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Escapist Friction: When Will Comic Books Come to Consoles?

ComicsAlliance welcomes new contributor Caleb Goellner of Topless Robot and Splash Page for a weekly feature titled “Escapist Friction.”

Plenty of comic books have been translated into video games, but until recently, gaming tech didn’t permit an actual comic reading experience at all comparable to the printed page.

But now? With iPhone slideshows, grayscale Kindle pages and dependable web viewers, it’s only a matter of time before comics become a commodity on gaming consoles, right? There are more than a few indicators inspiring speculation.

Read more about comics coming to consoles after the jump!Jeff Webber, Director of ePublishing at IDW told CBR News this week that gaming consoles are indeed on the publisher’s agenda as a space to make comics available.

That’s because every modern gaming system is really a multimedia machine, each with its own online store ala iTunes. The veritable posterchild for electronic retailing, iTunes, has also become a successful electronic comics retailer. Until now, however, most console retailers have played it safe by sticking to games. Those, such as the Xbox, that have opened up to outside content like Netflix are still missing comic content.

That could change, though. Last week cnet reported that Sony is considering a music store for the PSP and this week Kotaku posted that the Zune Marketplace will soon join the Xbox 360. With that functionality in place, iPhone-style slideshows could feasibly be modified by existing digital comic distributors like uClick and iVerse Media without too much fuss. The same could go for Nintendo’s recently upgraded DSi.

Comics are going to make the leap sooner or later. The only real questions are, which system will take the leap first and what format will they use?

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