Analysts say it's inevitable: at some point in the industry's future, all games will be in digital format. Physical media will die. It might take some time, but we're already starting to see evidence of the shift, and developers and publishers are supporting it.

As usual, it always comes down to a question of money. Developers have been complaining throughout the generation that games have become too expensive to make, and taking risks is ill-advised. At the same time, gamers continue to complain about the supposed high cost of games (the fact that a SNES cartridge cost $60 nearly 20 years ago doesn't seem to matter to such complainers), and publishers have made it plain that digital delivery is simply more efficient.

So if both the manufacturer and consumer gets things done for a cheaper cost, isn't that a good thing? It's a no-brainer for the game makers, but will gamers who value their physical, tangible game collections opt for a digital copy of a game if it's cheaper ? How much cheaper would it have to be? Of course, if we don't even have the option between digital and physical, this isn't even a question, anymore. But we should have the option for quite a while, right? What would you choose?

In my experience, people talk big about what they want, but the instant you save 'em a few bucks, they change their tune. It's a little depressing, but that's how things work.

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Oyashiro
Oyashiro
8 years ago

While I think digital should be cheaper then retail, my answer is still no. I am a die-hard collector.

Cpt_Geez
Cpt_Geez
8 years ago

Yeah I'm with you on this one the answer is still no.

ZettaiSeigi
ZettaiSeigi
8 years ago

Same here. I want the things I purchase to be tangible. Particularly if they've been like that since the get go. I wouldn't mind going digital for the portable games (like on the PSP) since they don't take long too long to download. But for PS3 games? I don't think so.

Qubex
Qubex
8 years ago

I hear you, but it is still tempting to be able to buy your games at 20% less than they currently are. Theoretically, with digital, companies could "virtualise" box art and additional content for an extra price. You would always be able to get to your content, the only difference is you would see the box in HD on a virtual shelf, and still be able to explore it virtually.

Gamers who have not spent the extra money, would simply get the game as the would normally. Idea is you could have a very nice virtual collection with all the trimmings.

I guess it will never be the same as actually owning the box itself right?

Q!

"play.experience.enjoy"


Last edited by Qubex on 11/5/2011 10:01:54 PM

manofchao5
manofchao5
8 years ago

unless its a 30% savings or higher it doesnt interest me

Excelsior1
Excelsior1
8 years ago

i don't buy the analyst predictions that the physical medium will ever completely die. publisher's would be ignoring a big chunk of the market in less developed areas. i also see little evidence that publishers would pass along the savings to gamers. in fact i think we would end up paying more. there would be less pressure to lower prices to move games off the shelves. publishers want this so bad. i would be surprised if some these analyst are in the pockets of some the big publishers. call me cynical.

i have bought some games on psn. they are on my hard drive. it's just not the same as looking at big gaming collection.

BIKERSAINT would probably have a stroke if we ever went to an all digital medium since he's an avid collector of games.

my answer is no.


Last edited by Excelsior1 on 11/4/2011 9:42:42 PM

Excelsior1
Excelsior1
8 years ago

edit:

i would NOT be surprised.

Axe99
Axe99
8 years ago

That'd be true if the games industry was monopolistic or oligopolistic, but it's actually highly competitive. If you look at all-digital services like Steam, there are frequent heavy discounts to encourage people to pick up games, and prices drop fairly quickly (often quicker than retail). The PSN has had similar things happen. If pubs/devs could set their own prices in the digital space come what may, then this wouldn't be happening.

LimitedVertigo
LimitedVertigo
8 years ago

YES.

Ever since Steam I see all the benefits to digital over physical. Especially since I seldom if ever resell my games.

bigrailer19
bigrailer19
8 years ago

Hard drive space isn't as big an issue for PC's as it is consoles. Especially the PS3 where you can't just swap out HDD's like a memory card, when you have to re-format any unfamiliar HDD. This may not be how future consoles are but as of right I don't want to spend any amount of money on a game only to have to delete it to clear space.

Ben Dutka PSXE
Ben Dutka PSXE
8 years ago

Yeah. I always knew PCers weren't real gamers. 😉

dmiitrie
dmiitrie
8 years ago

I'm right with you LV. I really can't fathom ever buying a physical copy of a pc game again. I also wish that Sony would start adopting some more of Steam's business model, specifically simultaneous releases!

LegendaryWolfeh
LegendaryWolfeh
8 years ago

Well, I would 'Never' buy a physical PC game again either, steam just makes it so easy. Though I would never want to ever buy a digital PS3 or any other console game. It just feels like I'm being too ripped off in that situation. And I like having my physical discs for it.

