Xbox evangelist Major Nelson announced last week on his blog the Xbox Live Ultimate Game Sale, a week-long sale featuring dozens of Xbox 360 Games on Demand. From now until March 4, Microsoft is offering many of these games for sale with discounts of up to 85%. Fifteen of these games will be sold throughout the entire sale, each with a discount of at least 75%, with additional daily sales. Today’s sale features several games from the Assassin’s Creed series at 50% off. The full list of titles can be found on Major Nelson’s blog.
These deep price cuts could be seen as a direct response to similarly structured seasonal Steam sales. Games on Demand prices have been criticized since their inception, with year-old titles being sold at full retail price while used physical copies at retailers like GameStop go for a fraction of the price. While time-limited events like the Ultimate Game Sale don’t solve that problem entirely, it seems to be a step in the right direction.
At the risk of being cynical, it’s also worth keeping in mind that we currently have no idea if or how a potential next-generation Xbox can play these downloadable titles, so this could be a last-ditch effort from Microsoft to make some extra money from Games on Demand before announcing that these very games will be unplayable on your next Microsoft console. With Sony announcing that PS3 and PSN games will not natively play on the PlayStation 4, this move would not be unprecedented.
Make sure to check the Xbox 360 dashboard or Major Nelson’s blog each day for the featured sale.