We weigh the pros and cons of moving to a completely digital gaming catalog on the current gaming consoles. Is a completely digital future, in your future?
Strictly? Hell no. Like the article says, the best deals are still in physical copies and then there is resale value. I only buy digital when there is a really good deal that totally negates the advantage of physical.
I've been all digital for years and loving it. Microsoft had it figured out before this generation started but decided to change there strategy over crying people resistant to change. You only find the best deals in physical copies because they are forced to keep the digital copies the same price or higher to keep the middle man happy. What is Best Buy going to do with their million physical copies of a game when everyone is buying it $10 cheaper digitally because they don't need to pay the physical cost of discs/printing/shipping costs? They quit stocking the games. As a developer/publisher, once you've sold to those companies you've made your money. You end up with those deals because the middle man has to get rid of the stock they have. Once physical copies are almost gone on consoles, you'll see the Steam situation, with digital discounts all the time. PC is just a number of years ahead of consoles, but we'll get there eventually.
So online play will become free again like on PC?
"I've been all digital for years and loving it. Microsoft had it figured out before this generation started but decided to change there strategy over crying people resistant to change. " In their original vision, you could buy games physical, you just couldn't resell them. What are you even going on about? "What is Best Buy going to do with their million physical copies of a game when everyone is buying it $10 cheaper digitally because they don't need to pay the physical cost of discs/printing/shipping costs?" You can buy brand new games, physical, for less than the cost of a new PS2 game. It's called Amazon. "Once physical copies are almost gone on consoles, you'll see the Steam situation, with digital discounts all the time." Wrong. All digital means the console manufacturer controls the pricing. A launch title could cost full price until the next console comes out. That, in turn, hurts sales. Do you really believe Microsoft or Sony would drive down prices if they knew that they are your sole provider of content? You are delusional. I wouldn't be surprised if they do it now with the intention of luring you into that false sense of security that prices will always come tumbling. It's pro developer, but anti consumer.
I got physical nioh for $45 while it's $60 on playstation store I got physical Hitman Season 1 for $35 while it's $60 on playstation store physical Horizon Zero Dawn cost $35 in my country while it's $50 on playstation store and the list is long I won't wast more time
@all above I have moved more or less digital on the xbox one last disk I got was forza 6 and that was because it was £25 in game when I was getting another game. Now I just look about but often find a game on amazon digital for less. I got Gears 4 for £25 and the VIP Edition of horizon 3 for £30. I also shear my Xbox with my brother who is in a different city to me so when he buys a game I get it and the other way round so even if we do pay £10 more for a game its still less than if we both went out and bought one. Its each to there own at the moment I buy physical games for the switch but that may change going forward.
@DarXyde "In their original vision, you could buy games physical, you just couldn't resell them. What are you even going on about?" You could resell them, just only at authorized dealers. It was too early to give exact details because they pulled it but they did indeed have a plan to resell them. "Wrong. All digital means the console manufacturer controls the pricing. A launch title could cost full price until the next console comes out. That, in turn, hurts sales. Do you really believe Microsoft or Sony would drive down prices if they knew that they are your sole provider of content? You are delusional. I wouldn't be surprised if they do it now with the intention of luring you into that false sense of security that prices will always come tumbling." They already drive the prices down on their own but it is indeed factual that physical cannot be priced higher than digital. "It's pro developer, but anti consumer." Well Steam and Microsoft offer refunds on digital purchases but Sony does not. So you are partially right.
@DarXyde Their original vision was unreleased so we really dont know how it wouldve been. Their messaging was off but I think they had a lot of good ideas such as game sharing. Which may be making its way. As far as reselling...whats the point? Apparently most people keep their old console and old games...at least that happens to be the convenient argument against backward compatibility on xbox one. @KTF26 I wont even begin to list the steam purchases ive made. The list is endless. Pocket change.
