Do you perfer digital or physical games?

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Avatar image for marcheegsr
#1 Posted by marcheegsr (3102 posts) -

I have been seeing that a lot of people on the boards have been saying they are going all digital next gen.

I'm quite interested to see what you guys think of this topic?

Up until now the only digital games I have got are the free ps plus games. I enjoy having a collection of physical copies on my desk rather than just having it stored on a harddrive.

Will there really be a time when physical copies stop getting produced and it will be digital only?

The only benefit of going digital only to me is that you don't have to go to the store to get it. But you can't re sell it/trade in/or lend to your friend.

Which do you prefer?

Avatar image for Ish_basic
#2 Edited by Ish_basic (4331 posts) -

I don't mind digital. It's pretty much how I do all my PC gaming. Though given a choice, I will still buy a box.

My two main worries about a digital future on consoles have to do with ownership. I want to be able to sell digital rights to other users like I can sell my games now. Secondly, when a new console rolls around, I want to continue to have rights to the games I've purchased on the previous console, rather than have to buy them again on the new console (which you know someone will try to do).

Avatar image for Chickan_117
#3 Posted by Chickan_117 (16327 posts) -

Personally I'm gonna go for the unmentioned option #3 and say I'd like to have both. I like buying disc copies of a game; I like the boxes, I like seeing it on my shelf, etc. However, I don't like having no backup in case something happens to the disc and having to have the physical media with me if I have to install. So I want the best of both worlds and, I don't think that's overly difficult to achieve or unacceptible to expect.

I'm gonna be lazy and just link to something on Stevivor.com discussing missed opportunities for improvement in this gen's consoles (http://stevivor.com/2013/08/next-gen-consoles-a-missed-opportunity/). That's exactly what I want.

Link game ownership to the license, not the media

If I buy a disc copy of a game I am, in essence, purchasing the rights to use that software. The model we should be moving towards is one where the license is tied to an account, verified then able to be accessed by any means I choose, like download, disc or cartridge.

In fact… just like PC games like Steam do. Say I purchaseHalf Life 3. The first time I put it in my console or PC the software forces me to go online and register it. Let’s say it has a unique key; we’ll call it… oh I don’t know… a CD-Key. This is used to register my game with my XBL, PSN, NC or whatever account the hardware offers. Now Half-Life 3 is linked to my account and a flag set saying that I’m authorised to play the game on this hardware using this specific account without further validation.

Furthermore, now that my copy is validated I should be able to download a local copy if I want to play it disc free as well.

In this model that check would be performed and the software validated each time I went to use the disc on a new machine or tried to download another copy. If I lent my disc to a friend the system would perform another check and disallow play as the game was already registered to me. If I want to play the HL3 disc on another console I would need to re-verify my account details to verify my ownership before it allowed the disc to be used on the second console. The key point is that I am able to play or download HL3 on any machine providing I can verify that I am the registered/rightful owner.

The only downside to this model is that, by tying a license to an account, you eliminate used game trading and loaning/borrowing. A way around this could be to allow for people to rescind their license thus allowing another user to register it. There would have to be controls in place to prevent abuse however they could do this quite easily and even, potentially, charge for the privilege. Whilst this additional hurdle would be annoying for many I don’t see it as a biggie when offset against the benefits.

Actually there is one other downside I just thought of and it relates to people who have no internet whatsoever. For those people I say offer a telephone service where they can ring up to register/validate their copy. You provide the CD Key, they provide an activation key, you enter that on your machine and “voila!” your game is tied to your offline account. If you ever go online it just cross references offline data with the online and then operates the same as someone with an online connection.

- See more at: http://stevivor.com/2013/08/next-gen-consoles-a-missed-opportunity/#sthash.bvSOsoOH.dpuf

Avatar image for Bigboi500
#4 Posted by Bigboi500 (35086 posts) -

Physical for consoles, digital for handhelds.

Avatar image for The_Last_Ride
#5 Edited by The_Last_Ride (76371 posts) -

physical for sure. I like having it in my hands

Avatar image for BranKetra
#6 Edited by BranKetra (51683 posts) -

@Chickan_117 said:

Personally I'm gonna go for the unmentioned option #3 and say I'd like to have both. I like buying disc copies of a game; I like the boxes, I like seeing it on my shelf, etc. However, I don't like having no backup in case something happens to the disc and having to have the physical media with me if I have to install. So I want the best of both worlds and, I don't think that's overly difficult to achieve or unacceptible to expect.

