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#1 Posted by TheStimpinator (104 posts) -

I'm conflicted: on one hand there are some benefits to a purely downloadable market (ease of access, no waiting in line, no distributors running out of stock, etc), but on the other hand I really really love having a physical copy of a game to add to an ever-expanding physical library of games. I love getting a new game in the mail or buying and unwrapping a new game. I like not having the number of games I own be limited by how much space I have on my console's hard drive. I really like having something real and tangible to hold in my hands. Am I weird or old fashioned? Please discuss...

#2 Posted by LordXavierBritish (6320 posts) -

One day we will all be electricity in tubes, abandon your immature preoccupations with the material world and embrace the unlife of the digital future.

#3 Posted by Video_Game_King (34609 posts) -

I still like having physical copies and whatnot.

#4 Posted by Inkerman (1448 posts) -

It's a bit of a pain till we get uncapped downloads everywhere.

#5 Posted by ShadowSkill11 (1776 posts) -

They already are on PC. THe consoles are just now starting to play catch up now that enough of the markey has broadband companies can shut out the retailer middlemen.

#6 Posted by PeasantAbuse (5120 posts) -

I also like having physical copies of things. Someday electricity will explode and I'll be the only one with any video games. All those discs will come in handy during the post-electricity world.

#7 Posted by ManU_Fan10ne (662 posts) -

Games going all digital is great, I mean, no more misplacing (or losing) games, we'd all like that, but there is always that nostalgia you get from waiting in line with a bunch of people for that special game to come out. I guess both digital and hard copies of games have their plusses and minuses

#8 Posted by LordXavierBritish (6320 posts) -

@PeasantAbuse said:

I also like having physical copies of things. Someday electricity will explode and I'll be the only one with any video games. All those discs will come in handy during the post-electricity world.

No, that's not fair. There was time now. There was all the time I needed...

That's not faaaaair!

#9 Posted by matthias2437 (985 posts) -

Wait.... all games aren't digital? Steam has spoiled me.

#10 Posted by Dragon_Fire (358 posts) -

I used to like having physical copies of games then I moved, then realized it's a pain in the ass to have physical copies. I'm all for the coming of digital distribution.

#11 Posted by nintendoeats (5975 posts) -

I basically use games as wallpaper, and I like it that way.

#12 Posted by ShadowSkill11 (1776 posts) -

@ManU_Fan10ne: That sense of community with people in retaisl store lines goes away after you become an adult and have other, mor eimportant shit to do. @PeasantAbuse: Yes, in a post-electricity world only you will still have your video game cartridges. You can stack them like bowling pins and throw rocks at them because that's about as much good that they will do you.

#13 Posted by Aldrenar47 (77 posts) -

I like physical copies, personally, but I'm okay with downloading for PC games as long as there is no DRM involved. I don't want to have to depend on some online service to still be around when I want to reinstall an old game I bought. I should be able to burn it to a disc (or otherwise copy it to some media format) and play/install it from that without having to access the service I downloaded it from at all. Good Old Games is a perfect example. Steam on the other hand, for all it's convenience and deals, is ultimately not the way to go about it.

I don't see how I could rely on digital-only for console games with current console designs. It would have to be much less restrictive than just putting everything onto hard drives. Consoles would have to become fundamentally more open systems.

#14 Posted by phrosnite (3517 posts) -

I still not over the box thing so I'm not excited about digital only games :)

#15 Posted by warxsnake (2626 posts) -

Its been that way for me since 2004.

#16 Posted by DEMONOLOGY_24 (521 posts) -

but don't you love the feeling of the plastic case in your hands? I think deep down we all do

#17 Posted by Chop (1964 posts) -

I would love for all media to go completely digital. Unfortunately, I live in an area with sub-par internet speed and very strict bandwidth limits.

#18 Posted by Dragon_Fire (358 posts) -

@warxsnake said:

Its been that way for me since 2004.

Agreed on that.

#19 Posted by pw2566ch (480 posts) -

That's a tough one to answer. I mean, I love physical copies and I love buying my games on the cheap. Being it used or new. Now that is something to think about, the used library. I know we will end up losing that, just like we did with PC games. That was the cheap gamer's only chance to buy a cheap game. That's where Steam did the right thing, by introducing sales. If we end up going to an all digital format, and if Microsoft, Sony, and Nintendo introduces sales as well, then they will end up successful.

They wouldn't have to do it right away of course. They would have to build a big enough library first. Once they do that, then they would have to introduce it in. If they don't, then they're going to end up losing quite a few gamers. Not a lot, but enough to hit them.

#20 Edited by Kidavenger (3380 posts) -

While I really like digital distribution on the PC, I'm worried about it on the console.

I really don't believe you will see the same sales/discounts on games we see now once they are digital exclusive and you only have one store per console.

