I've been going crazy lately with all the talk about physical copies of games, Brad bought Rabbids, Abby lives at gamestop....why are people still buying the discs? these games all require huge downloads/patches before you can play them, the disc is little more than a CD key at this point. Interested in opposing opinions, this is one i can't wrap my head around. Every game I ever want to play is available on my pc/ps4/xb1 right now, no discs, no surprise installs, cant imagine living any other way. IF you live somewhere with internet that is such shit that a download takes literal days, then forgive me, I totally understand the gravitation towards physical, but even still those games aren't ready to play.
Digital only on PC, Wii U, and 3DS. So so SO convenient for 3DS especially, don't have to carry anything but the console when traveling. Probably will do the same for the switch if I ever get one.
I do like physical copies of things, or at least the idea of physical copies. But digital is just easier, and it leads to less clutter of things I really don't need lying around. But I'm hypocritical cause I still buy vinyl so yeah.
I used to do trade ins at Gamestop but I never got enough money back to feel like it was a good deal.
I buy physical, but not exclusively. It depends on the platform.
My recent(ish) experience with physical PC releases is that they just have a disk with a steam key inside the box - plus, no physical manual! Why bother, right? I do miss the days of big, beautiful PC game boxes though. My "Diablo 2" and "Baldurs Gate 2" boxes look and smell amazing.
I only buy physical for console games, where it's possible to sell my games used to other physical people over an e-bay equivalent.
Every time I see this question, I get the feeling someone is trying to talk me into going digital-only. Holy crap, look at sales figures. OBVIOUSLY people are still buying physical copies of games, and they're probably doing it because that's what they want. It's like you're asking if I still think there's a demand for toilet paper. Do stores in your area stock toilet paper? Do people buy it? Then, what are you asking?
I loved how the guys were shocked when Abby talked about the amount of money she got for selling games back at Gamestop. The Bomb crew has long been utterly clueless about Gamestop, often saying that you're lucky if you get $2 for selling them a game, when that is patently not true. I regularly buy triple-A games, return them after finishing them (or deciding they suck), and get $25-$35 back in credit at Gamestop. I love Gamestop and I will keep going there until they nail the doors shut.
I don't really buy physical copies anymore. They just don't feel like a physical copy. I liked it when you could just pop the disc into the console and start playing, but now you need to wait for the game install just like a digital copy.
So for convenience sake, I found that I enjoy the digital copies more. Same process, but I won't have to switch out my discs.
I haven't bought physical in a long time, mostly because psn flash sales are super cheap. I think digital is better than physical in many ways, and I actually prefer as about half of my PS4 collection is digital. It's just way more accessible and easy to switch from game to Netflix. I don't trade / sell games either, so there's that.
In a perfect world I'd go full digital but with Best Buy's GCU it doesn't really make sense to. Unless, I suppose you're willing to wait for sales on the digital stores 3-6 months later. I tend to buy a good chunk of what I'm interested in the first week though.
This is where I'm at - GCU does a good job of providing value - that 20% off even on sale items and regardless of time since launch is nice. Getting new games at $48 is cool but the sale stuff is where it's really at. I've even seen some of their PC stuff qualify - and they just ship a box with a code in it, so you're getting a digital copy anyway. I did Destiny 2 digital because it was easy and I wanted to preload...only to wait like a day after launch to play anyway. There was something really nice about it loading without me having to pop in a disc, press "ok" a few times and let it install then download an update. I'm kind of between the two, methods though.
I think I skew towards digimal now, but I just bought Monster Hunter Stories and Metroid physical apropos of nothing. I guess it depends on my mood and the weather? As arguably fucked as NIntendo's handling of digital purchases/accounts is, I do love having a load of 3DS/Switch games at the ready anytime.
I guess I like collecting so I would probably only buy physical if I had the space, and if there was a way for my impatient self to get the physical copy at 9pm PST release eve.
Yes, I buy physical versions but only for consoles.
Last year I bought a PS4 version of Dark Souls 3 from Target for $20. The physical version of the complete edition is selling for $40 to $50 right now. All digital versions of Dark Souls 3 (no DLC) are still selling for $60! What?
Over the last year or so, I have been becoming much better about how and when I spend my money. If I buy a game for a system in which it is possible for it to retain some sort of external value (a physical disk that I can resell to fund future games, etc.) than I take it. It's that simple for me.
