Sony: Majority of gamers "don't want to buy online right now"

PlayStation marketing executive say it's clear that the "vast majority" of consumers want to buy games at traditional physical retailers.

Physical discs aren't going away anytime soon, as most consumers "don't want to buy online right now," PlayStation marketing executive Guy Longworth has told GamesIndustry International.

"I think the reality is this: Our digital business is growing fast, and we have incredibly strong partnerships with our key retail partners as well," Longworth said. "What we try to do is offer a relatively level playing field and let the gamers decide. We're not trying to advantage them, we believe in consumer choice."

"It's clear that the vast majority of the people want to go down to GameStop or Best Buy, they don't want to buy it online right now," he added. "How that might change in the future is kind of hard to predict. People might be quite surprised, I think physical games will be around a lot longer than some people think."

All games for Sony's PlayStation 4 will be available digitally as well as through physical retailers. The same is true for Microsoft's Xbox One.

The PS4 launches later this year for $400, though Sony is exploring "many" different pricing options for the next-generation platform.

Written By

Eddie Makuch is a news editor at GameSpot, and would like to see the Whalers return to Hartford.

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Discussion

1065 comments
udubdawgz
udubdawgz

i have great access and reliability and lots of income, yet, if i am ever forced to be online to play my video games i will leave the industry.

period.

supermarioooooo
supermarioooooo

İ NEVER EVER PAY FOR SOME MEGABYTES OR GİGABYTES..

ALWAYS WANT PHYSİCAL COPY ON MY GAME COLLECTİON!!!!!!!!!!!


VicariousWolf88
VicariousWolf88

You see I would have no problem buying all my games online BUT when I go online and see the game I want THEN I see that gamestop has it for $10 cheaper where do you think Im going? ...Gamestop! that as always been whats stopped me from buying all games online. another example: when I wanted to get borderlands 1 it was $30 online but Gamestop had the game of the year edition for the same price... it doesnt take a genius to figure out where I purchased from.

ken4062
ken4062

I think he hit a key point. Which is people want a choice. There is the physical disc buyer, the digital buyer, the DLC buyer, the guy who buys everything, the guy who just buys their system for used games, and sometimes the guy who tries to get hacked or stolen stuff. Catering to all of them except the hacker is what they want. 

SoreBastard
SoreBastard

For a second I thought this was going to be an article from Sony about how gamers don't want to pay for PS Plus in order to get online play. Boy was I dumb!

RighteousWoman
RighteousWoman

I agree 100%. Physical media isn't going anywhere anytime soon. It has nothing to do with what is currently technically possible and everything to do with what consumers want. All of those people claiming that this was the final gen for physical media have no clue what they are talking about. Personally, I don't think it will ever go away completely. As Kickstarter has clearly shown, there are a lot of people out there that want a collectible physical edition and I don't ever see that changing. Ultimately I think the two will find some sort of balance and the people that want to buy digitally will be able to do just that and the people that want to buy physical copies will be able to buy physical copies. People will have a choice, which is always a good thing. As for me, I am physical all the way as you can always turn around and sell the game on the used market. You cant do that with digital downloads. 

guitarist1980
guitarist1980

3mbps is not that bad at all. In fact if you have comcast in the US you basically get between 1.5-4 mps depending on where your house is located. That costs between 60-80 dollars a month.

jaysan15
jaysan15

yea you guys are really lucky...you have game shops where ever you go..you guys have fast net connection for down loads...and you guys always have credit/debit card to use for online purchase...all the means to get games are avaialble with you guys..from where i am i have to travel atleast 1 hour to the closest game shop..we barely get 3 mbps net connection..and our country is not included on both the xbox live or psn so our credit/debit card are useless..and PSN ridiculously cost 6 times the actual amount.

but im proud to say i owned countless original physically games and patiently downloaded tons of Gigs demo/ full games.

since way back famicom until now x360 & ps3... all on my great wall

uneac2
uneac2

u guys are lucky u have game shops, im from Mozambique, Africa, our few gameshops have overpriced  games due to shipping costs, and greedy dealers who dont understand a thing about gaming, just want to sell their product to rich kids who can afford it. So i usually buy  my copies online, becoz they are at a fair price

CaptWaffle
CaptWaffle

I enjoy going to the game store.... perhaps it's a Pavlovian reaction from always being in a good mood due to being there to buy some cool game or another... but it's just not the same to browse online and then to not own a physical copy.

Cadillac_HOVA
Cadillac_HOVA

If your PS3 only owner..You know it takes forever to d/l..then you have to install afterward..So yeah I would rather keep physical disc also..I don't know why so many people defends Sony..Good Offline Console/Terrible Online..But its free yaaaaaah !!!!

ShockRoad
ShockRoad

Go Green. Go DIGITAL!

