Players Need to Embrace Digital Distribution

Whether we like it or not, a future ruled by digital distribution is coming and the act of driving down the street to go buy a game is over.

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Nyxus1817d ago

"Rumors upon rumors have circled the web lately of a PlayStation 4 that ditches the optical bay and forces consumers to buy games through the PlayStation Store."

But that's simply not true. The PS4 supports physical games, on Blu-Ray, as well as digital downloads.

Gaming1011817d ago

Yeah, once everyone has broadband internet we'll have digital only. By limiting your audience to just people who have broadband AND are willing to ditch the idea of used games AND are willing to buy massive hard drives to fit them all on AND are willing to pay the outrages prices on PSN and XBLA, you've got a much smaller audience and your games can't florish as much as they would be able to otherwise.

The whole point of releasing games on multiple consoles is to increase your audience, that's the goal. Going backwards and throwing out a massive portion of your audience is retarded.

Bimkoblerutso1816d ago

DD could be a great thing for many people. No trips to stores, no worrying about stock or inflated secondhand prices, no clutter, etc.

But it also means that we're essentially paying for a service, not a product. Devs and pubs SHOULD have to adjust their retail model accordingly, but instead they just treat it as a means of sleazy income and consumer control.

I mean good god, why are we paying the same amount of money for games that have a HUGE amount of their overhead cut out of their production?

jc485731816d ago

man, just imagine all that fat we are going to build up. seriously, people do want to get out more often.

cjflora1816d ago

I don't have an Xbox so I don't know about XBL, but how are the prices on PSN outrageous? They sell them at the same or lower price than you would find them at a store (brand new). I haven't seen the practive with PS3 games, but Vita games are $5 cheaper on PSN than their physical counter parts.

The only real argument you can make is that the PSN doesn't have the variety you can find by shopping various stores. You can typically find stores that are having sales or buy games used for cheaper than the full price, but PSN has it's sales as well. If you're looking to buy a game day 1 and your options are PSN or a normal store, you probably aren't going to find it cheaper at a store than PSN.

Ilovetheps41816d ago


The PS3 almost always has the game at the same price as the physical disc or even higher than a store would sell it for.

I like physical distribution for two reasons. First, I just like having a physical item in my had. I like being able to look over at my collection on the shelf. I hate not having something tangible when I buy it. I'm the same way with CD's. I'm the kid that will still go to the store to buy a CD instead of buying it on itunes.

Second, by letting multiple stores sell games, that makes them compete for the best price. If there is only one way of buying a game, they aren't going to compete with themself. They can just keep it the same price for the longest time. Best Buy is always having some good deals as well as Amazon. I mean, I was able to buy The Sly Collection for $15 a while back because of sales. I highly doubt the PlayStation store would do sales like that very often because they have no reason to. They have no competitors on pricing of the game.

GrandTheftZamboni1816d ago (Edited 1816d ago )

I would prefer to have a game on a disc which would entitle me to download it as well. I like having a physical disc for two reasons: as Ilovetheps4 mentioned below, to look at them on a shelf and also if in the future I am not able to re-download it. Thing I like about having games on a hard drive is that I can play them at will without having to load the disc. Best of both worlds. To be fair, developers would probably have to ensure that if I sell the disc my local copy would be invalid.

admiralvic1816d ago

@ Cjflora

Unless you apply absolutely no effort on finding deals, retail copies are almost always cheaper.

Like Dead Space 3 had buy and get 20 dollar vouchers at Bestbuy / Amazon. Kmart recently had it for $45 dollars. Gamestop recently had it for $40 dollars. Do you recall Dead Space 3 being $40 on the PSN, because I sure don't.

Even when Sony does a sale, it just about matches previous deals. This week we got All-Stars for like $25 digitally, where as retail was $20 a while back at Gamestop. I can literally list hundreds of examples, which is quite depressing...

Outside_ofthe_Box1816d ago

I'm not understanding why embracing digital distribution means rejecting physical copies. I think most people already embrace going digital, they just don't want to lose the option of buying a physical copy.

JackBNimble1816d ago (Edited 1816d ago )

I use psn, steam, and origin for digital downloads,but I am not a satisfied customer. When my bandwidth will alowe me to download in a reasonable time frame (not hours) then I will accept this as the norm, until then

LAZL0-Panaflex1816d ago

I would buy digital if it was reasonable. $60 is not reasonable. $20 would be reasonable.

+ Show (6) more repliesLast reply 1816d ago
MikeMyers1817d ago

That is correct but expect more and more titles to be available only through digital. Sony already announced all games will be available online. We already seen last generation the adoption of smaller scaled games only available through the store, I expect that to grow.

With online codes already becoming common practice it is just another step educating the gamer of staying online and connected.

jc485731816d ago

there's a downside to that though. This means not every buyer needs to buy it on the day the game is released. They can wait a year or so before they "feel" like downloading it. When you give people the impression that the game is not going to go anywhere, then they think they have all the time in the world. They will simply wait for a price drop. Just imagine how this would affect some smaller companies that usually take long ways to sell millions. You need both and I don't think physical is going to stop at all. If it was really all digital, man, people will simply stop gaming because they no longer have that luxury to buy.

cjflora1816d ago


I have never went and picked up a phsyical game because I was concerned I wouldn't be able to find it in the future...

MikeMyers1816d ago (Edited 1816d ago )

In reply to jc48573

Why? Now you won't have to pre-order or worry about the game being in stock. People that want to play it right away will still buy the game.

