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62% of all full PlayStation game sales were digital in 2020

How often do you buy physical copies ?

  • All my games

    Votes: 51 22.8%
  • Most of my games

    Votes: 68 30.4%
  • 50/50

    Votes: 31 13.8%
  • I buy some physical, but mostly digital

    Votes: 29 12.9%
  • I only buy digital games

    Votes: 45 20.1%

  • Total voters
    224
  • Poll closed .

Arkam

Member
Jan 21, 2012
4,934
4,915
840
Here, Now and maybe later
I went 100% digital in 2020. Normally I buy physical copies of entries in my favorite series.... but not with CoVID. I wonder if my habits will return or if I am now going to be comfortable going all digital hence forth.
 

Zoro7

Member
Sep 15, 2013
1,736
6,093
690
I usually prefer buying physical as I don’t keep games and will sell once I’m done with it.
 

Tchu-Espresso

likes mayo on everthing and can't dance
Apr 14, 2006
4,611
1,357
1,700
The only digital games I buy are heavily discounted. Their prices are insane otherwise.
 

InDaGulag

Member
Oct 9, 2020
350
604
295
The Other Place
Haven’t bought physical games in years, besides 3 Switch games. Digital is do much more convenient and you can store hundreds of games on one hard drive. No need for an entire shelf.
 

Duchess

Member
Oct 2, 2020
331
594
315
I'd be more willing to buy digital games if there was a way to sell them.

So, for example, I could put my digital copy of RDR2 up for sale on PSN (for less than the "new" price). Someone else buys it, and the game is transferred to their account. I receive the money, but Sony scrapes off 3% or something. Maybe the sort of thing that only works on paper, though?
 

TKOFromTokyo

Member
Jul 20, 2020
2,771
5,592
565
I physically buy all my games digitally (I use physical methods, such as mouse clicks and button presses)
sarcastic george costanza GIF
 
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Bo_Hazem

Gold Dealer
Feb 10, 2020
14,422
69,266
965
35
Salalah, Oman
I've been only digital since late 2014. It's more convenient as I use a US account so no worries about DLC compatibility with our region 2 discs.
 

ReBurn

Member
Dec 6, 2008
12,312
2,894
1,240
SC USA
Of course digital was already getting more and more sales but it was nothing like it was in 2020 due to the pandemic.

Yes deliveries continued but due to work overload in many cases someone had to wait even for a month in order to receive what they bought. This forced a lot of people to buy digital even if they were the most hardcore supporters of physical (like me for example).I bought FFVIIR digital on day 1 because i didn't want to wait for a month to get it.

For the same reason a lot of parents who were hesitant to put their card details in theirr kids console were forced to buy their kids games digitally.
Longer delivery times did not force people to buy digital. People chose to buy digital because, like you said, they didn't want to wait. And that's the reason digital is rising the way it is. People don't want to wait and with digital they can have what they want when they want it.

Parents are't forced to put credit card info into consoles, either. I can see why they would be hesitant, though, considering Sony's track record with data security. It's still possible to buy PlayStation store credit digitally with instant delivery from Amazon and other retailers and store credit is still available at retail. Sony is the only platform holder that refuses to allow digital game sales anywhere but through their own store. Which makes it interesting that digital sales jumped like they did considering how Sony limits the ability of people to purchase digital games. But it does get people to overspend on store credit I guess.
 
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Zambatoh

Member
Feb 1, 2014
1,445
382
610
Florida
I prefer physical, but I no longer have the luxury of doing so. I don't physically have the space for it anymore.
As such I'm more reliant on a small USB hard drive to hold all my games. And now like 90% of my library is digital.
 
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MiguelItUp

Member
Feb 24, 2015
6,420
5,440
800
Most of my games. Honestly, with console games it's usually always physical.

I figured this number is so high because of the pandemic and the want for immediate gratification.

Growing up with consoles where games were only physical, I've just always loved the idea of consoles continuing to have physical games. It's a distinguishable trait between PC and console, especially these days since physical PC games are practically rare. Plus with physical you can let friends/family borrow the game, or even sell it. With digital you're basically screwed.

Not to mention if I'm paying full price for a game, I'd much rather have a physical copy to call my own than a digital one. I feel like you're getting more bang for your buck.

In a world where there's no price difference between physical and digital, I'd always go physical over digital. If digital was $15-$20 bucks cheaper, then I'd probably be swayed. At least for some titles.
 
