Poll: Digital vs Physical Games

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GameSpot

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#1 GameSpot  Staff
Member since 2003 • 901238 Posts

How do you prefer to purchase your games? Are you a collecting crusader that dreams of that totally epic game room lined wall to wall with game cases, or would you keep things simple?

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hrt_rulz01

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#2  Edited By hrt_rulz01
Member since 2006 • 20091 Posts

Both... For games that I know I'm going to love, and want to re-play (which isn't many), I buy digital. Everything else is physical.

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Ish_basic

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#3  Edited By Ish_basic
Member since 2002 • 5048 Posts

i prefer physical for console games. For PC, I just like to take advantage of the sales from digital distributors. And certain genres like MMOs, it doesn't really matter which since once the servers go down I'm not going to be able to play the game anyway, digital or physical.

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The_Last_Ride

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#4  Edited By The_Last_Ride
Member since 2004 • 76371 Posts

@GameSpot: Physical>Digital

The refund policies are so bad atm, so i prefer physical

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mastermetal777

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#5 mastermetal777
Member since 2009 • 3236 Posts

I go for both. Depends on which is more convenient at the time

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Jacanuk

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#6 Jacanuk
Member since 2011 • 20282 Posts

There is room enough for both , even tho i prefer Digital and with all the bundles and sales, its a very cheap way to get games.

But if i decide to buy a collector's edition i always buy this in a physical form even if there is a digital version, which in my opinion is a rip-off.

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amyh7292

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#7 amyh7292
Member since 2015 • 324 Posts

From a PS owner point of view... The only perk of getting digital games that I can think of is that you can sit on your couch while you obtain the game. And that's about it. I can't understand why digital copies aren't at least slightly cheaper. Otherwise, why would anyone pay full price for a game they can't trade, sell, share, or really do anything with. Not to mention it isn't even "instant", since obviously you have to download a 30+ GB game in most cases, which takes much longer than driving to the store and getting it. I understand it's still the same, full game, but the pros of having a physical copy vs digital are pretty indisputably higher and therefore the price should reflect that (in which case, I'd be all for digital games).

I'm only human and I've bought digitals before, but it's such a scam. They want to entice you to pay full price so they can make more money off not having to produce the physical game and not have to worry about more than one person getting use out of a single disk. You're stuck with it and that's that, like the game or not they now have your full money for it, with no option for you to trade it in or do anything with it if you don't like it or don't want it anymore. Every time I get drunk and break down and buy a full price game I can feel the company saying "hahaha got another one". It's meant for people who are impatient and impulsive, because when you rationally think about it digital copies are such a rip off. I always regret digitals, unless they're free downloads or (very rarely) on super sale

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deactivated-5d68555a05c4b

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#8 deactivated-5d68555a05c4b
Member since 2015 • 1024 Posts

These days I just go with where it's cheaper, don't really care for collecting game cases, and everything installs to your hard drive anyways so physical doesn't even save HDD space anymore.

However music and my movies/anime are all still strictly physical

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chessmaster1989

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#9 chessmaster1989
Member since 2008 • 30204 Posts

For PC I use digital, Steam is very convenient and most "physical" copies of PC games require online activation/Steam use anyway. I've started getting DRM free when possible but realistically mostly get things from Steam.

For consoles, I usually get physical.

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DaVillain-

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#10  Edited By DaVillain-  Moderator
Member since 2014 • 42520 Posts

My answer remains the same. Hard copies are nice because you can physically own the game, and digital copies are nice because of convenience and sales on Steam and GOG. Though I'm really enjoying buying shit left and right on Steam because it's on sale. KOTOR II for $3? Sure.

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DaVillain-

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#11 DaVillain-  Moderator
Member since 2014 • 42520 Posts

@The_Last_Ride said:

@GameSpot: Physical>Digital

The refund policies are so bad atm, so i prefer physical

As things stand, digital forces the customer to give up too many rights. Unless and until that changes, I will stay with physical media whenever possible if giving the chances but I have bought few digital games on PS4.

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Xanatos357

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#12 Xanatos357
Member since 2015 • 787 Posts

I prefer physical, i just like owning things

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TheFoxOnTheWall

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#13 TheFoxOnTheWall
Member since 2014 • 90 Posts

Digital, I find it a lot more convenient for me, it doesn't take up space in my room unlike all my 100 + xbox games. Steam stores majority of my games now where I can simply uninstall a game when finished and I don't have to worry about the box taking up any room.