Of course there are many downsides with just being digital. Being able to trade, lend, sell and all of that freedom that comes with physical discs. Also game collectors. But I don't think people will wait longer because it's digital. The other fear is of course price fixing. Without the used market they can control prices more. People love Steam because of the deals they offer so gamers are more lenient to it being digital. We haven't seen prices as competitive on consoles and there are royalties and other things in place.

The AAA games will be the last to go to digital only. They will want as many customers as they can get and not everyone has access to broadband just yet. They will all want to do away with physical formats one day but that day isn't here yet.

ArronC071816d ago

When i can lend, trade in, sell and borrow digital copies, when the quality is high enough (with movies and music), when it doesn't take 3 days to download something, when ISP's ditch download caps and when there's a way to admire my collection on my shelf- only then will I maybe think about it.

I'm so not into digital that I've started to buy my music in CD format again.

MRMagoo1231816d ago


That's all the reasons why digital wont be the main way to get games for a long time, games are really big ppl cant compare them to music it takes me about 15 to 20 mins to get a 700mb movie if i had to wait 4 to 5 hours for a game minimum i wouldnt bother it would be easier to just go to the shop and buy it and it is usually cheaper.

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Tetsujin1816d ago

One thing I give Sony credit for; they still remember the people with limited or no internet access, and the idea to have "options" towards either digital or physical is a bonus.

To the author:

Digital distribution is "part" of the reason why stores like Circuit City went out of business. You also have to factor in customer service, online vs visiting the store (I bought Skyrim on PS3 with tax/shipping under $50 new online where stores here was $60 before tax), and budgets. Lately I've found deals, and certain gaming products online that I can't find at Best Buy or even Wal Mart; and outside 1 hiccup back in 2009 I've had nothing but good experience with online purchasing and will continue to buy online since I can save $ and have a much better experience. With Sony giving the option that "every" game can be demo'd before purchase makes it easier to know what I'm getting into instead of just blind buying and "hoping" I get a good purchase.

fatstarr1816d ago

too bad it doesnt actually support the blu ray disk games you already own.

isa_scout1816d ago (Edited 1816d ago )

Sony is smart enough to realize that some of their users that have bought the PS3 have no high speed internet service to log on to PSN to download games. Hell my cousin just got high speed internet like a month ago after trying for about 3 years(we live in the mountains of west virginia). Until they get high speed to damn near everyone(and remember this wouldn't just mean USA but other countries as well) I think it's a horrible idea to go digital only. In fact, the day consoles go digital only that will be the day I find a new hobby. I'd much rather own something tangible, something I can hold in my hands and share with others. And no I'm not talking about my penus.

+ Show (2) more repliesLast reply 1816d ago
GalacticEmpire1817d ago (Edited 1817d ago )

I think a lot of gamers have already embraced DD, what with PS+ filling our HHDs with free (pretty much) games and Steam on PC.

Also, it has been confirmed that PS4 will have a Bluray drive, I'll look for a link...

fatstarr1816d ago (Edited 1816d ago )

embraced? yea right, let me go to the store and they are giving away games that are pretty much free and see if I dont leave with 2 carts full. the death of physical media = the death of your rights.

Steam is on an open system you may buy from their competition at any time.

meanwhile PSN, Live and Eshop are all closed networks, with no competition, so they can do what they like because ? what is the user going to do Not buy the game if its the only option to get it? you loose your rights to own a back up of a game the second its digital only because of some well written 50 page agreement that swindles you out of your rights, and actions you can take against them. its despicable but suckers keep falling for it until its too late.

your harddrive only lasts so long , you think they are gonna give you a replacement of the 400$ you spent on DLC and Digital downloads in 2020 when your console breaks?

GalacticEmpire1816d ago

"your harddrive only lasts so long , you think they are gonna give you a replacement of the 400$ you spent on DLC and Digital downloads in 2020 when your console breaks?"


As far as PSN goes you can re-download any content you have paid for at any time, just like steam.

MRMagoo1231816d ago


But most are limited to a few times to download plus if you have the disc you dont need to wait a few hours to download again you just put it in and play. The funny thing is about this digital crap ppl complained about the mandatory installs on the ps3 taking 5 mins or even less but waiting 5 hours is fine ? I dont get it and it doesnt matter anyway because not enough ppl world wide have the net for it yet so the companies that tried doing it would go broke fast.

SOD_Delta1817d ago

I buy digital whenever possible. All or most of the games I'll buy for PS4 will be digital. But ditching physical copies would upset a lot of people.

cjflora1816d ago

I agree, it will be a little while before it would be smart to consider not offering physical copies, but I think Sony will be really pushing DD this generation to get prepared for it. They've always been the ones pushing media formats with the PS1 having the first CD drive, the PS2 with the first DVD drive and the PS3 with the first Bluray drive. I always wondered if they would push another media format with the PS4 and that is what DD will be for them, with Bluray as the alternative.

Majin-vegeta1817d ago

Please slap your self thank you.

BanBrother1816d ago

Hey vegeta, what does your scouter say about the articles power level?

ctate19951817d ago

Sorry about the whole PS4 ditching the blue ray drive everyone! I wrote the article before the conference and had it stuck in drafts until I posted it today! Will change the error ASAP :)

GribbleGrunger1817d ago

Decency and humility are refreshing to see. Bubble.

DigitalRaptor1816d ago

Thanks buddy. What a respectable person, you don't see that very often in this industry's journalists.