Still, this is a major announcement for a couple reasons:
- It solidifies Viz's approach to digital. Previously Viz had mentioned it was experimenting with different schedules for different titles, occasionally even releasing digital well ahead of print (something it may still do to catch series up when they're serialized in Weekly Shonen Jump Alpha), but this standardizes things.
- It signals Viz's commitment to digital. To be honest, at times I questioned Viz's will and/or ability to stick with digital, but this reassures me.
- It makes Viz perhaps the only publisher to charge less than print for digital day-and-date. All the other comic publishers I can think of charge the same price as print for their digital day-and-date.
- It makes it easier to know in advance when digital volumes are coming out. One of the things that drives me crazy about publishers is their lack of a schedule for their books, and Viz was particularly bad in announcing when new digital volumes would be released. Even now, the "New" page on VizManga.com and within the iOS app features books like Hikaru no Go vol. 3 and Genkaku Picasso vol. 1 which came out long ago and aren't even the newest volumes in those series. With this new approach, I can at least use Amazon to track when new volumes of my favorite series are set to come out.
- It'll be interesting to see how Viz deals with series that are still being released in print but that are significantly behind digitally. I'm not sure how many series fall in this category, but I noticed for example that Library Wars: Love and War is releasing volume 8 in print on 9/4/12. Volume 3 came out digitally last week and volume 4 just came out tonight, so it looks like Viz is tracking a volume a week to close the gap before volume 8 comes out. (I'm guessing Viz will release 7 and 8 digitally on 9/4/12.)
- Based on what I see on Amazon, this means a new volume of Bakuman each month for the rest of 2012!
- Whatever happened to InuYasha VIZBIG? It was originally announced as an iOS exclusive but there hasn't been a new digital release for quite some time, with the series only hitting vol. 6 digitally so far. Both Amazon and Viz.com list the release date for vol. 12 as 8/14/12 but there's nothing on the iOS app. (I wonder if something happened that caused Rumiko Takahashi generally to reconsider releasing her series digitally, as the much ballyhooed simultaneous release of Rin-ne fizzled out without explanation over a year ago.)