Why A Complete Digital Game Switch May Not be a Bad Thing

Would switching to a completely digital format for console video games be a bad thing, like death of used games or loss of true ownership? That might not be the case.

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cell9892290d ago

enough of these idiot articles, I want my games to be in physical form, so I can have full control of my purchased property

pedrof932290d ago (Edited 2290d ago )


In my computer I rather have my games in a digital form, in console I want them physical.

Baliw2290d ago

Meanwhile in a future not so distant:

- Here son, your legacy:

User: Digital
Password: 1234

- Thanks dad!


badz1492290d ago

yeah, I prefer physical for consoles and digital for PC too as I can always resell and trade-in console games and I have almost 3TB of HDD in my pc and pc games aren't worth a damn physically too!

darthv722290d ago

While i too like the physical medium i can understand the transition to all digital and why it is/needs to happen.

One main concern is will there be a platform around to play physical media? Meaning that records and tapes were prime in their day but have since given way to the likes of cd and even digital.

The ability to play records and tapes is still possible but it may not be for much longer. Unless new units are being made to specifically replace the old ones that will eventually die....the ability to play older physical media is on the edge of obscurity.

Now solid state has a greater chance of lasting longer than something that uses moving parts. Meaning if any game console could outlast the longest it would be the cartridge based ones. They really have no moving parts but they do use older capacitors and circuits that can dry out or leak and cause other issues. just check out Luke Morse on youtube for info on that stuff.

now current gen hardware, we get the best of both. Physical but also digital and with digital there is an advantage in the sense that if something happens to your system, you can still play the digital games on another system. You can play physical games on another system as well but what if....god forbid...something happens to your physical game? It gets broken or scratched...etc

There are pros and cons to the whole situation but in the end it is moving towards a digital release only kind of world. Many will complain about the lack of retail physical ownership but those kinds of kinks need to be ironed out and really addressed to consumers of what can and will happen if things go all digital.

If people can understand the benefits as opposed to the hindrances then the adoption of such a process would go smoother and possibly be more lucrative to people in the long run.

admiralvic2290d ago

"One main concern is will there be a platform around to play physical media? Meaning that records and tapes were prime in their day but have since given way to the likes of cd and even digital. "

This is kind of moot with gaming consoles, since they're designed to work on the system in question. Like PS4 / PS3 both use Bluray, but a PS4 game won't work on a PS3 and vice versa. Furthermore, you can still buy VHS players to this day from BestBuy / Sears / etc. That platform has been dead for at least a decade, but it still exists.

"now current gen hardware, we get the best of both. Physical but also digital and with digital there is an advantage in the sense that if something happens to your system, you can still play the digital games on another system. You can play physical games on another system as well but what if....god forbid...something happens to your physical game? It gets broken or scratched...etc "

Is that REALLY true? If your PlayStation 3 gets stolen and both your activations are in use, then you COULD be looking at 6 months without being able to use any of your content (Sony probably isn't going to deactivate everything for you even if you can prove it was stolen). You also lose the ability to sell, storage becomes a huge issue (ask ANYONE with PlayStation Plus and a Vita...) and your ownership concept is null. Finally, you don't take into account how OTHER devices handle the future / these changes.

Like they make devices that let you extract video from a VHS tape and make it digital. Every CD album I've ever encountered gave me the ability to extract the songs in a digital format. It's without a doubt possible to rip a movie and play it via any old DVD player. Even now, a lot of movies come with some combination of Bluray, DVD, Ultra Violet or some other form of having the movie. As we move into the future with the XB1 / PS4 not accepting previous gen games, we're not seeing the same thoughtfulness form companies. Just the continual complaining that they're not making enough money.

I certainly think DD has its place and is useful at times, but games have largely been different than the other media and will most likely continue to be.

DigitalRaptor2290d ago (Edited 2290d ago )

I'll point out where I think your viewpoint is a little skewed.

An all digital future is something that sounds cosy on paper, but as time marches on the cracks begin to appear in what we've built for ourselves.