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MKerogazov

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#14 MKerogazov
Member since 2015 • 56 Posts

Digital - as long as I can have an access to it and download it anytime. Usually much cheaper and no clutter :)

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Alex839

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#15 Alex839
Member since 2015 • 151 Posts

I prefer physical discs, i don`t mind buying digital if they`re not too big in size.

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Ribstaylor1

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#16  Edited By Ribstaylor1
Member since 2014 • 2186 Posts

Buy digital 99% of the time on pc the only platform I have to game on. Though I do buy games in physical copies if I like the company and they do a good job on cases. Like Rockstar and GTA 5.

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MarcRecon

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#17 MarcRecon
Member since 2009 • 8183 Posts

@hrt_rulz01 said:

Both... For games that I know I'm going to love, and want to re-play (which isn't many), I buy digital. Everything else is physical.

Agreed, that's EXACTLY my thoughts! A perfect example for games that I know I'm going to keep forever that are digital would be DMC, Ghost Recon: Future Soldier, Gears of War, God of War and Arkham Night.....that's just to name a few!

Hopefully I'll be able to say the same about No Man's Sky, Gears 4, Mad Max and Ghost Recon: Wildlands.

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MarcRecon

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#18 MarcRecon
Member since 2009 • 8183 Posts

@davillain- said:
@The_Last_Ride said:

@GameSpot: Physical>Digital

The refund policies are so bad atm, so i prefer physical

As things stand, digital forces the customer to give up too many rights. Unless and until that changes, I will stay with physical media whenever possible if giving the chances but I have bought few digital games on PS4.

I agree with this as well....that's the downside of digital.

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Archangel3371

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#19 Archangel3371  Online
Member since 2004 • 30698 Posts

I prefer physical myself mainly because I'm a collector who likes to keep the games that I buy. I also find it much more convienent to have a physical copy of a game as opposed to having to download a game whenever the urge to play it strikes me. I don't mind paying more to get the physical version either. Digital is certainly a great option to have though for older games that are out of print or smaller games where physical may not be a viable option just don't make the physical version too limited for people who want it to get it.

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TheNinjaGuyDon

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#20 TheNinjaGuyDon
Member since 2015 • 221 Posts

@GameSpot: For the sake of convenience and because I have such a large game collection so when I'm in a mood, I am less likely to play something if I have to pop in a disc (call it lazy, but I think there's more to it than that).

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lensflare15

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#21  Edited By lensflare15
Member since 2010 • 6652 Posts

I get a lot of digital games, but I still vastly prefer physical copies. When gaming on PC, if I have to pay full price for a game, there's a good chance that I'll go out and buy a hard copy instead of buying it off of Steam.

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dactribble

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#22 dactribble
Member since 2005 • 30 Posts

I prefer physical game, but I will buy digital if they don't make the game anymore.

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TrappedInABox91

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#23 TrappedInABox91
Member since 2013 • 1483 Posts

Physical. Digital are for the birds.

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SOedipus

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#24  Edited By SOedipus
Member since 2006 • 12246 Posts

I chose both. I like the speed and convenience of digital. The thing I don't like is having to be online to play certain games and I move around a bit. Sometimes the internet is really shitty and it takes days to download a game. Physical copies offers more a feeling of security, for me anyways. They also look damn sexy on the bookshelf.

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flashn00b

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#25 flashn00b
Member since 2006 • 3783 Posts

Steam's deep discounts has me getting most of my games on digital, though if it involves an IP i really give several craps about, i might just go physical. (Hell, i'd get a DoW2 Retribution physical copy if it means (eventually) getting an autograph from Paul Dobson)

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LOCKxON

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#26 LOCKxON
Member since 2014 • 33 Posts

@GameSpot: Mainly digital now.... unless there is a collectors edition with some physical merch that I want.

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ermacos

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#27 ermacos
Member since 2007 • 72 Posts

I only buy mmos in digital form, no need for physical... but all the rest, physical

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thedeadraptor

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#28 thedeadraptor
Member since 2003 • 72 Posts

In my home country of the third world: Colombia, where high import tax causes physical games to be as much as twice as expensive, you would think that Digital games would be more accesible and cheaper... and you would be wrong... mostly because Digital also has an import tax... What is the TAX you ask?? Well that is simple Mr ignorant: Why it is the we-sell-expensive-so-sony-has-to-sell-expensive-too TAX.