"Microsoft had it figured out before this generation started but decided to change there strategy over crying people resistant to change." Huh? Why would it help you to have less options? If you are digital only, then.....well you are doing what MS sorta wanted, so who cares? Why are you mad at options you won't even use by choice? LMFAO! "Once physical copies are almost gone on consoles, you'll see the Steam situation, with digital discounts all the time. PC is just a number of years ahead of consoles, but we'll get there eventually" Ummmmm says who? You know that for a FACT? Where is it written that a developer MUST make their game at a discount on digital? http://store.steampowered.c... OH AMAZING so pay $60 for a game that came out in 2012? Are you crazy? vs USED for $5 on PS3 https://www.amazon.com/Call... PSN and XBL have sales too bud. PUBLISHERS decide that sale, ie the same publishers that ok the sames of their games on PSN and XBL, are doing it on Steam too.... ". You end up with those deals because the middle man has to get rid of the stock they have. " Ok, that is simply a BASELESS theory of what you WANT to happen. Yet...Call Of Duty on Steam..... Soooooo yea. I don't think you know what they will do and you can't 100% guarantee that they even will do anything of what you've stated. ONCE they control the market place, they have NO ODE to lower the price. They will decide if they EVER want to lower the price. Many sales are to combat used games, ie they are trying to get money of fans who might buy used or who might buy PHYSICAL on PC. Once no CD exist and we have no used, they have no competition. They don't need to compete with used games, thus...they can keep the price FULL PRICE FOR YEARS! Again...Call Of Duty is doing this and the damn game has a PC DVD Rom version and used console versions. Oh, but you think they are going to pass on that savings to you, the consumer? oh....oh boy lol
I got the physical collector's edition of Song of the Deep from Barnes and Nobel for $8 where as the digital version is probably double that. My guess is there were WAY more physical copies created than the demand so they were over supplied and had to sell them at a loss. Then again how much does it actually cost to produce a physical game?? Maybe they didnt sell at a loss but it was certainly a better deal than the digital only.
There is no reason that PSN or XBL have to keep their prices high for retail past the initial release. They do that because they have no actual inventory to get rid of, and can just get as much money as possible as long as possible. Most retailers do not stock millions of copies of games. They buy games that go down in price cheaper through distribution channels, typically mandated by the console makers themselves. So the reality of the situation is is that publishers lower the price of retail copies quicker than they do digital copies, and there is absolutely no reason they can't match that price online. To believe that on a closed system where there is no outside competition, which Steam does have, will somehow show more frequent and bigger sales or price drops than we do at retail now is absolutely illogical, because there is absolutely no evidence that such things would happen....particularly when you look on Steam, those prices for multi-plat games are often still more expensive than their console retail counterparts.
@_-EDMIX-_ "Why would it help you to have less options?" That's where you seem clueless on the PC format. They sell games on various stores not just Steam. On the console you have one digital storefront. However things are starting to change there too. EA has their own games being offered through EA Access for example. You do want choices right? "OH AMAZING so pay $60 for a game that came out in 2012? Are you crazy?" Nice, so now you're going to cherry pick one game on one PC store. How about Resident Evil 7, how much is it on consoles? Well you can buy it here on CDKeys for really cheap, http://www.cdkeys.com/pc/ga... See, when you offer competition you can indeed have better pricing.
Then you don't own very many games, or are constantly buying hard drives. And you can't trade in CRAP! Not to mention once they take the game off the server you better have a perfect hard drive that someone does not age. If I was rich I would do the same thing except I would also buy a physical copy in case I wanted to play it 7 years from now.