1) With backwards compatibility on console currently in the shitter, and games being built specifically for console hardware, this is a non-issue.

2) The discs you'll be using are scratch resistant. I've never managed to scratch a disc in my PS3 collection and that's without even taking good care of them (leaving them face down on wooden floor/carpet). If you manage to lose or snap a disc, then can we not say the same for everything else in this world? Might as well digitize EVERYTHING in that case, so we don't break it all.

I'd ask you to stop cheerleading an obtuse lack of ownership - it's not a healthy thing when you ACTUALLY consider the long-term impact of this, despite your perceived value in convenience or lucrativeness. It's a "head in the clouds" mentality. There is no completely and positively overarching outcome to this, and the negatives appear without even attempting to point them out.

What kinks can be ironed out in destroying the culture of choice and expression in physical ownership, collecting, gifting, presentation, art etc. to be replaced by sterile, intangible 'convenience' ??

The future is flexibility, not restriction. And I do understand what you mean by 'kinks' and asking people to consider the positives, but the bottom line is, you are painting us a future where somehow, not owning something and not being able to do what you want with your purchase, is a really really fantastic thing for human kind.

Deadpoolio2289d ago

@admiralvic: The PS3 is NOT the 360 and I'm sure neither is the PS4....It doesn't take 6 months to activate or transfer content...It literally takes 2 seconds of logging into SEN and deactivating it....There is no MS like timeframe 2 seconds of deactivate and then activate...They don't care, nor does it involve calling them

HammadTheBeast2290d ago

Unless they make digital games $30 or less,they can f*** off.

redwin2290d ago

I think they will all cost the same whe they first come out but I think they will be more affordable quicker. Like 2 to 3 months later depending how it sells.

kayoss2289d ago

Have the author of this article heard of the PSP GO? It went full digital and now dead. You never go full Digital.

In all seriousness. They claim that going digital will make games cheaper, So far that is not true. There are a few problem going full digital...
1. HDD space. Current Gen games are now 5-40gb each and i cant imagine how large next gen games will be but there are not enough HDD space to store all your games.
2. Internet cap: Lots of internet provider are implementing cap on the amount you use per month.
3. Bandwidth: not everyone have high speed internet, in fact I think only 25% of U.S residents have high speed internet.
4. Resale: with digital you can not resale your games. Most gamers resell their games after they have completed it. With Digital, you either keep it in your hard drive or delete it.

Mea Maxima Culpa2290d ago

I totally agree. Not to mention after trying to download Hitman this month (17GB) and only getting 1MB per sec from PSN on a 50 Mb connection sucks.

Then, I when I went to install and it was corrupted so I had to download again!!

Imagine trying to download a 50GB game... I definately do NOT want this until PSN can provide much faster downloads.

Also, I would rather have some of the data on an 8x Blu-ray so I don't have to use up hard drive space that is not needed.

cell9892290d ago

plus this will be more of an excuse for developers to release unfinished games, theyll rely too much on network patches

Deadpoolio2289d ago

Yeah ummm thats your crap internet not PSN unless you ingeniously decided that you were going to download it the minute it was up when you have a million other people downloading it all at the same time....You do also realize that your internet speed is probably like everyone else on the planets *speeds up to*, and I would bet your using wireless which is even more garbage since wireless is NOT stable, either way the only time you can ever think about close to 50 is in the middle of the night....

I also downloaded Hitman at my girls house and she only gets 30mb and it took about 20 minutes if that, stop using your garbage wireless and claiming it's PSN

+ Show (1) more replyLast reply 2289d ago
Godz Kastro2290d ago

I was going full digital no matter what console I went with, that's why X1 policies never bothered me.

Grown Folks Talk2290d ago

Apparently you weren't seeing as how someone clicked disagree. It's a good thing people on N4G know what you'd do more so than you do.

Original policies didn't impact me either. TBH, they didn't impact most of the complainers. Just complained on principle. A 24 hr check only impacts someone who doesn't have internet at all. You can easily connect once in a 24 hour period unless your power is out. But if your power is out...

dktxx22290d ago

Its the choice that matters. I'm fully digital because I accept the risks associated with buying digital games. I choose to do that because I have a reliable internet connection and I don't mind minor forms of drm. MS didn't give people the choice. That's the big difference. There's no reason they couldn't of done both.