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sn0man

Member
Nov 23, 2013
1,327
881
620
It’s a simple flowchart for how to buy:

Is it a console exclusive or does it have strong single-screen multiplayer modes? I buy a physical release for console.

else

I buy a digital copy on PC, the definitive platform for graphics.

Step2: if physical, does the game have awesome graphics? If so buy for PS4/5. If not buy for Switch.

(The problem becomes, is it a fun 2d game that makes me feel like a little kid even though it’s single player. (E.g., Bloodstained Curse of the moon) I probably cave in and buy a physical Switch release.) stupid flowchart!
 
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laynelane

Member
Aug 21, 2019
270
369
280
Meh, even without a pandemic a large portion of physical sales are completed by mail

Yeah, sadly, I've seen more and more video game stores close in my city. Convenience and better prices online for physical were a big part of it (ie. Amazon).
 
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dcx4610

Member
Dec 4, 2012
3,198
453
685
Remember when everyone got bent of shape (and rightfully so) that Microsoft wanted to make the Xbox One digital only, let you sell used games and have it always connected to the internet? Fast forward a few years and people are willing doing what Microsoft had envisioned. Convenience is all people care about these days.
 

memphistora

Neo Member
Apr 8, 2020
15
6
110
i have gone full digital for ps4 and cant be happier.
Its like a gamin jukebox where i can switch games without moving my ass.

digital game sales helps as well.
 

Hatsuma

Member
Mar 7, 2020
207
242
205
I am 60/40 physical to digital. I don't mind moving to swap discs. It's surprising they went to design more physical than digital ps5s, despite it benefiting them much more. I'm curious of the direct disparity game by game.
 

Dthomp

Member
Sep 17, 2005
4,190
2,369
1,885
Somewhere Cold
Mostly physical, outside of a good PSN sale (Which is rare these days..or I own too much) or the game is a GaaS or Sport title that I will play 600+ hours of cause I don't want to burn out a disc drive removing discs for that much gameplay since I play other stuff alongside it.
 

truth411

Member
May 19, 2014
2,073
895
530
Heres the deal, if im buying Day 1, I will buy it Digital (theres no difference) like Returnal and RatchetnClank. If im not buying day 1 and the game been out for awhile, I will get the physical copy which is ALWAYS cheaper than digital play it, and when im done, give it to my nephews or friends. Thats the benefit of physical copies, Freedom/true ownership to get the game cheaper and resale or give the game to friends/family. But if its a game you really really want day 1 (or before any price drop) and your going to keep it. Then Digital has the advantage since there is no price difference and you can log into any console and have access to your digital library anywhere there is an internet connection.
 
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Reality Czar

Banned
Feb 16, 2021
1,913
4,069
385
Lol at everyone ignoring that we had a global pandemic last year. I think that has something to do with people buying a lot of digital games. ITT saying “This proves people want digital” yeah when you lock everyone in their houses and shut down the stores no shit they will buy digital.
 
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JLB

Member
Dec 6, 2018
2,592
3,539
465
You people must hate money.

On console its always physical and generally resell once bored or game is finished.

Doing this way makes it not that expensive to own all consoles.

Or people dont care enough for the pain of switching discs, and be covered of kids destroying things at home, etc
 
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ethomaz

is mad because DF didn't do a video on a video of a video of a video on PS5
Mar 19, 2013
39,605
39,356
1,310
38
Brazil
COVID-19 did double the digital proportion.
It is like we moved some years in the future with the physical x digital relationship.
 
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Stuart360

Member
Sep 9, 2018
8,458
19,979
675
Lol at everyone ignoring that we had a global pandemic last year. I think that has something to do with people buying a lot of digital games. ITT saying “This proves people want digital” yeah when you lock everyone in their houses and shut down the stores no shit they will buy digital.
Nah get your head out of the sand. It was heading this way anyway, Covid just hasted the inevitable.
Dont be surprised if PS6 is digital only.
 
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May 8, 2019
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Lol at everyone ignoring that we had a global pandemic last year. I think that has something to do with people buying a lot of digital games. ITT saying “This proves people want digital” yeah when you lock everyone in their houses and shut down the stores no shit they will buy digital.
The pandemic didn't slow down Amazon's fleet of delivery drivers.
 

lachesis

Member
Jun 17, 2004
3,824
1,079
1,665
Sony and Nintendo - 100% physical, unless super discounted on a sale.
PC/Xbox - 100% digital.
 