I'm gonna be lazy and just link to something on Stevivor.com discussing missed opportunities for improvement in this gen's consoles (http://stevivor.com/2013/08/next-gen-consoles-a-missed-opportunity/). That's exactly what I want.

Link game ownership to the license, not the media

If I buy a disc copy of a game I am, in essence, purchasing the rights to use that software. The model we should be moving towards is one where the license is tied to an account, verified then able to be accessed by any means I choose, like download, disc or cartridge.

In fact… just like PC games like Steam do. Say I purchaseHalf Life 3. The first time I put it in my console or PC the software forces me to go online and register it. Let’s say it has a unique key; we’ll call it… oh I don’t know… a CD-Key. This is used to register my game with my XBL, PSN, NC or whatever account the hardware offers. Now Half-Life 3 is linked to my account and a flag set saying that I’m authorised to play the game on this hardware using this specific account without further validation.

Furthermore, now that my copy is validated I should be able to download a local copy if I want to play it disc free as well.

In this model that check would be performed and the software validated each time I went to use the disc on a new machine or tried to download another copy. If I lent my disc to a friend the system would perform another check and disallow play as the game was already registered to me. If I want to play the HL3 disc on another console I would need to re-verify my account details to verify my ownership before it allowed the disc to be used on the second console. The key point is that I am able to play or download HL3 on any machine providing I can verify that I am the registered/rightful owner.

The only downside to this model is that, by tying a license to an account, you eliminate used game trading and loaning/borrowing. A way around this could be to allow for people to rescind their license thus allowing another user to register it. There would have to be controls in place to prevent abuse however they could do this quite easily and even, potentially, charge for the privilege. Whilst this additional hurdle would be annoying for many I don’t see it as a biggie when offset against the benefits.

Actually there is one other downside I just thought of and it relates to people who have no internet whatsoever. For those people I say offer a telephone service where they can ring up to register/validate their copy. You provide the CD Key, they provide an activation key, you enter that on your machine and “voila!” your game is tied to your offline account. If you ever go online it just cross references offline data with the online and then operates the same as someone with an online connection.

- See more at: http://stevivor.com/2013/08/next-gen-consoles-a-missed-opportunity/#sthash.bvSOsoOH.dpuf

This is an interesting idea. I prefer physical discs, but a digital copy is welcome. A concern I have about it and I am sure game companies would is the cost of doing such a thing and the decrease in profits that would without question occur if this were done by companies currently offering multiple forms of games to be bought separately from each other. How many would do that?

Avatar image for MathMattS
#7 Edited by MathMattS (4012 posts) -

Either format is really okay with me, although I do like being able to trade in physical copies of games at game stores.

Avatar image for Jacanuk
#8 Edited by Jacanuk (7083 posts) -

@marcheegsr said:

I have been seeing that a lot of people on the boards have been saying they are going all digital next gen.

I'm quite interested to see what you guys think of this topic?

Up until now the only digital games I have got are the free ps plus games. I enjoy having a collection of physical copies on my desk rather than just having it stored on a harddrive.

Will there really be a time when physical copies stop getting produced and it will be digital only?

The only benefit of going digital only to me is that you don't have to go to the store to get it. But you can't re sell it/trade in/or lend to your friend.

Which do you prefer?

I buy both and will continue to do so, i won't go all digital since i don't like to buy digital on consoles.

Avatar image for Flubbbs
#9 Posted by Flubbbs (4353 posts) -

im all about digital.. Steam <3

Avatar image for ZZoMBiE13
#10 Posted by ZZoMBiE13 (22925 posts) -

Depends. I like my favorites to be digital and available without having to dig out a disc. But I don't want a HDD full of games I am not passionate about. Halo, Dead Rising, Fallout, these are games that I'd like to be able to have up and running quickly should the desire to play them take hold. But lesser games, I'd rather have a disc that I could trade in if I don't care for it.

With handhelds I like a mix as well. My Vita has MK9 and several other "pick up and play" kind of games. Pinball, billiards, Street Fighter Alpha, and the like. But games like Persona Golden, that's a game I want to have a physical copy of. Not that I'd trade that one it mind you. But it's the kind of game I'm going to make time to play whereas the others are just quick short burst kinds of games.

My 3DS I've held off on any digital content though. I was tempted to buy Animal Crossing as a download because that's the kind of game I'd like to have on the console at all times. But for the most part I think Nintendo's download service is a little backwards and doesn't serve my personal needs.

