasingly shifted to a digital model. Steam and IGN's Direct2Drive experienced substantial growth in 2009.[1]

Digital Distribution is method of selling games via the internet. This method is quite a ways different from typical games distribution as it imbues no real cost on the publisher from producing. Every major platform has a method of digital distribution now.


Early Distribution[]

The first instances of this were very limited, usually to Japan. One of the more prominent examples is Nintendo's Satellaview. The service ran the entirety of the rest of the SNES's lifespan in Japan, from 1995 going on until 2000. SEGA had the SEGA Channel, that preceeded Nintendo by about a year.

Advent of Digital-only games[]

It wasn't until the seventh generation when this began as a legitimate method of selling games, though games did. Xbox 360 and Playstation 3 had digital stores with their respective console launches. Nintendo entered this part of the market with the Wii's launch and the launch of Virtual Console, but didn't allow for new games to sold until 2008 with the WiiWare service and didn't sell full retail games until their next systems, 3DS and Wii U, on the Nintendo eShop. Full digital games didn't start coming until 2007 but it wasn't regular until 2010.

Valve's distribution service, Steam, also picked up speed in this period and it soon exceeded the retail market for PC games. Other competitors like GOG and EA's Origin, also sprouted up.

Mobile market[]

Streaming games[]

Xbox Live Arcade[]

See also: List of Xbox Live Arcade games

The Xbox Live service for Xbox 360 allows downloading of original Xbox games as well as original XBLA games. Over 17 millions users are members on Xbox Live.[1] Online services for the Xbox has reached $1 billion dollars in revenue.

Notable titles
  • Braid
  • Geometry Wars
  • Mega Man 9
  • Uno

External links[]

WiiWare / Virtual Console[]

See also: List of WiiWare games and List of Virtual Console games

Nintendo's Virtual Console for Wii is a service that allows users to download games from previous systems like the NES, SNES, and N64. WiiWare games, launched in May 2008, are downloadable games that make use of the Wii remote and have a maximum size of ~50 megabytes.

Notable WiiWare titles
  • LostWinds
  • Mega Man 9
  • Strong Bad episodic games
  • World of Goo

Best-selling games[]

  1. Super Mario Bros. 3 (1,000,000)[2]
  2. Super Mario Bros. (660,000)[2]
  3. Excitebike (481,100)[3]
  4. Super Mario World (362,500)[2]
  5. The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening (338,700)[3]
  6. World of Goo (320,000)[2]
  7. Super Mario 64 (270,000)[2]
  8. Super Mario Land (230,500)[3]
  9. The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time (230,000)[2]
  10. Tetris Party (217,000)[4]

External links[]

PlayStation Network[]

See also: List of PlayStation Network games
Top PSN games

Top PSN games since launch (February 2008)

The PlayStation 3 PSN service contains a PlayStation Store to download original PlayStation games as well as PSN downloadable games.

Notable titles
  • Mega Man 9
  • Pixel Junk Monsters
  • flOw
  • Super Stardust HD

Best selling PSN games[]

As of February 2008, the best selling PlayStation Network games are:

  1. flOw
  2. Mortal Kombat II
  3. Tekken 5 Dark Resurrection
  4. PAIN
  5. Warhawk
  6. High Velocity Bowling
  7. Super Stardust HD
  8. Calling All Cars
  9. Aquatopia
  10. Everyday Shooter

Best selling PS1 games on PSN[]

External links[]

Digital distribution[]

Sales tidbits[]

Unfortunately, due to the nature of the main three platform holders, most digital sales do not get revealed. Valve and Steam also withhold direct numbers but these can be determined using a tool to find the numbers of profiles that display them owning the game, but this has some inaccuracies like the amount who keep their profile private. The numbers below are publicly revealed numbers

Nintendo eShop[]

  • Azure Striker Gunvolt (March 2015) - 100,000 downloads
  • Gunman Clive - (February 2015) - > 400,000 downloads, 80% on 3DS
  • Urban Trial Freestyle (March 2015) - >100,000 downloads in Japan
  • Witch and Hero - 100,000 downloads, 80k in Japan

Playstation Network[]

Xbox Live Arcade[]



Video game industry
Sales trends · Holidays · Price cuts · Launch price · Market research · Fiscal reports · Video game costs · Video game delays · Leaks
Dev kit · Attach rate · Gaming conventions · Recession · Rumors · Sales bumps · Casual and hardcore games · Game piracy · Grey market · Controversies · Developer disputes · Video game research · Game development
NPD sales figures · Costs (Most expensive games) · Best-selling games

External links[]