Why The Prospect Of An All Digital Gaming Future Is Scary And Wrong

AOTF writes: "With the success of platforms like Steam and consoles’ digital game stores, especially with newer implementations like pre-loading, a lot of gamers are moving towards digital only for convenience. However, while it can be a nice option to have, the prospect of this being the only way to game with network issues and hackers abound is absolutely frightening."

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kalkano1326d ago

I'd be much more open to digital, if there was no DRM whatsoever, so I could play anytime, internet connection or not. Obviously, publishers will never allow this. So, digital remains in a "stalemate".

oODEADPOOLOo1326d ago

Not to mention that ever lingering issue on digital games that you don't really own the game and that if the company lending you the license to play those games ever went down so would your entire library of games/ content you've bought through them.

4Sh0w1326d ago (Edited 1326d ago )

Im enjoying my ALL digital games collection on X1, no problems....Im never going back to disc cause I love all the conveniences, especially the ability to jump from game to game without touching a disc. Going back would be as awkward as looking for a CD to play a particular song I like when I could just play it from my cloud account in a few seconds.

Demobot1326d ago

Without DRM there would be no safeties for the developers. And with regard to you not owning digitally downloaded games goes, even if you buy a hard copy, you still don't own it. You just own the rights to play it on a specific piece of hardware. And if that company that made the game went under, your license is still valid.

creeping judas1326d ago

@4sSh0w, I have to agree. The convenience of being at work, getting connected to Smartglass on a Tuesday, pressing purchase on a new game, and having it ready for me to play when I get home is awesome! I live in rural eastern Ontario, and for me to get to the closest Walmart would mean a side trip of appx. 50kms just to pick up a game is not very convenient. I know for my PS4 there is a similiar option, but unfortunately the W8.1 platform doesn't carry the PS4 app. But still, purchase a game like The Order 1886 now, and it will download at midnight for me, how amazing is that? The only downside is the fact that both consoles released with only a 500gb HDD.

Yetter1326d ago

I suggest you read your license agreement included with every game you've ever bought. If ya don't have time, I'll spoil it for you. You don't own any of your games but you do own a license to play them.

4Sh0w1326d ago (Edited 1326d ago )

@creeping judas yep I only live 10min from about 3 gamestops, 2 walmarts, 1 best buy, 1 target and a bunch of other locations with games available (I live in southern California) but yeah I definitely understand why driving is very inconvenient. I also remedied the storage problem by buying a 3TB HDD, it was a steal for $50. You should check Amazon, there are some awesome deals, with mine I dont expect to run out of space for a long time. X1 also mskes it really convenient in that regard too...plug, format and play...sits behind my tv unseen, everythings instsntly ready to go when I turn on my X1.

1326d ago
kalkano1326d ago


All of my music is digital. The difference? There's no DRM attached to it. I own it all, and have backup copies of it all.

kalkano1326d ago

@ Everyone saying we don't own our physical games:

I'd like to see someone try to take my physical copy from me.

johndoe112111326d ago

To everyone above who is disagreeing with oODEADPOOLOo and who keeps bringing up technical crap and insignificant licences printed on pieces of plastic, let me break it down in simpler terms for you.

The possibility HIGHLY exists that with digital only games if the company goes out of service then sooner or later it may be very difficult and in some cases even impossible to get that game to download again (legally at least). Servers will go offline, systems that once hosted the downloads would not be accessible and you may never be able to play that game you paid 60 bucks for ever again.

Now, I still have an atari 2600, a sega genesis, a super nintendo, a ps1, ps2, and xbox (to name a few), and I still have all my physical games to go with them. I OWN THOSE BLOODY GAMES!! No one and I mean NO ONE from any of the companies that made those games can stop me from playing them whenever, however and with whoever I want. I don't need to search the internet to try and find a bootleg copy of solaris for the atari 2600 because I own and have the bloody disc.

DRM is just one issue of digital only games. The ability to play that game 15-20 years later after the company has folded or they removed it from their servers to make room for more modern games is a whole other can of worms.

I'm gonna get a ton of disagrees for this but you know what, I'm gonna say it anyway. The people who want a digital only future are the casual gamers. Why do I say that? Because they are the ones who don't give a damn if that game they bought last year was to suddenly become unavailable because the company that made it went belly up. Either those people are filthy rich where 60 bucks means nothing to them or they don't care enough about their games to want to protect them and have them for years to come.

I still play solaris, Blaster master and bayou billy to this day. They are great games and I am lucky enough that I can pop them into my 30 year old systems and still enjoy them like I did 30 years ago. A digital future is a terrible thing. We will loose our rights and sooner or later our games. It is inevitable, I know this but until that time I will always rally against it. I will not give up my rights because I'm to damn lazy to take 30 minutes out of a 24 hour day to go to the store to buy a bloody game and then take 15 seconds to switch it out with another disc.

