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Thread: Physical vs Digital

  1. #1
    Senior Member Jamesac68's Avatar
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    Physical vs Digital

    I like physical things. A game I own on disc is a game I actually own, and despite it being able to be updated with patches and such thanks to the magic of the internet connection, I can still pop it out in 20 years (long after any digital updates will have disappeared) and play it. I still need to get the Tokyo Jungle PSN collection so it can have a place of pride on my gaming shelf. Puppeteer, too.

    On the other hand, I look at my library of 400+ Steam games (many unplayed, but say there's 200 I'm really thrilled to own and would never get rid of) and that's a lot of physical space and disc weight I don't have to worry about. It's definitely got it's advantages. The incredibly low prices you can get a lot of games for during holiday, bundle, and Steam weekly sales also means I get to try stuff I'd never have paid for otherwise, especially if I had to think about bringing it home from the store. Hexcells/Hexcells Plus? Loved 'em both last week and I'd never have played them otherwise.

    There's a lot of "on the other hand" involved in the give and take between physical and digital gaming. Opinions?

  2. #2
    Senior Member zborgerd's Avatar
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    I don't own anything on Steam... At least I can't remember if I do. I know I've looked through it a few times, but Steam on Linux has a much slimmer library than on Windows.

    Most of my physical game library is still unplayed, or simply played very little. Back in the PS1 and Dreamcast days I'd open up every game and play for at least 10 minutes. Probably would have been better left sealed. Now I only open when it's time to play a game. That said, I love most of the games in my collection. Practically no sports titles or shovelware, outside of something like the 2k Sports games that came with my LE Dreamcast or Wii Play which I only got for the pack-in remote.

    I've almost fallen into the "It's only a dollar!" trap on Steam. Then I think about how I dislike digital game releases and tend to walk away. I will have a few Steam releases through Kickstarter soon, but otherwise I tend to ignore digital stuff outside of a handful of Wii / 3DS / PSP games.

  3. #3
    Senior Member storino03's Avatar
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    I have dabbled a bit with Playstation Store titles (not just ones exclusive on there), and the only thing that keeps getting me are storage space and limitation. My PS3 only has 120GB and I bought Deadly Premonition Ultimate Edition (which has all the DLC) for $5 on PSN a few days ago and it was nearly 12GB. I had to delete a few things to fit.

    Sure, you could always upgrade the HDD, but I just don't like digital media. The time it takes to download and the file sizes are what I hate.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Gypsy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zborgerd View Post
    I've almost fallen into the "It's only a dollar!" trap on Steam. Then I think about how I dislike digital game releases and tend to walk away. I will have a few Steam releases through Kickstarter soon, but otherwise I tend to ignore digital stuff outside of a handful of Wii / 3DS / PSP games.
    In the end it's a dollar for a game you will probably never play and can't get rid of. I think Steam sales are mostly overblown anyway.
    Bad media connoisseur and frequent avatar changer.

  5. #5
    Senior Member JWiley_12's Avatar
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    I got Torchlight 1 and 2 digital through Steam first for next to nothing. Liked the games and got the physical releases afterwards (yes, they both got physical releases!). In short: in most cases I go for physical releases.

    I really only resort to digital if
    (a) there is no physical release
    (b) the physical release is WAY too expensive, and the digital release is super cheap. But then I might still end up getting the physical one if it gets cheaper.
    (c) I have my doubts about how good the game is, but it's super cheap like 'Humble Bundle cheap'. So I own quite a bit of digital games that I'm vaguely interested in, but might end up never playing.

    Sometimes I double dip for convenience. E.g. I own physical copies of Baldur's Gate and Baldur's Gate 2, but I got super cheap digital copies because you don't have to swap game discs when playing those. :-)
    Last edited by JWiley_12; 09-14-2014 at 01:42 PM.

  6. #6
    Senior Member almighty's Avatar
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    I only get digital to show my support to companies like Ghostlight so that they keep releasing Elminage and other DC games get here eventually, and at the low price they have it at, to me it's a no-brainer. I'm not a fan of brawlers but due to the fanservice in Akiba's Trip 2 and Senran Kagura being physical, shelled out for them as well even though I plan on keeping them sealed. If they were only made as digital, I would not have bought them. I also don't see myself ever paying $60 for a digital download, not even if it was an FF game, nor would I bother showing support to any company that does this. And if I really want that game, I'll wait until it's on sale for 80% off or such.

  7. #7
    Senior Member banditwolf's Avatar
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    I only like physical games.
    The only digital I have were free except for CoH2 (which came with the physical & LoD I grabbed for 99 cents even though I have I the original)
    Digital only games I guess I'd consider getting if they were cheap enough.

  8. #8
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    I very much prefer physical as well.

    Though Steam, GoG, Gamefly, all seem to be going nowhere, eventually they will all go away. At that point, you don't have access to any of the games that you got through them. Assuming I could find one, I could play any Commodore 64 game that I still have the disks for. I take good enough care with my games that the hardware will fail long before the software will. The only real issue with physical media nowadays is the early generation consoles used cartridges, with batteries inside. My Shining Force cartridge's battery died years ago, and now the only way I can keep a save on it is to leave it plugged in to the Genesis.

    You can't easily lend someone a digital game. You can't easily display your collection of digital games. To hell with reselling, I don't do that anyway; I hold on to my games. I'm not about to have a series of hard drives on my shelf holding all of the digital games I downloaded for my PS3, PS4.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Fabrizo1's Avatar
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    I buy physical almost exclusively, and wont even consider buying a digital game if it's more then $10 (and even that price is a exception among exceptions). Most of the digital titles I've bought were PSP minis.
    As someone else put it in another thread; 'buying digital feels like buying air' to me. If I buy a digital game it's because I want to play it right then and there, but otherwise I have no interest in 'collecting air'.
    Last edited by Fabrizo1; 09-14-2014 at 02:45 PM.

  10. #10
    Digital is fine to me, the game is the same, it takes up less shelf space, and I get the same experience. Most companies are skimpy with manuals and box art as well, so it doesn't bother me. Digital also really helps smaller companies put out more niche titles, so I am all for it.

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