So there is no one answer. If it were a binary choice, I'd say physical. But the truth is that what I want is the choice and the option. Even on PC, as much as I like STEAM, I wish there was a viable alternative. As benevolent as Gabe Newell always seems, I don't like one company having so much power. Of course GOG and GMG are good alternatives, but even they usually just give you STEAM codes. And Origin is laughably inept still so that's not likely to become a serious competitor.

Avatar image for marcheegsr
#11 Edited by marcheegsr (3102 posts) -

I guess it totally is worth it to go all digital if you own a pc specifically because of steam. I didn't specify in the topic which platform so all platforms are open for discussion. I just cant see myself going digital only on current and next gen consoles.

Avatar image for ArchonOver
#12 Posted by ArchonOver (1103 posts) -

Digital is simply more convenient, I don't lose games, I get them for dirt cheap, the only thing I miss is having the box, but I can deal with that.

Avatar image for CoquiNegro
#13 Edited by CoquiNegro (171 posts) -

Digital. I find it a lot more convenient, though I'm hoping the hdd's will get a lot bigger in the future. I'd love to install 30 games at the same time. Oddly enough, for movies I prefer physical, but it's because at how expensive the digital market is for them.

Avatar image for 187umKILLAH
#14 Edited by 187umKILLAH (1414 posts) -

Physical as I prefer to have the option to sell it if I want or lend it to others, I've never paid for any digital games yet.

Avatar image for Chickan_117
#15 Edited by Chickan_117 (16327 posts) -

@BranKetra said:

This is an interesting idea. I prefer physical discs, but a digital copy is welcome. A concern I have about it and I am sure game companies would is the cost of doing such a thing and the decrease in profits that would without question occur if this were done by companies currently offering multiple forms of games to be bought separately from each other. How many would do that?

I'd have to wonder what the actual cost is though. Currently you can get many games in both digital and physical format and the price is usually comparable. With that proposed system I guess you could buy it for $10 more or something in physical format (and still be able to download it if you wanted of course) or just get the digital version for a lower charge.

TBH that's one of the more realistic ideas in the article. My favourite is still the cross platform licensing which I know will never happen. The basic premise is that, if I buy a license for a game, it doesn't matter what machine I want to use. If I've purchased the cross platform version of Mirror's Edge 2 I can DL it on my Ps, Xbox, Pc, tablet, Game&Watch... whatever it's available on. That, to me, is a clear winner and would fast track the move of everyone to digital... of course manufacturers would never allow that sort of thing as it detracts from the infamous "console wars"

Avatar image for hrt_rulz01
#16 Posted by hrt_rulz01 (10288 posts) -

Physical for sure.

Avatar image for sukraj
#17 Posted by sukraj (26062 posts) -

@The_Last_Ride said:

physical for sure. I like having it in my hands

Same here

Avatar image for MirkoS77
#18 Posted by MirkoS77 (10399 posts) -

I don't mind DD but I much prefer physical. This applies to mostly everything though. I love going to the store. I appreciate a nice package (The Witcher 2 was an amazing deal). Gaming is so much more enjoyable to me when there's the element of tangibility to it. I like the touch, the smell, reading through a beautiful full color manual, seeing artwork, being able to see it on my shelf and peruse my library. It's like half the enjoyment for me. DD is like going straight to orgasm. Mission accomplished I guess, but not nearly as satisfying as when foreplay is there.

Avatar image for The_Last_Ride
#19 Posted by The_Last_Ride (76371 posts) -

@sukraj said:

@The_Last_Ride said:

physical for sure. I like having it in my hands

Same here

It's not the same looking the menu on a console and choosing a game to play. It's actually nice to go to your shelf and look at the game and putting it in the disc. I may be old fashioned, but i like it that way

Avatar image for TAMKFan
#20 Posted by TAMKFan (33176 posts) -

Physical. I only get digital games either when they are only available in that format or there's a really good deal on the digital version, as opposed to the physical one.

Avatar image for puddinghead101
#21 Edited by puddinghead101 (190 posts) -

The big question is will digital games become the same price as physical games because right now that's not the case. If they ever do become better priced I'm willing to go digital just because its easier. Digital media is the future in my opinion and that includes games. Its just a matter of time.

Avatar image for The_Last_Ride
#22 Edited by The_Last_Ride (76371 posts) -

@TAMKFan said:

Physical. I only get digital games either when they are only available in that format or there's a really good deal on the digital version, as opposed to the physical one.

For me that's only for games i get through ps+ or downloadables only

Avatar image for iHarlequin
#23 Posted by iHarlequin (1928 posts) -

Digital. For a number of reasons, but mostly because they don't take up space, they're cheaper and I don't run the risk of permanently losing the game due to damage to the physical media storing it. There aren't any good game stores near, either, so it's that much more convenient (I'd still go digital even if there were).