4Sh0w1326d ago (Edited 1326d ago )

@kalkano yeah OK so what?, right now Im in California my nephew got the AC Unity bundle for Christmas and now he's legally using my account and playing all my games on his Xbox One= I didnt have to buy him even 1 game like I usually do every year. Do you know how much money Ive saved? ▶▶Now talk to me about DRM vs these conveniences and save the "in 20 years" stuff because I can't remember the last time I wanted to play a old school game like say Super Mario that wasnt available on online for download/emulation for a couple bucks you get like 10 old school games, lol. Actually only time I even bother is when something cool comes across XBL.

Again although going back to physical would feel archaic to *me still I never said I was against physical, Im glad theres a place for both but digital is just too convenient to dismiss or downplay for illogical reasons that don't impact my gaming or things like nostalgia which doesn't matter to many who prefer digital.

rainslacker1326d ago (Edited 1326d ago )


Here's a much simpler way to put it. With all that digital content they buy, their ability to play it is completely at the whim of the service provider.

Read those "pieces of paper" when you sign up for your service, and you will see that at any given time, for any reason, the service provider can yank your account and you will have no access to your content.

Someone reports you and they ban your account? Service provider screws up and auto-bans you for some reason. In Nintendo's case, sell your console. Yep, hundreds or thousands of dollars in content lost. And you agree to that, and are forced into litigation before you can even sue them over it, if you want to spend the years and money to do so.

With retail..sure we don't "own" it. OK whatever. That doesn't hold up in court I'm afraid. Someone steals your games, it's a crime you have to report and it's not done by the devs/pubs on your's stolen from you. you can sell them, trade them, hold them, etc. I don't know what more criteria there is for ownership.

hay1325d ago (Edited 1325d ago )

Online Only and DRM in next generation will reach point where it's actually properly implemented. It won't harm any user experience once all of the fundamental flaws are rectified.
There still will be connectivity problems and occasional validation issues, but we will be able to back every piece of content on the drive and run it offline.
It will still suck though.

+ Show (9) more repliesLast reply 1325d ago
Yetter1326d ago

Well I can't speak for the PS4 but if there are problems with XBL or I don't have an internet connection I can go to the settings and press 'go offline' and voila, I can play all my digital games

SpaceRanger1326d ago

For some reason a lot of people don't realize that there's ways to be able to play offline for all consoles (Wii U, Xbox One, PS4, etc.). It's not complicated at all. However, games that are only online (I think Destiny is a good example from what I know) probably are the ones that people associate "DRM" with.

So far this gen, I'm all digital!

rainslacker1326d ago

It's the same on the PS4. In fact, one of the fixes for people saying their digital content is blocked for not being online is to set it up to not log on to PSN automatically.:)

MelvinTheGreat1326d ago

I dont know what you are talking about. Steam does digital games perfectly

Volkama1326d ago (Edited 1326d ago )

Indeed. This "future" he is scared of started several years ago. And it's great!

Consoles have quite a long way to go before their digital ecosystems are great unfortunately

TheSaint1326d ago

And cheaply, which is probably the most important factor.

If games were cheaper digitally then I might be more inclined to buy them, as is I can go to my local supermarket and get them at least £10 cheaper.

That's just dumb.

Somebody1326d ago

For me it's all about logistics. I have very slow internet(a recent Steam survey showed my country's average speed is around 3mbs) but that doesn't deter me from loving digital distribution. It'll take days for to me to download games with gigantic file size but that's far better than me purchasing a disc-based game I have to order online and wait for a week for it to arrive. The nearest shops that do sell disc-based games is in a city 3 hours away and there is no guarantee that they'll have every game that I want on that little shop of theirs. Plus disc-based games never get discounted or go down in prices in my place where as Steam offer deals all the time.

Digital distribution thrives, not a stalemate, on the PC because they both complement each other perfectly. New ideas like Steam, MMOs, F2Ps and Early Access were given a chance to prove themselves and the PC gaming community adapted accordingly. Consoles, however, are far too rigid for that.

+ Show (1) more replyLast reply 1325d ago
Shineon1326d ago

You buy a disc these days it installs to your system taking up harddrive space so why not go digital

Jag-T10001326d ago

Yeah, but with a physical copy you can sell it, give it to a relative or trade with a friend. Try doing that with your digital purchase.

