Poll: Digital vs Physical Games

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#1 Posted by GameSpot (901006 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?

Avatar image for hrt_rulz01
#2 Edited by hrt_rulz01 (16797 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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#3 Edited by Ish_basic (4848 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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#4 Edited by The_Last_Ride (76371 posts) -

@GameSpot: Physical>Digital

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

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#5 Posted by mastermetal777 (3215 posts) -

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

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#6 Posted by Jacanuk (15137 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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#7 Posted by amyh7292 (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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#8 Posted by Meathead373 (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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#9 Posted by chessmaster1989 (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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#10 Edited by DaVillain- (30594 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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#11 Posted by DaVillain- (30594 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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#12 Posted by Xanatos357 (785 posts) -

I prefer physical, i just like owning things

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#13 Posted by TheFoxOnTheWall (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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#14 Posted by MKerogazov (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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#15 Posted by Alex839 (151 posts) -

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

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#16 Edited by Ribstaylor1 (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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#17 Posted by MarcRecon (8134 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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#18 Posted by MarcRecon (8134 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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#19 Posted by Archangel3371 (25056 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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#20 Posted by TheNinjaGuyDon (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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#21 Edited by lensflare15 (6636 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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#22 Posted by dactribble (30 posts) -

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

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#23 Posted by TrappedInABox91 (1483 posts) -

Physical. Digital are for the birds.

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#24 Edited by SOedipus (10996 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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#25 Posted by flashn00b (3551 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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#26 Posted by LOCKxON (33 posts) -

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

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#27 Posted by ermacos (62 posts) -

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

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#28 Posted by thedeadraptor (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.

Avatar image for MuD3
#29 Posted by MuD3 (2174 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.

Avatar image for TheSeptopus
#30 Edited by TheSeptopus (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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#31 Edited by raugutcon (5414 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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#32 Posted by AceoFSpades (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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#33 Edited by Bigboi500 (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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#34 Edited by Doozie78 (1123 posts) -

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

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#35 Edited by freedom01 (3162 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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#36 Posted by Byshop (18861 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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#37 Posted by Collie_Lover (952 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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#38 Edited by umair_s51 (336 posts) -

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

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#39 Posted by AdmiralKhara (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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#40 Edited by GunEye (1610 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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#41 Posted by The_Last_Ride (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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#42 Posted by sukraj (27730 posts) -

@xanatos357 said:

I prefer physical, i just like owning things

yes me too I've always loved physical discs.

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#43 Posted by logicalfrank (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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#44 Posted by ps3hdalltime (423 posts) -

Only physical here..

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#45 Posted by loafofgame (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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#46 Posted by uriweru (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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#47 Posted by Metallic_Blade (498 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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#48 Posted by Jaysonguy (39454 posts) -

Children buy physical adults buy digital.

There is no debate to be had here.

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#49 Posted by Kynareth5 (91 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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#50 Edited by MuD3 (2174 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....