- Faster loading times.
- No noisy rotating sounds.
- No opening and closing disc tray & disc covers.
- No worries about disc getting damaged.
- Saves gas or transit fare (back and forth) then waiting in line.
- Good for travelling (no bulky disc covers to carry).
- Storage full? Delete games you don't often play.
(Deleted games can be always be re-downloaded anytime and as many times)

- Plus you can share the game to another family member's console (assuming it's PS3).
According to Sony, it's illegal to share games with your friends or they will ban you if you get caught. But you can share it only once and it has to be in the same household. Meaning two people can play on a single paid downloaded game on two consoles at the same time compared to a physical bought game for only one person can play it.

- and it's good for the environment! (in some ways)
- it's the Future.

Gargus
Gargus

I only buy retail physical games. Occasionally Ill bend the rules for something rare like corpose party though.

I only buy retail games because I like actually owning the product I buy. If I want to see it to a collector in 50 years I can, if I want to let a friend borrow a game I can, if I want to trade it in I can, if I want to pull it out in 25 years and play it I can.

You can do NONE of those things with a digital game. Youll be lucky if your game is even on a live server in 10 years.

Digital appeals to a lot of gamers though because they are only worried about "right now" they don't care about owning what they pay for, they don't care about tomorrow. They just care about getting the game RIGHT NOW.

kbrannan
kbrannan

I am definetly one of the "Majority" who would rather have the physical copy on my shelf to do with as I please. I'm excited to see Sony acknowledge the truth and let the people who generate their paycheck tell them what kind of product to create and are willing to pay for. Instead of what Microsoft did, by creating a product that most didn't want, attempting to force it down our gullets while paying for the displeasure. Microsoft and any other company has lost it's perspective when they no longer produce goods consumers ask for and/or want, then tell us to get over it and buy it anyway. 

    The 'Cloud' and online purchasing is being forced upon us and I for one am just not buying it. What I spend my money on is ALL mine and I'm not sharing with online strings attached.

marcusmattingly
marcusmattingly

It's all about price. If I can get the game cheaper on physical media then I do it that way, otherwise I download it. I buy games because I personally want to play them. I don't see a shiny new game and think, "wow that will be awesome to lend to a friend". Or " game looks incredible, can't wait to resell that". The problem is they make the game available via download and it's still $60. That's when I wait a few months and pick up a used copy. If all downloadable games were always $20 or $30 cheaper than the disc version, then discs would be gone in no time. All of that warm fuzzy feeling about a shelf full of discs would get chucked out the window.

The_Kazekyo
The_Kazekyo

I am one of those people, i love having my collection of games right there on my shelf having a digital copy in my opinion is kinda meaningless and soulless, you download it, play it then delete it if i wanted to just download it i would have a gaming PC and another reason why i don't buy digital is because i think it's an absurd that they charge you the same price as the physical copy. If PSN or Live had frequent big sales like Steam then i would consider buying digital.

AirForce190B
AirForce190B

I enjoy having a badass collection of games sitting on a shelve and going through them to see which one I want to play. It's better than downloading them digitally and feeling like you can easily lose them if someone hacks into your account.

Ayebang
Ayebang

Who told you that ?

I do not have to drive a car to buy it? Just sit in front of my xbox 360 and see it compare, search what you want to know immediatly , it is ok.

One thing Sony has to understand ... you cannot compete online game with Microsoft due to your limited knowledge in online technology, particularly cloud sir

jark888
jark888

Make it half the price of the physical form, then you'll get the attention you need from gamers. That's only fair for games that waste HDD space and can be play on one console or so.

demonlich666
demonlich666

i have not much digital ps3 games, but with ps4 i'm planning to buy them digital only.

by the way i think sony should turn psn into one global digital game market. i mean look at steam, it is very well working and gamers love it which i do, too. there is no "eu steam" or "us steam" or something, just games availability differ region to region. 

xxYetterxx
xxYetterxx

I download all my games now and will continue to do so into the foreseeable future.   

CWEBB04z
CWEBB04z

The only time I buy games online are PC and Vita games.

TirOrah
TirOrah

Oh, when I started reading this I honestly thought they were referring to online retailer websites. Turns out it's digital downloads! Why can't they just use the word 'digital' instead?

Anyway, yeah I'm one of those people who prefers discs. Like I said in a previous post, if they go fully digital, they had better make the prices the same as physical. It's unreal when you can buy the Mass Effect trilogy at 20 Euros instead of 50 just because you bought a physical copy. These differences need to go away, stat.

barrica
barrica

i avoid buying games online for the fact that i cannot re'sell if the game is only worth playing once. Dlcs are the only thing i buy online.

chris120379
chris120379

PS4 $400 XBOX1 $500...wonder how much would an apple I CONSOLE BE??? maybe a thousand???

jhayden2000
jhayden2000

i would rather digital download any day tbh. i hat have disks of anything.  HDD storage FTW

deon99
deon99

I still prefer to go into the local GameStop compared to buying everything online.Yes, buying online saves you the trip to the store, but it cost you a massive amount of hdd space, and if  your on psn it could take about two days to download and install.

Whenever i go into game stop i always end up finding another game that is on sale or used that saves me money to buy other games.Until there are better sales on the online store then i will stick with gamestop.Even though they always lose my damn pre orders.