I'm not really concerned with resale value. Granted once in a great while I do buy something I decide to flip or trade in for whatever reason/s but a vast majority of my purchases are keepers. If there ever were any doubt I'd definitely buy retail. However when it comes to pricing that one is one thing I can't overlook. Why pay $60 for a digital copy when I can get a physical copy from Amazon for $50? Same applies to older games that are discounted but still demanding more digital. I still believe going digital should come with a benefit financially. No disc= no manufacturing in burning the disc, no case, no paper in cover art, no shipping to retailers... We all know that's far fetched but at the very least there should be more sales and better price points reflecting the retail world on the digital markets. Hard drive space has always been a concern as well but nowadays even retail games are taking 20-60GB of hdd space. Also with the price of storage coming down it's finally becoming closer to a mute point or concern. That being said I am becoming more open to digital but will stick primarily with physical games. For Destiny 2 I decided to just go digital because it's a game that's not going anywhere. And call me lazy but it's also going to be nice not to have to change the disc. If I buy The Show next season I might just go ahead and buy digital. I tend to stick with one game at a time but there are certain exceptions and those are two of them. However, I definitely cringe at the thought of being forced to buy digital. As a collector I like having a media case filled with games and having stupid special editions to buy. Also, as witnessed on PS4 I tend to now overlook some games that I bought or got w/ PS+ because I never look at My Library and instead scroll through the home page. I completely forgot I bought Dragon Age and a few other games until last week when I actually did go to my library. Side note, Obviously we are buying games for said console but I'd like the licensing to extend to a +1 generation if available. If I buy a digital game I want to be able to play it w/o buying it again next gen on my shiny new console. I think that would be a nice consumer benefit and I'm sure they could even do more than 1 generation if they wanted.
I still have a library composed of both physical and digital cuz I can get different deals in the different mediums
Agreed. Physical when its new and something I want day 1 or week one etc. Digital when its a good deal and cheaper then what I can find physical. (or something I won't mind not owning the physical version of)
i'll never fall for the digital "future" -meme
I bet PC users used to say the same thing.
Until they saw the error of their ways.
lol I still buy my PC games on disk.
@EDMIX You can't be buying too much then lol. The vast majority of games on PC are digital only. Of course you have the games that PC gamers have been playing for about a decade on disc but other than that... Zilch.
Nope, I still prefer physical media especially for AA games, you enjoy your move though.
If gaming goes all digital I'm out.
So you would quit gaming then if digital was the only option?
My backlog is more than enough to keep me occupied.
God why do digital only gamers act like Vegans about it...ok who cares? Why do you need to tell everyone. Shut up!
I've been digital only since April 2014 on all of my consoles, but I still see the need to have physical media available. I think it should always be an option.
It is odd that people that are into physical really have no issue with those who choose digital, but many who prefer digital seem to think those who buy physical are the devil, and seem to be some of the biggest corporate apologist and unsavvy consumers I've ever seen. The pricing alone is enough reason to stay predominately physical, and the frequent sales which make digital more platable are nice, but overall, physical is the best option if price is a concern. The resale advantage to physical is infinately better, regardless of if one sells their old games or not. The fact that physical discs as they are now aren't ever likely to have the rights stripped away from the buyer, and even with the high likelihood that digital marketplaces aren't going to fail anytime soon, just cements why physical is a preferable option for many. In the real world, both can coexist quite happily. Publisher may whine and cry about it, but they will want to sell to where there is a market, and I feel if they went all digital on consoles, they'd see a sharp decline in software sales. Many may move from physical to digital, but it's not going to overcome to the lost sales any time soon. Publishers know this, so they will gradually try to promote digital, often in a very obvious way like we saw last gen, or try to do things which are against the consumer interest, but eventually they'll work it out and a day may come where digital becomes a suitable replacement for those against the idea as the only option.
While I have long since changed my stance on digital games and even have some digital copies of full retail releases, I doubt I'll ever be fully on board with an all-digital future. I love to have a physical collection, and physical games generally don't take up HDD space...except the PS4 is my primary console and physical games do take up HDD space on the system...so that advantage is out, but I still like having physical copies.
i am already in this wonderful digital world since the end of the ps3 lifecycle. physical copies do nothing for your gaming experience. they are only dustcatchers. and the only ones still clutching to physical copies are the ones who need to trade in their games to get new ones. and a few collectors, but they are too few to make a market. so, it's really the second hand market that keeps these unneccessary data carriers from the past alive. i hoped ps+ would wipe out the second hand market, too. but i guess it will take another gen until there will be no more disc drive in consoles. in fact, there will not be hardware anymore in a few years. it will only be menu points in your television and we will be streaming everything. can't wait for this day.