Steam has been the perfect digital distribution service for at least 3 years now and they haven't been doing anything that can't be replicated easily(and many others on PC are catching on GMG/D2D/GOG); so why are psn store and xbla/zune still such garbage, $5 for old movies that were $0.99 in blockbuster? I have no faith in Microsoft, Sony or Nintendo to be able to put together a compelling digital distribution service.

#21 Posted by SSully (4059 posts) -

I am all for a physical free gaming world. I rarely buy PC games in a physical format now and its fantastic. Steam is an amazing service, and other services like GOG are just as great. If consoles could just implment a way that is as fair and easy to use as steam then the digital transition should be very easy.

#22 Posted by fisher81 (535 posts) -

Digitalization ruins the used game and rental industry. My wallet and I do not support digitalization of consoles.

#23 Posted by spazmaster666 (1965 posts) -

@Video_Game_King said:

I still like having physical copies and whatnot.

Having a copy on a hard drive is a physical copy. Though if you prefer optical media, you can always burn the install files to a DVD/Bluray.

Anyway, I still don't think the bandwidth is there yet for it to be feasible for games to go all digital anytime soon (i.e. in the next 5-10 years) especially given that broadband providers have absolutely no incentive to increase speeds or bandwidth caps.

#24 Posted by Animasta (14460 posts) -

me because then we could stop wasting precious resources on bullshit pieces of plastic

#25 Posted by WilltheMagicAsian (1543 posts) -

But I don't have enough digital shelf space.

#26 Posted by QuistisTrepe (628 posts) -

When the games are all DRM-free, sure. Until then, I'd have to file this in the "Don't" drawer.

#27 Edited by Psykhophear (932 posts) -

@Video_Game_King said:

I still like having physical copies and whatnot.

Me too. I prefer games in physical form because they give that sense of ownership whenever you hold one in your hand. When you stack them in a shelf or something, it feels great to know that you own them and you can see them in your home as opposed to owning digital games. Plus, I love reading the manuals and to see a game in a CD/ DVD cover. I especially love old games in their big, old boxes. Love collecting them.

Digital games are good too. They're cheaper and they don't take a lot of space (physically) but when your internet is down or when your device that's holding those games gets stolen or lost, you're screwed. Physical copies on the hand won't have that kind of problem.

#28 Posted by Hailinel (22712 posts) -

Not eager for an all-digital future at all.

Nothing quite like not being able to have true ownership of a copy of a game that I enjoy.

#29 Posted by ChaosDent (233 posts) -

I've been all digital on Steam for a while now and I'm planning to go all digital with the PS Vita for purchases, though supplemented by Gamefly. The size of my Vita library will entirely depend on its version of Steam sales. 

#30 Posted by Shun_Akiyama (490 posts) -

I like discs or other tangible things

#31 Posted by megalowho (935 posts) -

It's mostly great on PC. I don't have a lot of faith Microsoft, Sony or Nintendo will get it right when the time comes for consoles.

They all have ulterior motives of wanting to be walled garden media hubs for the living room. Retailers are not going to go away without a fight, and many publishers rely on retail to peddle preorder bonuses and the like. Plus because they are all proprietary devices, Hard Drive prices will likely be through the roof - see Sony's Vita.

On PC right now there's huge discounts/lower prices in general, equal playing field for large and small developers, instant gratification, and Steam to help tie it all together as a platform and library. Sometimes the DRM is excessive, but usually it's barely noticeable. I can't remember the last boxed PC game I bought, now that I think about it. I don't miss it at all.

#32 Posted by selbie (1779 posts) -

I'm all for games collections, but realistically I don't want shelves and shelves of games that I probably won't touch for another decade. Gimme a digital repository for all of my games. Death to the retail market >:D

#33 Posted by BisonHero (5668 posts) -

@Inkerman said:

It's a bit of a pain till we get uncapped downloads everywhere.

This is my concern as well. For instance, here in Canada, the major ISPs are useless fuckups who don't seem to realize that it's no longer 2003, and a lot of people DO, in fact, want to stream/download a bunch of video, and also want to download games on a regular basis.

#34 Posted by Contrarian (1143 posts) -

I think all digital is THE WORST IDEA EVER.

I cannot explain how much I hate digital as anything but an option for OLD games and even then, if I can find them, I prefer the retail. I have a house and house needs stuff to fill it. I can't fill my house with digital stuff. I can't look at my digital collection as I sit in the loungeroom. No. No. No. No. No. Horrible idea.

Enjoy playing your digital games when there are no jobs because nobody buys anything "real" any more. We are buying ourselves unemployment every day.

#35 Posted by piropeople13 (398 posts) -

I want to be able to buy digital and retail always.