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MuD3

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#29 MuD3
Member since 2011 • 2192 Posts

I'm glad to see this poll favoring physical. It seems like all the threads on this topic are filled with people praising digital. I can never get behind digital and I'm afraid it won't be long before the world ditches physical games.

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TheSeptopus

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#30  Edited By TheSeptopus
Member since 2010 • 309 Posts

There seems to be a big misconception that customers forfeit ownership if they transition to a digital library. There are many advantages to a digital library, especially for archival purposes. To answer the thread's question, if I'm purchasing a game on a locked closed system, like a console, I prefer to buy physical copies; however, if the system is not under the control of one governing body, like a PC, then digital is the bestoption for multiple reasons. Digital games not only allow for archival of antiquated games, but it offers a completely new market for developers who would not be able to afford to enter the physical marketplace. Because there is no physical limit to the stock carried in a digital marketplace, digital marketplaces are not only beneficial to smaller developers/publishers but also to larger developers/publishers and consumers by extending the shelf life of games, eliminating the scarcity of art and allowing the continuity of revenue over an extended time period. There are also minor conveniences that digital content offers the consumer such as reducing physical clutter in homes by storing games either on a cloud service or in a physical HDD, increasing accessibility to games, and increasing security. Physical discs can be consolidated to a single DVD/CD binder, decreasing clutter and increasing portability; however, physical medium is also prone to being lost/stolen/damaged.

There are two major drawbacks to digital content at the moment. The first I mentioned already, a closed platform/market which is offered by Sony, Nintendo, and Microsoft. The second is the instability and accessibility of the internet which is a larger issue that also effects physical games. Because video games are a technology driven medium, new technology greatly influences their production; the internet has created a medium that isn't static. Games are, for better or worse, in a dynamic state post release. This isn't going to change or subside in the future. If you're without the internet, then the game you bought on a physical CD is not the same game others are playing and discussing a week/month/year later. This is a relatively new issue with which the industry has to come to terms; even physical media is subjected to digital content through patches and updates.

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raugutcon

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#31  Edited By raugutcon
Member since 2014 • 5539 Posts

I like physical but I don't mind getting digital, all the NES, SNES and Wii games we actually play are digital, I do have a few physical Wii games; GC, Xbox, PS1, 2, 3 and 4 are physical, X360 I have a few physical but most are digital, thanks to the external HDD support now I have my entire X360 library in a couple of HDDs.

So I'm an advocate of having both.

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AceoFSpades

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#32 AceoFSpades
Member since 2015 • 7 Posts

I like to buy physical disk. because it give me feeling i bought something own something. also if i wanna play old game i just need to insert disk in console or install game and play no need to wait .

biggest disAdvatage of Digital is what if someone hack your account or steam delete your account . you will loss everything.

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Bigboi500

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#33  Edited By Bigboi500
Member since 2007 • 35550 Posts

Mostly physical, but when I can get games like Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition for under $10 digitally, how can I resist that?

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Doozie78

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#34  Edited By Doozie78
Member since 2014 • 1123 Posts

If I'm on PC then digital, if on console then disc more often than not.

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freedom01

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#35  Edited By freedom01  Moderator
Member since 2004 • 3496 Posts

physical all the way, exception if the games are only available on digital or being given out for free on digital

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Byshop

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#36 Byshop  Moderator
Member since 2002 • 19841 Posts

Digital for PC, physical for console (unless I'm impatient). I have literally hundreds of console games in my house, not to mention the 500+ DVDs I own. Now that I have two kids, the option that doesn't eat up for physical space in my home is the one I often go for.

-Byshop

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Collie_Lover

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#37 Collie_Lover
Member since 2008 • 962 Posts

@Archangel3371 said:

I prefer physical myself mainly because I'm a collector who likes to keep the games that I buy. I also find it much more convienent to have a physical copy of a game as opposed to having to download a game whenever the urge to play it strikes me. I don't mind paying more to get the physical version either. Digital is certainly a great option to have though for older games that are out of print or smaller games where physical may not be a viable option just don't make the physical version too limited for people who want it to get it.

Yeah I have the same opinion, preferring the physical over the digital. I too think there is a place for the digital versions for older games. For example, I have purchased some old classic arcade games like Ms. Pac-Man, Galaga, and Frogger. Still wish I could get Joust on the Wii U. (I am going to play some Black Tiger after this.) Price matters a lot for me.