Something about games being physical, something you can hold in your hands and say that it was the product of a lot of hard work and thus made tangible, some how just feels good. I get the same feeling from buying vinyl (unstoppable hipster ahoy!)
No doubt that this feeling is more token these days with less and less inside a game case, and to expect a manual is something akin to purchasing a 'Collector's Edition'.
Also I live in Australia, so crap internet and woeful PSN speeds doesn't help my digital prospects.
And I guess now that Amazon is about to open shop in Oz finally, there will be no reason to stop buying plastic.
Finally when I die, I just want to leave behind a trove of great Sega cartridges and terrible 3DO 'games'.
Here ends my grumble.
I went exclusively digital with this generation, but I think I will be rolling that back a bit with the Nintendo Switch. Unlike physical PS4/XBONE games, those actually feel like they are physical copies and not just unlock keys on a disc.
Also, I don't keep my old systems. Though many games don't maintain their value well, I know that first-party Nintendo games typically do. Physical copies will mean getting much more of my money back when the system croaks down the road.
I used to be big on having a collection, but I fell off that after getting into PC gaming more. My PC library now is pretty much all-digital (there's no other real option). But on console I still buy a lot of physical games - they're frequently around 10-20% cheaper, at least here in the UK, and often even more so just a few weeks after launch. I do sometimes get annoyed at having to swap the disc out, but I'll take that inconvenience if it lets me buy more games (or save the money for something else) in the long run. I'm not someone who trades stuff in, so that's not a consideration, but it's still a good saving.
So far I have stuck to all-digital on Switch, because Nintendo games don't really drop in price even with physical copies and because it makes sense with the Switch being a portable device (plus it's mostly behind my TV, so switching carts out would be awkward - perhaps ironically). I recently had to justify buying Mario + Rabbids digitally to myself by working an extra hour to cover the additional cost, though, because it cost me £8 more than the physical copy and that's a not-insignificant amount of money. That's the cost of a lot of smaller indie titles!
TL;DR - Ultimately it comes down to price. Physical is almost always a decent chunk cheaper still. PC and Switch games I stick to digital, though.
Exclusively on console. Every time I buy a digital only console release, I feel as though my money has been stolen.
The reason for this is I usually play games at least a generation behind, because I don't particularly care about whether a game is "new," so my logic is always "this earlier generation stuff is cheap, ergo better." It's served me well up to this point. However, when a game is digital, I feel rushed into playing it because I have no idea whether or not the company that sold it to me will maintain its stores for older games or consoles, as it seems most of these stores only have a few years of life to them. This is particularly true of Nintendo.
PC doesn't have this issue, as the only things that change with time are operating systems to make them incompatible.
I used to buy a lot more physical games until Amazon changed the 20% to pre-order only. Probably a good thing because I was buying too many games. Otherwise I buy digital or physical when there is a good deal. Sony has done great with their PSN sales this year, which has led me to buy more digital and try out a lot of games that I might not have otherwise. That's just for console of course, PC is all digital. Do they even sell physical pc games anymore, or just codes?
I like buying both digital and physical. For me it depends on the price. I recently bought GTAV on PS store for $30 when i wanted a physical copy but it wasnt on sale for that price so i went digital. I would like to have more physical though. I like to be able to look at my games on my shelf than trying to rememeber if I had previously bought them digital. Also I have a feeling one day all our digital purchases will just dissapear.
Before I got my Switch I hadn't bough a digital game since Starcraft 2 came out, my PC doesn't have a disk drive anymore. I will buy all my big release Switch games as physical but that's because they hold thier value real well.
There aren't enough options on the poll so I've put no.
I only really buy physical copies of Nintendo games as until the Switch they didn't tie purchases to your account but to your device. I buy digital copies of everything else (unless there is a collector's edition that I really want) as I don't want to deal with the clutter of physical media plus I have to import everything and Customs + import fees are freaking killer.
@matoya: with the exception of odin sphere and yakuza that whole pile is made of games that i actively play/replay, i doubt that for me id ever get as many hours out of the entire switch console as i could that pile of games, but if you don't replay anything then i suppose thats a good deal.