Avatar image for marcheegsr
#24 Edited by marcheegsr (3102 posts) -

I guess both sides has it's pros and cons.

Avatar image for Randolph
#25 Posted by Randolph (10542 posts) -

I've been going with a mixture of both most of this gen, but if their is a physical option for a game, that's what I get. Even if I have to pay more, which is a rare situation, at least on consoles.

Avatar image for Pedro
#26 Edited by Pedro (23231 posts) -

Prefer physical with the option of a digital copy. I like not having to depend on a third party for functionality.

Avatar image for good_sk8er7
#27 Posted by good_sk8er7 (4325 posts) -

I'm personally really split. I don't sell games so that's not a problem for me.

I like to collect games, so having something physical to show in my collection makes me happy.

I have tons of games on steam and at least 200 games downloaded directly to my PS3.

They're easier to look through that way and choose something to play, you don't have to go anywhere to get it or wait for shipping.

I went digital only for awhile, but recently started building up my physical collection. I will focus on getting each game physically from here on out.

Avatar image for EvilSelf
#28 Posted by EvilSelf (3619 posts) -

Certainly physical.

I would like to purchase games and then sell them or trade them in. It makes for a better financial decisions. I would never embrace a fully digital media, unless there is a marketplace for selling your game investments.

Avatar image for Archangel3371
#29 Posted by Archangel3371 (18688 posts) -

I definitely prefer physical even if I have to pay more for it. I don't mind getting a digital version for the older out-of-print games or re-released classics.

Avatar image for marcheegsr
#30 Posted by marcheegsr (3102 posts) -

Damn how big is your hardrive?

@good_sk8er7 said:

I have tons of games on steam and at least 200 games downloaded directly to my PS3.

Avatar image for loafofgame
#31 Posted by loafofgame (1660 posts) -

Digital, for reasons mentioned above. Of course I've never had any problems with Steam so far, so maybe I'll think otherwise when problems start to occur and I can't access my games or something.

Avatar image for guynamedbilly
#32 Edited by guynamedbilly (12957 posts) -

I prefer digital for the convenience, but I'll put up with inconvenience if the consumer policies of the digital are too harsh on me. I want to be able to play my games in twenty years on a refurbished console if I have to.

For that reason, I stick with physical on consoles.

Avatar image for Unicronus
#33 Posted by Unicronus (42 posts) -

I feel like you get more with a physical copy. You get art all over the box, on the disc, and in the booklet. Also, I like collecting games and it feels like more of a collection when I can look at them on shelves. I would be very disappointed if they stopped releasing physical copies.

Avatar image for Tqricardinho
#34 Posted by Tqricardinho (473 posts) -

Physical

Avatar image for Kyffre
#35 Edited by Kyffre (35 posts) -

what if.. Each disc purchased new at a brick and mortar store like ebgames, bestbuy, futureshop, walmart, target... etc..... what if they came With the Disc, and with a "Key" ... a microchip with usb connector, containing serial information, etc, that proves you purchased the game, allowing you to download a digital duplicate, as long as the key is present in the usb port

and thinking about piracy... it's impossibly to prevent except for the fact that you got to digitally download the file, thereby registering it online as well .. and since the key would be present consistently, it would act as the Disc when the game is already installed to the harddrive

edit~ or hfil.. instead of a disc scratch warranty, purchase a digital copy duplicate key which registers to a single console or something

Avatar image for Chickan_117
#36 Edited by Chickan_117 (16327 posts) -

@puddinghead101 said:

The big question is will digital games become the same price as physical games because right now that's not the case. If they ever do become better priced I'm willing to go digital just because its easier. Digital media is the future in my opinion and that includes games. Its just a matter of time.

You sure can spot console gamers a mile off ;)

Avatar image for bob_toeback
#37 Posted by bob_toeback (11267 posts) -

I like physical games. Case and all that fun stuff. I also like the physical booklets, and feel that it is more of a waste of paper to make those thin books that only have the control scheme in them. That's something that is easily viewable from menus in the game. If we do away with all the stuff that most people (and by most people, I mean myself) read, then we might as well get rid of the entire book. With all the pictures and write ups, it seems to serve an actual purpose.. but whatever.

Avatar image for Revixe06
#38 Edited by Revixe06 (1021 posts) -
@TAMKFan said:

Physical. I only get digital games either when they are only available in that format or there's a really good deal on the digital version, as opposed to the physical one.