I think we are heading to all digital next gen...

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umair_s51

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#38  Edited By umair_s51
Member since 2009 • 338 Posts

@GameSpot: I love collecting, so for me it is almost always physical over digital

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AdmiralKhara

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#39 AdmiralKhara
Member since 2003 • 36 Posts

Both,I buy the physical games like Assassin's Creed and batman for the statues and other physical stuff and digital for older games

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GunEye

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#40  Edited By GunEye
Member since 2005 • 1627 Posts

Damn that's a tough one... (Always been a collector, I have boxes filled to the brim with games).

Definitely physical when it comes to console games. Nearly all of my PS3 and PS4 games are physical.

Plus here's why I really love physical games -hand-crafted and painted this wooden display holder myself: (also made the PS3, PS4, PC and AV-rec stands):

As for my PC games, they used to be 100% physical before Steam became that big. Now buying Physical on PC is rather pointless, more expensive (STEAM/HUMBLE/GOG Sales) and potentially tedious (either you require the CD or don't require it since it will download from Steam anyway.. Not too sure if you need CD-inserted on PC this days).

Anyway, since PS3/4 store sucks hard, I rather always buy my console games as a physical copies, and buy my PC games, digitally via Steam, preferably at a nice discount.

LONG LIVE GAMING!!

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The_Last_Ride

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#41 The_Last_Ride
Member since 2004 • 76371 Posts

@davillain- said:
@The_Last_Ride said:

@GameSpot: Physical>Digital

The refund policies are so bad atm, so i prefer physical

As things stand, digital forces the customer to give up too many rights. Unless and until that changes, I will stay with physical media whenever possible if giving the chances but I have bought few digital games on PS4.

i just wrote a blog about it :P

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sukraj

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#42 sukraj
Member since 2008 • 27859 Posts

@xanatos357 said:

I prefer physical, i just like owning things

yes me too I've always loved physical discs.

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logicalfrank

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#43 logicalfrank
Member since 2011 • 1686 Posts

All video games are digital even if they are on a disk or a cartridge.

I tend to purchase games on disks or cartridges for console and I download PC games using Steam for the most part. It is getting to where when I look at my huge stacks of console games I am wishing I had chosen to download a few more of those though.

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ps3hdalltime

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#44 ps3hdalltime
Member since 2012 • 427 Posts

Only physical here..

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loafofgame

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#45 loafofgame
Member since 2013 • 1742 Posts
@davillain- said:
@The_Last_Ride said:

@GameSpot: Physical>Digital

The refund policies are so bad atm, so i prefer physical

As things stand, digital forces the customer to give up too many rights. Unless and until that changes, I will stay with physical media whenever possible if giving the chances but I have bought few digital games on PS4.

Call me naive, but this lack of rights only becomes problematic when something goes wrong, the chances of which seem relatively small. While complaints are certainly justified, in some cases it reeks a bit too much of doomsday thinking. Sure, there are probably a lot of stories of people with problems, but the actual percentage is probably not as large as perception suggests. Personally I never have to worry about refunds, because I know what I buy before I buy it or because the product is so cheap that it doesn't really matter. I've been using Steam since its inception and I've never had any problems. Anecdotal argument, but still...

Also, it seems a clear distinction needs to be made between consoles and pc. That said, I voted for both, even though I solely buy digital. I see the collector's value and how strongly people feel about having to 'own' something.

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uriweru

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#46 uriweru
Member since 2015 • 48 Posts

Over the years I have purchased hundreds of games on disk but now find myself with boxes of game cases just taking up space. I prefer the convenience of buying digital now.

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Metallic_Blade

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#47 Metallic_Blade
Member since 2005 • 549 Posts

I try and only do physical. Digital... yeah, no thanks. Digital just ain't my cup of tea. Unless of course the content is digital only with no physical release... then that's understandable.

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Jaysonguy

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#48 Jaysonguy
Member since 2006 • 39454 Posts

Children buy physical adults buy digital.

There is no debate to be had here.

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Kynareth5

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#49 Kynareth5
Member since 2008 • 96 Posts

I buy digital and physical copies. The latter only for the most important titles as boxes take space which is limited.

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MuD3

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#50  Edited By MuD3
Member since 2011 • 2192 Posts

people complaining about clutter: Do you not have room for a shelf? I've got over a 100 physical game cases and it's taking up less than 1/3rd of one shelf....