LimitedVertigo
LimitedVertigo
8 years ago

@bigtrailer

You can get a 1tb PS3 hard drive for under $100. I honestly don't get how people can complain about space when HDs are so cheap now. I see it as a bogus complaint to justify not downloading digital content.

bigrailer19
bigrailer19
8 years ago

Oh I'll download the hell outta stuff. I'm not complaining about space right now. But I would be if we were in this situation. I got plenty of games I've downloaded right now. My point is disc based games like GT5 and MGS4 just to name a couple for example are bound to take up huge amounts of space, add download times and it's just to much of a hassle. If I had to download each one of my games onto my machine, and I'm not a betting man, but it would probably take alot of HDD space. I say that with confidence because as of right now probably only 60-70 percent of my games are on my current PS3. My other PS3 died about 3 years ago along with all the other save files, because once again I couldn't take that HDD and throw it in my new PS3 with out reformatting. Anyways my 320 is almost full. If all my games were on one HDD I'd be willing to bet it would fill up a 500GB.

Now I would think it would most likely be more than double the HDD space, to download a digital copy of a game, than it does using the disc to install the same game. I could be wrong but indications say otherwise. Again I'm talking about consoles.

That's just games though. What about those who like to have music, movies and other forms of media on there consoles? There's a lot to this conversation.

I agree for PC's it's probably epic and great. For consoles though, it's not a very beneficial thing.


Last edited by bigrailer19 on 11/5/2011 1:12:03 AM

oldmike
oldmike
8 years ago

i like being to play a game the same day i pay for it
cant do that with any full size game downloaded

LimitedVertigo
LimitedVertigo
8 years ago

@big

I agree some games are massive and require a large amount of space (Rage requiring 25gigs) but as a whole I don't see a problem with space and my massive digital collection.

@oldmike

Steam allows you to download games days before they actually release and unlock them the day of release. I usually end up playing games sooner than my friends that pick them up at the store due to this. While they're on their way there or waiting for a delivery I already own and am playing the game.

LegendaryWolfeh
LegendaryWolfeh
8 years ago

Another thing about console gaming, if you've already filled up your hdd, the only way to get more space, is to buy another ps3 to either data transfer or use entirely new. Since sticking a hdd into a ps3, no matter when, will always force you to reformat the hdd before using.

bigrailer19
bigrailer19
8 years ago

Well like I said I see the benefits, especially in steam. I just can't helpy but wonder what I'd do if I ever ran out of space.

Rtk_13
Rtk_13
8 years ago

Find a friend who owns a external HDD with enough space to back up to it I did that when I still had my 60GB HDD while I swapped for my 500GB I'm not sure how the HDD needs to be formatted though doesn't the PS3 only recognise FAT32 storage devices?

Rtk_13
Rtk_13
8 years ago

yup only FAT32 just checked 😛

bigrailer19
bigrailer19
8 years ago

Thing is you can't back up alot of game data. Most of it has copyrights, so that eliminates the using an external HDD. That's only good for backing up data, not transferring full games, it doesn't work.

LimitedVertigo
LimitedVertigo
8 years ago

big,

I have my PS3 content backed up and while some of the data is protected I haven't had a problem with a majority of the data I have. So I think a majority isn't protected while a small amount is.

bigrailer19
bigrailer19
8 years ago

Limited,

Sorry yea your right. I re-read my paragraph and I mixed some things up. Yes probably very little data is copy right protected although some is. But what I was getting at is if you have an installed game, say something from the PSN your not backing up the install, just the saved data file. I've backed up my system 2x recently and only a few games of mine have copyrighted files, I believe RDR and Transformers: WfC for certain. Obviously I can't transfer my digital games, just the save data for them.

tes37
tes37
8 years ago

I know that eventually I'll have no choice in the matter, but I prefer physical copies. I feel bad for buying any digital games because I know I'm helping to bring about the demise of the game library sitting on my shelf.

gray_eagle
gray_eagle
8 years ago

physical copies for me, i can'nt keep buying digital games if my hdd is full.
going digital will just save money from shipping and putting the game on
a disc, but it wont be any cheaper creating a game.

cLoudou
cLoudou
8 years ago

While I prefer physical media, I would buy digital if it were significantly cheaper. Buying the physical copies for only select titles like exclusives.

Clamedeus
Clamedeus
8 years ago

The only problem I have with digital is massive downloads with some games. I don't mind having both physical and digital though, hopefully physical doesn't get phased out, which i think won't happen but anything can happen these days.

Kiryu
Kiryu
8 years ago

Yes i would!

Jawknee
Jawknee
8 years ago

No.

tes37
tes37
8 years ago

Killa Tequilla seems to think you're MIA.

Excelsior1
Excelsior1
8 years ago

jawk has been mia since the wii thread. even his 1 word reply here makes me think he is still a little mad. i could be wrong, but to be honest i would not blame him for being mad.

Jawknee
Jawknee
8 years ago

Ha, I'm over it. Just been busy with trade shows and getting ready to spend another month in California with the band coming this January. Lots of work to do before I go.

Oh and I have also been busy playing Starfox and Zelda on my new 3DS. 😉


Last edited by Jawknee on 11/5/2011 9:24:13 AM

Excelsior1
Excelsior1
8 years ago

nice. long live nintendo :).

telly
telly
8 years ago

@Jawk, any chance your band has a web site? My band is getting some recordings together now we'll be posting online pretty soon, pretty exciting!