I've probably gotten more hours out of Odin Sphere and Yakuza Zero then all those games combined ;p (I havent played Abzu or DQ Builders though) That's a pretty good stack of games there. But if you're not going to play it and you dont like collecting things you enjoyed/enjoy then why not.
I used to trade everything in but I dont like going to game stores since they tend to rip you off or shove pre-orders down your throat. Physical games are still cheaper and probably always will be with the exception of a half decent sale every now and then.
I'm curious what the results of the poll would be if you exclude PC games since Steam is a pretty big outlier in the digital space.
EDIT: Scratch that, Persona 5, Fallout 4, FFXV and Destiny were all pretty big time sinks come to think of it...
For me, digital for PC, physical for my Switch (when applicable). I went the digital route for XB1 and now I have a whole bunch of games on a console that sits in a closet. I could have at least traded in what I didn't want instead of being stuck with everything on there. Any future console I buy will probably be physical when there is a physical version available.
I wouldn't be so quick to dismiss physical copies of games.
Physical Games Pros:
- Generally cheaper, takes less space on HDD (especially useful for Switch), I can actually share and exchange games with friends, in the case of backward compatible systems down the line, I can still use or sell said games later down the line...
- I don't have to get off the couch to either buy the game or swap out a disk.
I mostly buy physical. Of course PC games and download-only titles are bought that way, but everything else is physical except when there's a great digital sale.
On Switch, installs are actually much smaller when bought physically since they're not installed onto the system memory like they are with physical titles on other platforms. On my Playstation, I appreciate the shorter wait to get started when installing from a disc. It's almost negligible, but it looks like it's going to be a much more important factor as bandwidth plans/limits get tighter in the coming months.
Most of all, though, I just like having a collection. I don't collect too many things and games are one of the most important things in my life, so I appreciate having a physical manifestation of the hobby and my accomplishments. My brother has the same systems as me but he's not tearing through all the most recent releases like I do (and he doesn't have as much disposable income), so it's nice to just be able to hand him a physical copy whenever he's curious about something he sees on my shelf.
I prefer to buy physical games because while I understand the convenience of digital copies of the game, it feels less like I'm adding to my collection, and more like I'm just paying for access to the game. Also, I'm not able to let someone borrow the game or resell the game if I only own a digital copy. So it has less monetary value as well.
With my Switch, I buy all physical copies because I love the use of flash technology to revitalize cartridges, and I think may restore them as the de-facto medium for games, complete with blowing on the cartridge.
I'm almost totally digital at this point. I buy some physical used games here and there. Nintendo games were the only ones I bought physical because their store and account system has been so busted in the past that it was such a hassle if your console broke or you wanted to buy a new one.
For consoles, there really wasn't an option to go digital until this generation, but Steam was the only way I purchased games on PC for a very long time. Now I'm a bit more spread out on all the hot digital networks and buy almost all of my games digital. I'd say 15% of my purchases are physical and only really do that when it's actually cheaper to do so, such as with Amazon Prime's pre-order price guarantee. I butt-purchased Samus Returns, and I still have no idea how I did it, but I ended up saving about twelve bucks on that game. It's not a huge deal, but as someone who has a set number on my budget for games, buying low means I get to buy more in the long run.
So, with all that said, I prefer digital because as someone who has moved four times in five years due to changing relationship status, new jobs, and a goddamn tree falling on our house, you know what's great? Not packing up games for each move. They're just...there in internet space.
Price is the single reason I still buy most games physically, though I've been getting into the habit recently of waiting for PSN sales. I managed to get a download code of SM Odyssey from Amazon for the same price as physical for switch but apart from that stores don't seem to sell download codes any cheaper than official stores if at all in the UK. If digital games weren't £10+ than boxed equivalent, I'd definitely be all digital by now.
Yes, for PS4 at least, mostly because you can usually find better sales on physical. I got Nier and Horizon for $20 each recently, new. Lowest I saw them digital was $30 around the same time, and the digital sales are usually far less frequent for consoles than retailer physical sales. Shipped to my door for free so not even like I had to put much effort in over buying digital. In fact buying physical from online retailers is often less inconvenience than dealing with a 50 gb digital download slowing my internet down for a while. Also, even though my ISP doesn't have caps, I sometimes worry if I download tons of 50+ gb games they'll decide to throttle me or something. I try to avoid poking the hornets nest.
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