Can't remember the last physical PC game I bought (in part because they're difficult to even find these days, if at all), I'd probably be happy to buy more PS4 games digitally if there weren't overpriced compared to physical. I can get it delivered day one cheaper than digitally off their own store, who in their right mind would buy it digitally?
I hatee that games have to be installed. It's one reason I go digital
Digital games are installed too?
PC is 99% digital for about 7 years now. Consoles are way behind and one Problem is the bc, If I buy games digital I want them to stay with me and move forward. That is the reason because going digital on PlayStation is a horrible idea. They dont Support bc and after the recent talk they dont Plan to
I'm personally all digital but I think it's all personal preference for which is better or more specifically more suited to you.
No thanks. Giving up physical is giving away all your control. Like what If I want to sell or trade in the console with games at the end of the gen I can't if it's all digital. Or I wish that PT had a physical release.
I only buy digital when the price is $25 or less, any more is a no no but I am truly buying more digital now than ever since the sales are cheaper than the physical copies in my country. People who are complaining about the digital prices are just impatient people.
I've been all digital on my Vita, followed by my PS4, since the moment i bought them and wouldn't got back to owning physical again. Then again, i'm not one of those people who needs a game the millisecond it comes out so i just wait for sales. e.g. I bought The Last of US PS4 for £10, Mirrors Edge Catalyst for £7, Yakuza Zero for £22 etc. Also, it just makes sense for this gen and onwards to only be digital. Great, you have a disc to look at, but it has to install THE ENTIRE CONTENTS OF THAT DISC on your HDD, so the disc isn't necessarily needed and just take up space on my actual shelves when i could just have digital copy which doesn't. So i bought a 2tb HDD and never have to swap a disc. Similarly, i bought a 64gb card for my Vita and filled it with 50 games = no need to carry loads of carts when i go on holiday because i might want to play a different game.
Yep, plus if you get an extra PS4 or XB1 you can download those games on both & play them at the same time under different accounts. Sure one account has to have the games verified, which is better on XB1 I believe with it allowing games to run for 24hours after the check compared to PS consistent need for a connection / gives 15mins if you lose connection. Its nice having two PS4s, 2 screens, 1 game purchase.. Who needs split screen in games!? Nice feature still though, prefer a game having a LAN option.. If only more games supported LAN feature, I could be still playing a lot of PS3/360 titles online, least the ones that do you can play online. Excited for MGO2 revival OFW tomorrow on PS3! Digital better deal for some, not so for others. Least its good for me & yeah don't need to switch discs, too many games to keep switching discs.
Happy for ya. I'll stick with digital.
No way I'm investing thousands of dollars in games that can be taken way from me at any moment.
How is something "you" decide to do news? I could've sworn N4G meant "News 4 'For' Gamers", correct me if i'm wrong, but uhm... this isn't news for anyone but the author. SMH
Digital all the way for me on PC, PlayStation and Xbox...fuck physical
I am all digital for 2 years now. Love it, will definitly stay with it.
I will when the price is more right. As digital price is a total rip off compared to retail.
Probably never go digital only for consoles.
Heck no. Ill only buy digital on games I own I will keep. Normally for me is games like Madden, Street Fighter and most recently Tekken 7. Occasionally I will buy digital games that i know have a good chance to be epic like Horizon Zero Dawn and Bloodbourne. Those two were a must. Other than that all physical copies for me.
Been all digital for about 5 years. Couldn't imagine going back to physical
I will never have a completely digital future. I don't want my games and purchases to be controlled by companies.
I've been slowly moving to mostly digital my self
Good luck getting any kind of money back for the games you buy once you decide you never want to play them again.
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