Jawknee
Jawknee
8 years ago

Telly, we had a website but it is no more. We mostly use Facebook now. Look us up.

Hit the Switch.

Hit me up on PSN. I'd like to here more about your music.

PSN ID: Jawknee1

dkmrules
dkmrules
8 years ago

Where in California?


Last edited by dkmrules on 11/6/2011 11:27:33 PM

Jawknee
Jawknee
8 years ago

Riverside.

Willcome2Urf
Willcome2Urf
8 years ago

Yes, I would buy digital if it was cheaper. I'm not always playing every game I own, so I don't mind downloading/reinstalling titles to save harddrive space.

Also, games are so expensive to make. I hate seeing game developers go out of business because of poor sales. If games cost less, we can buy more games.Wouldn't games be cheaper to make? Then we could buy more games. Smaller studios can begin to make better games and stay in business. Cheaper games. More games to buy. Better variety of games. Everyone wins.


Last edited by Willcome2Urf on 11/4/2011 11:02:24 PM

TheCanadianGuy
TheCanadianGuy
8 years ago

absolutely not i'm old school.

Mr Bubbles IGR
Mr Bubbles IGR
8 years ago

I really enjoy my physical collection. The price difference would have to be more that $10-20 difference. And not until i know that if my hard drive crashes that i would still be able to recover/not-have-to-repurchase-everything, that was on it.

Solid state drives should be in every future game system that has digital media only. There are no moving parts, so it wont fail and its alot faster than standard hard drives. Which would allow for better download and install times.


Last edited by Mr Bubbles IGR on 11/4/2011 11:05:25 PM

Geobaldi
Geobaldi
8 years ago

I switched to digital maybe 4-5 years ago when I joined Steam. Since then I've sold off most of my physical collection, except for collector's editions, favorites, and so on. My Steam account now has 832 games, plus a few others on other digital distribution sites, and I maybe have around 100 or so physical games left.

SubjectiveTruth
SubjectiveTruth
8 years ago

It would have to be cheap enough to compensate for the extra data space I would have to pay for (HDDs or whatever it is in the future)and for the fact that I can't re sell it which is a big deal.

WTF happens if you don't like it?? This is a serious question. I fully expected to be blown away by Red Dead Redemption, I liked the first and I love GTA so why wouldn't I like it? So I bought it over some other game I can't remember. I ended up hating it and thank god I was able to sell it to a friend for 40 bucks.

So either digital games will some how have to be able to be refunded or developers will have to release demos that are long enough to represent enough of a game that you sure you wanna whip your credit card out. I'm sure we can all recall games that were awesome for the first couple stages and then got repetitive.

Also, what about people who have band width restrictions?

There is a lot to this and in my personal opinion I think physical media should be here to stay for anything that costs more than 20 bucks.

bigrailer19
bigrailer19
8 years ago

Digital should be far cheaper anyways and it's not. Ive noticed some games are releasing in stores and along side on the PSN and they are the same price, probably to keep sales on a median, but regardless.

I won't ever support all digital for two reasons. One I like my copies of games. Short n' sweet. Two, hard drive space is too limited. Especially with the PS3. You are literally limited to one HDD per PS3, as soon as you re-format a new HDD the old is out along with all the saves. I'm only using the PS3 as an example, to point out how restricted and limited all digital would be. I'm not one to buy a game then have to delete it so I can clear space to buy another. I can't imagine the size GT5 would be if it wasn't on a disc, and I further can't imagine how long it would take to download. The idea is insane, at least for consoles.


Last edited by bigrailer19 on 11/4/2011 11:38:26 PM

Warrior Poet
Warrior Poet
8 years ago

All the folks who like to spend $60 on new games every week would run out of hard drive space and stop buying games, that's what would happen 😛

Areas in the world with no or slow internet would be cut out, as well as people who just like collections.

As for me? I'll just stop buying consoles if everything goes digital. Heh.

79transam
79transam
8 years ago

I do not buy digital because it is the same price. It would need to be 15 bucks cheaper to get me to go digital

VampDeLeon
VampDeLeon
8 years ago

Music wise, of course. I can't seem to do that with games though since they hold way too much content to not be kept in a physical form.

JackDillinger89
JackDillinger89
8 years ago

No way jose. I always prefer physical media. This is why pspgo failed. Not to mention it would take ages to download games especially games like uncharted 3 with 50 gigs are you nuts that take a week to download. Were a long way from digital only media. I feel like i have no control over what i paid for. Physical media all the wayfor me till the day i die.

Russell Burrows
Russell Burrows
8 years ago

BD100 and BD200 blu ray discs for me.
And BD500 and BD1000 for more advanced games for me.

Digital? no thanks!! I have Infamous in digital and I am not pleased since I want a disc instead.

King_Krollen
King_Krollen
8 years ago

No, I would not ditch physical if digital were cheaper. If I pay for something I wanna be able to hold it in my grubby lil hands, not jus look at it. Besides, if something goes wonky, not only do you lose your game save you lose your game.