4Sh0w1326d ago (Edited 1326d ago )

Yeah, but whats better is I legally gave my nephew in Virginia access to all my games on his Xbox One. In the past with the 360 I sometimes would buy 2 copies because he was young, parents cant afford alot of games per year and living in California sort of prevents me from sending my copy to him if I still expect to he can play all my games. Its another really awesome convenience and already saving me money. I don't think many of you really understand the benefits of all digital.

Oh and the whole notion that a digital gaming library is going to be obsolete anytime soon is BS....obviously every game license will be valid for a minimum of 10yrs, this entire gen, plus Im sure there will be options to play other ways when the platform is no longer suported, by then these games will be small potatoes all they need to do is give out key codes for each license and let you play on an online store, sort of how you can play retro nintendo games online now. Lets be honest I like nostalgia and revisiting old games from time to time but mostly I don't play 10yr old games with the little time I do have for gaming...I dont think even those who talk up retro games logically really think its a big deterent against digital gaming now because in some distant future the game might not be supported. Now if money is a issue so you're the type that usually sells a current game to partially pay for the next game theb OK, finances over convenience I get it, otherwise I don't really get the logic.

dreamed1326d ago

You can trade sort of,its called gameshare,actually its better than trade with a friend,coz you both get a licence to play the same game at the same time..

I'm going digital this gen due to being able to buy games off of the U.S xbox store for $60 which equals £35 instead of £55-60,plus the gameshare which means all my games so far cost me £17.50 each.

This gen is cheaper than its ever been for me and my friend.

i'am aware that this could all be stopped at the press of a button back at MS HQ,but tbh can microsoft afford to loose all its gamesharing/digital customers????....maybe it could who knows?

kingdip901326d ago

Because if psn or xbl ever became unsupported you would lose access to those games if anything happened to your console (long term thinking) physical disks will always be accessible.

Think about how popular retro gaming is and how many people collect SNES games. When the current get becomes retro then digital content will be inaccessible and that's sad.

Yetter1326d ago

what if something happens to the physical disks? seems that is much more likely then something happening to PSN/XBL. And the fact that I own a digital copy means I can back them up on an ext HD and have as many copies of my games as I would like

ShaunCameron1326d ago

Physical disks are only always accessible as long as they're in decent condition and/or the consoles are still functional.

kingdip901326d ago

@ yetter

In 15-20 years its unlikely say the ps3 will still be supported via psn however hardware and physical disks will still be in abundance a LA SNES and megasrive.

All digital sucks for those of us who collect/play classic games

authentic1326d ago

I never buy digital, simply because you are stuck with it when you're done with it. I would rather be able to sell a game once i am done with it and get at least half of my money back.

creeping judas1326d ago

Not disagreeing with you here, but if you are able to do it then I can see the point. For me to be able to trade a game is a full day trip. Drive 120kms to Ottawa trade in the game, have lunch, drive back another 120kms, and that is why I like digital game downloads.

Silly Mammo1326d ago

I sell mine through Amazon. They pay for shipping the game to them and once they've received it, they deposit a gift card credit into my Amazon account.

BabyTownFrolics1326d ago

Don't y'all get it creeping judas is a mountain man

Unspoken1325d ago (Edited 1325d ago )

When digital copies can be had for less than $15-20, the convenience outweighs any benefit I would get from retaining a physical copy and selling it.

Unless you are selling directly to another consumer, each third party will take a piece of your profits. The time spent listing an item, responding to questions, packaging items, shipping items, picking up physical copies, keeping the disc safe...

Just doesn't seem worth my time, especially when physical copies cost more and can depreciate quickly.

+ Show (1) more replyLast reply 1325d ago
Maxor1326d ago

The PC is virtually 100% digital and it's glorious.

Software_Lover1326d ago

I was gonna say the same thing.

Silly Mammo1326d ago

I agree(my Steam game list is ridiculously large), but then I don't mind digital for PC because you're not able to sell physical PC games back like the console version.

Volkama1326d ago

Sounds a lot like how MS set out their stall for the xbox one reveal, doesn't it?

mass hysteria that followed will keep the likes of gamestop smiling for a good long time yet.

HighResHero1326d ago

Me too but I purchased most of my games on GOG.

pyramidshead1326d ago

I wouldn't mind physical new age carts like the Vita gets for games. Isn't one of the bottlenecks of these console the read/write speeds of a run of the mill bluray drive? I assume that's why people start swapping traditional drives for SSDs in PCs. Soon the spindle drive will become a thing of the past as SSDs come down in price and grow in capacity. Future consoles would save big without having to include an actual drive but include a slot for the cart instead.

They'd be faster and you'd still have a physical copy so you don't have to go all digital. Would love that because #teamphysical until I absolutely have to change that specific gaming aspect.

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