Plantoid

Member
Oct 5, 2020
273
590
300
Since I came from PC to console I can't fathom the fact that I need to manually put a disc to play a game, 100% digital here
 

Sushen

Member
Aug 24, 2007
2,368
133
1,200
I buy digital games if I intend to keep, whereas disc if I'm unsure or intend to finish it and sell it. If heavy discount kicks in, I can bend my rule.
 

Andodalf

Member
Oct 20, 2013
5,594
8,287
885
23
Earth
Sales on digital games have gotten better over the years, and It's hard to go back when you've had the convince of Digital.


Why buy a disk copy of Immortals Phoenix rising for 5$ less at launch when I can buy it 4 months later for half off and have it in my xbox library forever, even on future diskless consoles?
 

Sushen

Member
Aug 24, 2007
2,368
133
1,200
Nah get your head out of the sand. It was heading this way anyway, Covid just hasted the inevitable.
Dont be surprised if PS6 is digital only.
PS6 can be digital only for sure but I need a way to play my old games without keeping old systems.
 

Hydelol

Member
May 31, 2020
63
88
195
Well, what do you expect? When in Germany for example stores are closed and most casual console gamers buy their games usually at stores. Right now (I don't keep up with the rules) all stores in my town of about 150k people are closed.
 

Fox Mulder

Member
Jul 1, 2009
18,741
2,304
1,100
Greensboro, NC
Lol at everyone ignoring that we had a global pandemic last year. I think that has something to do with people buying a lot of digital games. ITT saying “This proves people want digital” yeah when you lock everyone in their houses and shut down the stores no shit they will buy digital.

Amazon hit record sales all year, being locked inside hasn’t stopped anyone from getting things like physical games if they want them. Digital sales were already growing for years.
 
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Jul 23, 2018
678
1,037
365
I mostly buy digital since the PS4/Xbox one launched....

I don't sell my games and I don't like having a bunch of cases laying around so that's why I made the move to all digital. Also with the constant sales from the PS and Xbox stores you can pretty much get most games for the same price as a used copy.
 

DrAspirino

Member
Nov 19, 2018
614
772
480
Chile
Physical is kind of pointless in these days and age. Sure, you can buy the disc, but that's it. There's no manual, no art, no "insert and play", nothing of what truly the physical format was.

Heck, even the disc doesn't do much these days, since you can't play it immediately after inserting it into the console (you have to wait for it to install), and then you have to download the day-1 patches, leaving the disc into a state of pretty much just a key to software. A "bulky" key I might add (compared to other devices that work as keys as well, like usb drives).
 

dvdvideo

Member
Sep 15, 2005
2,017
1,910
1,680
You people must hate money.

On console its always physical and generally resell once bored or game is finished.

Doing this way makes it not that expensive to own all consoles.

Or just get gamepass, buy digital games after a few months when on sale, likely cheaper than your physical methods. You must hate money......and convenience........and the ability to play the same game on 2 consoles at once........
 
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Topher

Gold Member
Sep 25, 2020
1,055
3,062
490
Atlanta, Georgia, USA
Or just get gamepass, buy digital games after a few months when on sale, likely cheaper than your physical methods. You must hate money......and convenience........and the ability to play the same game on 2 consoles at once........

That's fine unless the game you want isn't on Game Pass, which is the case for most.
 

Kagey K

Member
Dec 18, 2013
10,403
14,952
995
Makes all the #physicalonly #cancelgamepass tweets look even stupider than they already did.

DO as I SAY. not as I do.

Fucking hypocrites.
 

Sidesalad

Neo Member
Apr 28, 2015
33
38
455
"While COVID-19 and the global pandemic led to many highstreet retailers closing in a number of countries, there were many other avenues which players could buy physical disks, such as e-commerce."

That logic seems a bit flawed. Many people didn't go to BestBuy or GameStop to buy games because they were afraid to go anywhere. Plus, when your stuck at home and want to play a game, why would you buy a physical copy online when you can play digitally within a few hours?

Once I can actually walk into Bestbuy without fear of getting my family sick, I will not be making many digital purchases at all.

Honestly, from a statistical perspective, all the sales numbers for 2020 and 2021 should have a huge asterisk next to them.