#36 Posted by iam3green (14388 posts) -

i like having physical copies of games. i feel like the PC is good because they don't change a lot and consoles seem to change a lot.

the hard drive space of consoles. i still have the 20 gig xbox 360 hard drive. i don't download a lot of things. hard drive for the xbox 360 cost like 2 times as much as a computer hard drive. the hard drives are the same.

on consoles it seems like things that are digital cost a lot more than the physical copies of used and new games and movies.

#37 Posted by TwoLines (2762 posts) -

I'm annoyed whenever I have to buy a physical copy of a game. So yeah, I would like to move on from those ridiculous CD's. They're worse than floppy discs, and I've had enough of them.

#38 Edited by StrainedEyes (1310 posts) -

As long as there are frequent sales and prices come down as fast as they do with current retail, I am all for it. As it stands now though, the digital markets on the 360 and PS3 are just full of over priced games I could get cheaper (and sometimes with more content too, i.e. GOTY editions) from Amazon.

#39 Posted by mordukai (7092 posts) -

@Kidavenger said:

While I really like digital distribution on the PC, I'm worried about it on the console.

I really don't believe you will see the same sales/discounts on games we see now once they are digital exclusive and you only have one store per console.

Steam has been the perfect digital distribution service for at least 3 years now and they haven't been doing anything that can't be replicated easily(and many others on PC are catching on GMG/D2D/GOG); so why are psn store and xbla/zune still such garbage, $5 for old movies that were $0.99 in blockbuster? I have no faith in Microsoft, Sony or Nintendo to be able to put together a compelling digital distribution service.

Pretty much that. Just go on XBL and PSN and see the prices they want for games. Hell, Shivering Isle is still $40 bucks on PSN.

#40 Posted by zombiepenguin9 (494 posts) -

I think digital distribution has its advantages, especially in the realm of older games. For example, an old retail copy of Thief: The Dark Project won't run in Windows 7 without some serious ini tweaking, but GOG has a copy for $9.99 that will run without any issues. It seems like getting older games rereleased for newer consoles/operating systems wouldn't be as expensive if they're released digitally.

But that being said, I honestly prefer having tangible things over digital things. Sure, it's more economical (in some cases) and environmentally friendly to go completely digital for all media (film, tv releases, books, music, games, etc). I just like owning things, rather than paying for file access rights. I can see us moving into an all digital media world, and I'm not going to fight it tooth and nail, but I think we're losing something special in terms of tactile connection with art. A collection of jpegs will never be a collection of paintings.

On the other hand, it's just a bunch of mass-produced and over-priced plastic.

#41 Posted by ShadowConqueror (2993 posts) -

I like having physical copies.

#42 Posted by Hot_Karl (3309 posts) -

I'm pretty hype. All of my PC games are digital. I have a significant portion of digital games on my PSP (LEGALLY, thank you very much), a portion bigger than my games on-disc. A good number of PSN downloads as well. I'm so ready.

#43 Posted by crusader8463 (14313 posts) -

This amazing world of the future has been the PC for several years now, and it's great when a company like Valve is the market leader. When the consoles do it though I can see it getting real ugly real quick given their current track record of restrictions and expectations for what you have to pay; Microsoft more so then Sony. Just looking at how Microsoft handles live and what they charge for it gives me nightmares of what that place would be like if it was all digital.

As much as I'm sure they are going to bury their heads in the sand and try to pretend their superior console platforms are beyond looking at what a tiny/lowly platform like Steam does, Steam is what these places are going to be judged against and if they can't at least come close to matching it then they have failed before they even started. I personally fully expect Microsoft to come out of the gates first with a heavy digital platform and fall flat on their face with it.

#44 Posted by tourgen (4236 posts) -

meh not really interested. Amazon ships day-of-release. I like having the maps/manual and the artwork on the case. A disk to install or play from directly is a pretty big deal for me too. and with most of the console disks and a few of the PC disks I can give it away or sell it on ebay if I don't feel like keeping it.

really so far all the console guys are doing it wrong. yearly fees on xbox for what should be free along with non-transferable keying to the hardware and login, and plain ridiculous game pricing schemes. PS3 mostly the same but with worse online features and no fees.

Valve is getting it halfway right although offline mode can be a pain. and you know, non-transferable license rentals for the same price that games used to "sell" for. Steam sales tho. reasonable prices for a single-user license.

Sadly the only people really doing digital distro right are the pirates and the indie guys. humble bundles are great. Smaller games like Torchlight do it pretty well with just activation keys. they emailed me my key too when I lost it. pretty alright guys.

#45 Posted by Aldrenar47 (77 posts) -

@Contrarian said:

Enjoy playing your digital games when there are no jobs because nobody buys anything "real" any more. We are buying ourselves unemployment every day.