This. If possible, I try to get physical copies of games. I just prefer to have the cases and such. Its always nice being able to show off your collection.

Avatar image for good_sk8er7
#39 Posted by good_sk8er7 (4325 posts) -

@marcheegsr: 1 TB

Avatar image for gameofthering
#40 Edited by gameofthering (10870 posts) -

PC = Digital (I trust them)

Everything else = Physical (I don't trust them)

Avatar image for immortality20
#41 Edited by immortality20 (8499 posts) -

I will always buy physical. Two simple reasons. You actually own the content and get to lend it/resell it AND my internet is terrible and takes me days to download a full game. Took me like 2 days straight to download Borderlands 2 when it was on sale. I'm fine downloading smaller games like XBLA titles, but I will always go for retail over digital when it comes to full games. Unless there is some massive sale, but that's pretty rare.

Avatar image for jer_1
#42 Posted by jer_1 (7451 posts) -

I typically prefer physical for consoles and digital for PC (though that is not set in stone).

Avatar image for iampenguin
#43 Posted by iampenguin (396 posts) -

I like to get physical.

Avatar image for Byshop
#44 Posted by Byshop (16233 posts) -

I'm all about the DD these days for PC. The ability to purchase games literally any time I want outweighs the lack of ability to sell it. I used to have a closet full of PC game boxes, but now it's been replaced by 500 Steam games. For consoles I still have physical copies, but I'm not against DD-ing some that I otherwise might have purchased in a store.

-Byshop

Avatar image for puddinghead101
#45 Edited by puddinghead101 (190 posts) -

@Chickan_117:

@Chickan_117 said:

@puddinghead101 said:

The big question is will digital games become the same price as physical games because right now that's not the case. If they ever do become better priced I'm willing to go digital just because its easier. Digital media is the future in my opinion and that includes games. Its just a matter of time.

You sure can spot console gamers a mile off ;)

Yeah kind of put my foot in it there. PC gaming really makes so much more sense when it comes to price but I did just pick up Hotline Miami for less than £3.00 on PSN so the deals are there if you look.

Avatar image for gamerelic
#46 Edited by gamerelic (25 posts) -

Physical is far superior in my opinion. I like digital as well, but I like having that game in hand and having a collection of games to look at.

Avatar image for donalbane
#47 Edited by donalbane (16383 posts) -

I'm going all digital, and here's why:

  • I have decent internet, and will never willingly move to a location without it.
  • I am fed up with pre-orders, bonus DLC incentives, upselling from clerks and midnight releases. Sure, Amazon is a good alternative, but I would rather have the game pre-loaded and ready to go at midnight on launch day... that way every day one purchase is a midnight release, and you don't have to go hang out at a retailer or deal with shipping mishaps.
  • I got a gaming PC in February 2012, and since then I have really appreciated saying goodbye to physical media. The convenience of not needing a disc is a tremendous thing. If you complained about disc swapping, then certainly you can relate. Even if you aren't in that camp, discs load slower than hard drives.
  • With the PS4's remote play via the Vita, and the recently revealed alternative Microsoft showed off at some conference a few weeks ago, it looks like you will be able to remotely access your next gen system and play all of your digital games on the road. If you rely on physical media, you won't be able to play anything other than what you left in the tray.
  • Trade in values are horrible, and getting worse.
  • The Xbox One will allow 'Snap' functionality only for games that are completely installed. The instant-pause and auto-resume game feature is an example of this.
  • You will have a much larger game collection if you don't trade games in, and might make more mindful purchases.
  • They are going to start offering incentives for digital purchases. Nintendo showed the first signs of this trend by releasing Wind Waker HD 2 weeks early via download. I think that trend will continue as publishers seek to disempower retailers who currently dictate many of their policies. (The 'Hardcore' pre-order incentive with Metro Last Light being a good example of this awful trend.)

And as an aside, everyone should watch this video about why trading in games is a bad idea.

Loading Video...

Avatar image for wiouds
#48 Edited by wiouds (5981 posts) -

I would say physical because since DD came out I can no longer play more digital games then physical. The worse part is I did nothing to lose them.

Avatar image for I-AM-N00B
#49 Posted by I-AM-N00B (470 posts) -

Physical because I like to sell games if I don't like them, I cant do that if I download a game!

Avatar image for theBeorn
#50 Posted by theBeorn (1378 posts) -

Physical for consoles, I love digital games on my PC and prefer them that way but ONLY because they're so incredibly cheap. No way I'm gonna pay full retail for a digital non borrowable game in consoles. That would be idiotic.