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Amazon eyes the digital gaming market

09 September 2010 - 10:26 by David Aiken

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Online retailer Amazon could be making a move into the digital gaming market, after it recently employed Andre Vrignaud, a man who worked his way to the top of Microsoft's gaming division.

A report in the Wall Street Journal identified that Mr Vrignaud had made the jump to Amazon, but said that his new position in the firm had not been publicised, leading to speculation as to what his new role might be.

Amazon sells thousands of different products from books to home furnishings and it already offers games for multiple platforms to customers who want to enjoy safe shopping online for their home entertainment. But the dawn of broadband internet has allowed services like Valve's Steam to show how selling games which users can download direct to your PCs, can be a lucrative practice.

By cutting out the middle man, namely the high street retailer, along with the cost of producing a physical disc which the consumer then buys, digital game downloads can be cheaper and easier to use.

Mr Vignaud said that he was still a fan of Microsoft's gaming team and insisted that he would continue to watch its progress over the coming years. He also said that he was curious about what Amazon would be able to offer the digital entertainment market in the future.

Mr Vignaud's work with Microsoft focused on creating and maintaining Xbox Live and the associated services, which include online gaming and digital downloads of extra gaming content. This means that he comes with all of the knowledge and experience that would allow Amazon to launch its own game download platform.

Amazon has been a trusted bastion of safe shopping online for many years and by completely removing the need for physical delivery, it would certainly make it more convenient for its customers to buy digital copies of their favourite games.