Deadpoolio2289d ago (Edited 2289d ago )

Really cause I have FiOS at my house and recently Verizon screwed something up and I didn't have internet for 2.5 days, IF there were retarded check ins everyone in my neighborhood with verizon would have been screwed....But then again the MS asskissers are A OK with crap even when their connection goes down for days and they cant play a game....

Funny though I have like 60-65 FULL RETAIL PS3 games that I've purchased on my HDD and yet didn't need dark age anti consumer restrictions to purchase them, but you go ahead and believe those policies were needed

Grown Folks Talk2289d ago

I have full retail games on my hard drive. The difference... we downloaded those games directly with our profiles. We didn't buy a disc, install it, & play w/o the disc on the hard drive. The checks would prevent me installing it, then giving the disc to my offline buddy to own. Internet being down for more than a few hours is rare outside power outages.

negative2290d ago

I love sitting on my leather sofa and swapping games without having to get up each time and fumble with physical discs.

Call me lazy if you want - but I love the ease of digital games!!! I rarely sell them too so it works for me.

KUV19772290d ago

I am also going full digital. XOne's original policy was even kind of nice for me, since You would have gotten a case but with all the benefits of a digital edition.

XboxFun2290d ago

It's coming. Both from Sony and MS very soon and all the evidence and the set up is there for it to happen.

I can see both companies slowly going all digital three to four years down the line.

DigitalRaptor2290d ago (Edited 2290d ago )

Not happening and it seems to me that the only reasons you'd want to see that is to point and say "haha, looks like MS was right".

If that was the case, or going to be the case, music publishers would have stopped producing CDs years ago, but I wonder why they still produce them? How's that evidence for you?

What I see is one company understanding how entertainment distribution works and continues to work, and another company wanting to put a control method over their distribution means.

Hicken2290d ago

Not very soon. DigitalRaptor is right that you WANT it to be that way to vindicate Microsoft's choice with the XB1.

I guess it bears repeating yet again, but internet infrastructure is nowhere near capable of handling an all-digital future. From ISPs to availability, it's just not ready. Not here in the US, and in painfully few places elsewhere.

Anything else is wishful thinking at this point.

rainslacker2289d ago

Here's the thing.

Even IF the vast majority(say >90%) decided to go all digital in 3-4 years, they simply couldn't. Internet infrastructure isn't there, and won't be there in 3-4 years.

Even IF MS and Sony decided to go all digital, that doesn't mean people would accept it. Recent outcry should make that more than abundantly apparent. I can't believe this whole, "Digital is the [only] future" mentality still exists after the events of the past few months. It is more than apparent that people are simply not ready to make that shift.

That IS NOT going to change in 3-4 years. As DigitalRaptor says, CD sales still make up roughly half of all music sales. According to recent reports, digital game/content sales don't even make up for 20% of all industry revenues in the console market. Digital acceptance for games isn't going to jump 70% in 3-4 years.

Why is it that so many believe that massive sweeping changes in consumer spending habits happen in 3-4 years? It just doesn't happen unless it's forced.

In this case, MS even realized that they couldn't force it completely, which is why they offered physical discs. They knew the market wasn't ready for all digital. How much clearer can it be that they knew this since their console was in essence entirely digital, yet physical discs still remained.

Digital will become more accepted as time goes on and companies find ways to make it more enticing for the consumer. It will be a natural progression that will have surges as new technology or business models comes out. But unless the change is forced, physical will remain.

I'd be damned surprised if any company was willing to try and force the issue anytime in the next 3-4 years, and I'd even be surprised if this topic was breached with the next next gen given what happened this time.