No, what digital sales do is transfer money more directly to the developer. That means jobs will be lost at publishers, but they will be gained at developers. It's actually a huge benefit to gamers as well as devs because we will see much more innovation and variety when there are no middleman to go "well, we don't think your game will appeal to a large enough audience to make this investment worth it for us financially." They won't have to appeal to a huge audience, since there won't be a publisher taking a 50% cut or whatever the number is (not to mention the retailer's cut, which is probably much larger than what Valve takes from a Steam purchase). It will most likely increase the number of actual gamers as well, since there will be a larger variety of games on the market and they will be cheaper, which means more money coming in towards the industry as a whole. If anything the net economic effect will be positive.

#46 Posted by SeriouslyNow (8534 posts) -
@Aldrenar47 said:

@Contrarian said:

Enjoy playing your digital games when there are no jobs because nobody buys anything "real" any more. We are buying ourselves unemployment every day.

No, what digital sales do is transfer money more directly to the developer. That means jobs will be lost at publishers, but they will be gained at developers. It's actually a huge benefit to gamers as well as devs because we will see much more innovation and variety when there are no middleman to go "well, we don't think your game will appeal to a large enough audience to make this investment worth it for us financially." They won't have to appeal to a huge audience, since there won't be a publisher taking a 50% cut or whatever the number is (not to mention the retailer's cut, which is probably much larger than what Valve takes from a Steam purchase). It will most likely increase the number of actual gamers as well, since there will be a larger variety of games on the market and they will be cheaper, which means more money coming in towards the industry as a whole. If anything the net economic effect will be positive.

What you're describing has a lot more to do with e-commerce in general than digital sales specifically.  There are now manufactured products which get sold in small runs (which wouldn't have been financially feasible prior to e-commerce reaching critical mass and the services it brought with it like Kickstarter, Tee Fury and the like) such as books and clothing which are made for smaller, niche audiences which can be all over the world.  Digital sales just magnify that experience.  Oh and ignore Contrarian.  He's a playing the contrarian.
#47 Posted by Fajita_Jim (1463 posts) -
@Psykhophear said:

@Video_Game_King said:

I still like having physical copies and whatnot.

Me too. I prefer games in physical form because they give that sense of ownership whenever you hold one in your hand. When you stack them in a shelf or something, it feels great to know that you own them and you can see them in your home as opposed to owning digital games. Plus, I love reading the manuals and to see a game in a CD/ DVD cover. I especially love old games in their big, old boxes. Love collecting them.

 
 

 
Use some nice photo paper and a few staples later you won't be able to tell the difference. Also, you can make your own CD labels and case sleeves if you really want to.
 

Digital games are good too. They're cheaper and they don't take a lot of space (physically) but when your internet is down or when your device that's holding those games gets stolen or lost, you're screwed. Physical copies on the hand won't have that kind of problem.

So someone is going to steal your Xbox but not your games? 
 
On the other hand, no matter what someone breaks into my house and steals, they can never steal my Steam games.
#48 Posted by Jay444111 (2441 posts) -

@Fajita_Jim said:

@Psykhophear said:

@Video_Game_King said:

I still like having physical copies and whatnot.

Me too. I prefer games in physical form because they give that sense of ownership whenever you hold one in your hand. When you stack them in a shelf or something, it feels great to know that you own them and you can see them in your home as opposed to owning digital games. Plus, I love reading the manuals and to see a game in a CD/ DVD cover. I especially love old games in their big, old boxes. Love collecting them.




Use some nice photo paper and a few staples later you won't be able to tell the difference. Also, you can make your own CD labels and case sleeves if you really want to.

Digital games are good too. They're cheaper and they don't take a lot of space (physically) but when your internet is down or when your device that's holding those games gets stolen or lost, you're screwed. Physical copies on the hand won't have that kind of problem.

So someone is going to steal your Xbox but not your games? On the other hand, no matter what someone breaks into my house and steals, they can never steal my Steam games.

Wait... you can back up games from steam on disc... ALREADY??? Okay... I support a future if it is a steam future.

#49 Posted by Bribo (583 posts) -

I say bring back cardboard boxes, fat manuals and cloth maps.

#50 Posted by SpawnHellraiser (41 posts) -

after experiencing a loss of internet connection and not being able to play my OnLive games, I'm not very excited about going digital. Then again OnLive streams the games. Streaming has to vastly improve for me to be fully comfortable with. As far as downloading games goes, I do it but not very often. currently, i have about 27 games, with 25 being steam games. I guess as long as your operating system doesn't crash, there shouldn't be any problems. I'm running windows 7 and had my laptop since July or August 2011 and havent had to do a clean reinstall yet, knock on wood. :-D. As long as physical copies are still in the options, people will warm up to digital games more so in the next few years. However, I guess downloading full console games requires a hefty internet connection. the games i have except 3 of them are indie games - 2 are MMOs and 1 is a multiplatform game.