DeltaMike90
DeltaMike90

Most of the ones who post comments online, maybe. I suspect the majority overall are quite happy to buy digital at least sometimes. Personally I only buy cheap games online; anything expensive I buy physically so I can trade it in. If that wasn't possible I simply wouldn't buy expensive games, not because of some moral principle, just because it isn't economical. I never pay more than £20 for any game I can't trade away. Perhaps I should apply to manage Arsenal FC.

Atragon
Atragon

Yeah, no digital for me. No server runs forever and I like the thought of actually going BACK to my console sometime in the future and playing my old games. Can't do that reliably if I can't re-download them and it's just a pain either way. Would rather just pop an old disc in.

BillyColeman
BillyColeman

i did buy a few games online {only since i live in the sticks and it was a fast way to get them} but they take up way to much space

ahztek666
ahztek666

If by "most don't want to buy online right now" they mean "99.95% of gamers despise the idea and would boycott the console entirely if it went down that path", then yeah.... "most"....

FalconOfStorms
FalconOfStorms

@RighteousWoman Well, that's what we've been conditioned to think. But really, there's no reason why we shouldn't be able to give our digital copy to someone else or even sell it for a bit less than we paid for it.

ken4062
ken4062

@Cadillac_HOVA Sony Ps4 has background downloading now. It doesnt take any time anymore. Problem solved. 

szmok
szmok

@Cadillac_HOVA It only takes forever to download if you have a shitty connection. And what is so terrible about ps3 online play? I have both consoles and differences are merely cosmetic. 

supermarioooooo
supermarioooooo

@ShockRoad physical copy is est way. cuz i need to feel box and its cover art. manual disc cover and box's smell... 


yo cant understand these feelings. never will pay for gigabytes

DWalker131
DWalker131

@Gargus agreed with every single one of your points !

except the last one, i want my games right here right now, which is why i go buy my game then go home and play with it instantly, i shudder at the thought of paying full price for a game and waiting 6 - 12 hour for the game to download and thats this current gen games, i'd hate to see the size and how long it'll take to download the next gen games

xxYetterxx
xxYetterxx

@TirOrah Why would the prices be the same?  No worldwide distribution costs, no physical publishing costs, and the retailers aren't entitled to a cut (though MS or Sony might just take that cut instead)

Chrypt22
Chrypt22

@Atragon No server runs forever... You do know that servers are replaceable and up-gradable.  On top of that, games are not stored on servers, they are stored in data-stores such as EMC blocks.  The server does not really do much of the work except initiate the connection.  Physical media is quickly becoming a thing of the past...

HowlPendragon
HowlPendragon

@Atragon Yeah. Only safe option would be replacing the HDD every 7-10 years or so :/

DWalker131
DWalker131

 @szmok well Uncharted 3 took me almost 12 hours to download, the game is about 30 gigs, how long will it take you to download ?

TirOrah
TirOrah

@xxYetterxx Well, if not the same, then at least comparable/similar. In my eyes a difference of 30 bucks is way too much. 

ahztek666
ahztek666

@themob0822 it isn't meant to be a figure pulled out of a report. It's just based on what I have read, and there are very few (sane) people who would be happy to move to digital only, especially with the current pricing structure and lack of ability to trade/sell/lend their games. Most people like to feel as though they OWN the game, rather than having it on permanent lease...

DWalker131
DWalker131

@szmok you sure your mate didn't download the demo ? thats a really beasty download rate if he can do 30 gigs in 2-3 hours

but then again, not all of us including you have that luxary, i mean if you bought a full AAA title which is 60 - 80 bucks, would you really wanna sit through 12 hours of download, then theres people who do not have "unlimited downloads" with their ISP,  which means they'll be charged an arm and a leg for going over their download limit, or wait till the next month before they can play their newly purchased game

i won't tell you whats right or wrong, thats for you to decide depending on your situation, but thats probably the main reasons why some people don't want to go digital ONLY

szmok
szmok

@DWalker131I am afraid it would be pretty similar for me but unfortunately I have a sucky bandwidth :/ My friend on the other hand has a decent fiber and all the ports forwarded to optimize the transfer and he downloaded Last of Us in 2-3 hours 0_o For me it took around 10-11 hours. But probably each download may be hosted on a different server with a different limitations. Afaik some are hosted by Sony and others by game publishers etc. 

jecomans
jecomans

@TirOrah Digital should by all rights be significantly cheaper because you're sending physical retailers out of business. 

Digital-only still means that only people with unlimited high-speed broadband can play lots of games, especially considering the size games are becoming. 

themob0822
themob0822

@ahztek666 @themob0822 That's all well and good,  but maybe we should save the numbers games for when facts are actually presented. You haven't conducted a poll, so your brief readings and forum browsing aren't substantial enough to make that conclusion. When you say "most people" and "very few" it has no meaning. But i do agree with you; i prefer having the discs myself for the reasons you listed. cheers