Valve now says that year-over-year Steam sales have risen a significant 97%, while competitor Direct2Drive has logged a 56% boost, according to IGN. nope In the console sector, Xbox Live saw a 73% year-over-year increase in paid downloads, with the wildly popular Battlefield 1943--a game which sold over 600,000 copies online in its first week--providing an example of the potential for digitally distributed games.
However, it's not quite yet to declare a digital revolution, as analyst Michael Pachter notes that downloads still account for only about 5% of overall sales, and are likely not a major contributing factor to the current retail sales decline.
"Downloads are probably $1-2 billion worldwide this year, compared to a $26 billion packaged goods market," he said. "Significant, but not enough to cause a 20% monthly sales decline."