You won't see this switch until the market shows that it is the predominate way people are buying games. Choice is good. Why do you care if people want to buy physical? Buy your digital and everyone is happy.

kayoss2289d ago

I guess you havent heard that Sony is trying to develope a disc that can hold up to 300gb of info on a single disc. If Sony is going to invest time on a 300gb disc where you think their stance on full digital lies?
Remember, both companies are investing money into 4K TV and movies. Games will be next. If a 1080p movie is about 15-24gb, what you think a 4K movie will be? How long you think it will take you to download a 200gb movie or game?

+ Show (1) more replyLast reply 2289d ago
JunioRS1012290d ago

People who are against DRM have clearly not tried Steam.

You save about 50% in sales in the long run.

wynams2290d ago

um ... Steam has DRM.

A better statement would have used

JunioRS1012290d ago

Yes, Steam is complete DRM, that's my point.

People think 'DRM' is synonymous with 'evil'.

DRM is completely worth it. If you disagree with that, then I'm guessing you haven't used Steam.

Steam offers much better sales and deals than anything a physical copy could bring to the table.

I'm all for DRM, because I save way, WAY more money with DRM in place than without it.

Timesplitter142290d ago

He was saying DRM isn't such a bad thing

DARK WITNESS2290d ago (Edited 2290d ago )

except xbox live is not steam and there was no promise on MS part that having drm would mean we get 50% off prices.

infact ms pretty much confirmed that xbone games would cost the same as they currently do. if ms saw going digital as an opportunity for giving us cheaper games, why are they not doing that right now with the games that are currently available digitally?

Even when the games are on sale on xbox live, they are still more expensive then getting them second hand or on sale in the shops.

there is no reason MS could not have come out and said if you buy online the prices are going to be x cheaper then buying the hard copy.. but no, they didn't because they had no intention of doing that in the first place.

i don't know why people keep telling themselves that MS was going to do a steam but oh look you ruined it... dream on !

XboxFun2290d ago

You don't know that. You can't say MS didn't confirm or promise that games would be cheaper since the thing never even got off the ground.

I'm sure when Steam first launched there was also no promises of games being cheaper. It took time for the whole system to be established to where it is today.

And what would have happened if MS said the games would be cheaper and then they weren't? Then the internet and especially N4G would have exploded AGAIN about MS lying to everyone.

KonsoruMasuta2290d ago (Edited 2290d ago )

XboxFun, MS was never going to give you Steam like prices. Get over it.

DARK WITNESS2290d ago (Edited 2290d ago )

@ XboxFun

ahhh, I see, so I don't know that for sure, yet our friend above and the people who support DRM somehow do know that MS was definitely going to have great sales like steam and somehow it's our fault for complaining that they are not getting that... How convenient.

we could flip this either way we want, nobody knows for sure and that is the whole point ! MS should have made it clear when everyone was giving them flack over the drm issue, but they didn't.

in fact, the biggest fail over the whole xbo reveal was MS lack of clarity on so many issues.

Still, until MS prove me wrong I can only go on my past experience with them. 8 years on xboxlive and I have not seen them do sales on new digital releases or even old ones that is comparable to steam or the price I would get for a second hand hard copy. That is a fact.

DRM itself is not bad.. but in the light of what MS wanted to do with it, I found not reason to support it and I still don't see any reason to defend it.

KonsoruMasuta2290d ago

Steam was is better than what Xbox would have been. Steam is a service where you download games, so of course you need internet. But after you pay, you can play them offline. No 24 hr checks.

You can't compare Steam to the X1.

darthv722290d ago (Edited 2290d ago )

You couldnt before but now you can.

"Steam is a service where you download games, so of course you need internet." Just like XBO

"But after you pay, you can play them offline. No 24 hr checks." Again, just like XBO.

so the changes MS made just brought them closer to parity with the Steam service. The advantage Steam still has is in price and selection.

InTheZoneAC2290d ago

I went about 85% digital with ps3, as I have some games that aren't available for download.

When ps4 comes out the only physical disc I'll have will be madden as I get rid of it every year for the new one. I'll be looking for 2tb hdd's, if they even exist, as I've taken up nearly all of 1tb on my ps3 with games.

As for movies, I'll always buy physical...

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