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Analysis European gamers wary of digital-only games consoles.

Eiknarf

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When you go back and forth between 3-4 games in one session, it's really nice not having to swap discs all the time. And the games are always there, no matter where you are. Options, nice to have them!
What about selling em?
Isn’t there a benefit to having physical media where if you no longer want the game you could sell it?

Ya can’t do that with digital only
 

Fbh

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I went almost fully digital this gen mostly due to price. I only buy physical when I buy $60 games because the price is the same, but retailers around here are terrible with sales and discounts so I end up buying a lot of digital stuff through sales or after price drops (which is when I buy the vast majority of games that I "own").
But the Switch has me appreciating physical media again both for its resell value (which is the only reason I buy a lot of Nintendo games) and being able to trade/borrow them from friends. This year money has been tight but I've played most big Switch releases just borrowing them from my (Nintendo fanboy) friends.

I'm not a fan of everything the EU does. But some of their moves regarding consumer rights are nice and I'd actually love to see a move from their part to try and improve the conditions of digital ownership, so it's at least slightly less of a glorified form of renting
 
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Lupin3

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What about selling em?
Isn’t there a benefit to having physical media where if you no longer want the game you could sell it?

Ya can’t do that with digital only

For me personally it isn't worth it. I hardly ever buy games for full price, and then there are games that never got a physical release anyway. There's nothing stopping me from getting the big games on disc/cartridge, but I made the choice to go digital only because of the convenience. Totally worth it to me.

My old physical collection from earlier generations is just stowed away, never to be used again.
 

Petrae

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If one of the platform-holders went digital-only, I could see some resistance. The key is for at least two of the three major players to do it in order for the transition to work. Another option is to have a digital-only SKU and a premium, more expensive SKU with a media drive/slot and let consumers decide if the added expense is worth it.

It’s also worth remembering that video game consumers are, in general, a weak-willed lot. Sure, they say that they’ll boycott or not buy something because of whatever controversy comes up, but this doesn’t often translate to reality. If platform-holders can sell consumers with strong games, it will be harder for them to push back and say “no”.

At some point, the video game industry will call consumers on their collective bluff. It won’t be this coming generation, but Gen10 could be very interesting indeed.
 
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Mr Nash

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I can see how some people view getting physical copies as owning something a little bit more. However, in this day and age, the way so many games still need various patch updates, people are only going to be able to own a game for so long before the servers that provided those updates disappear. So, ownership is still only temporary in that case as well.
 

Eiknarf

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If one of the platform-holders went digital-only, I could see some resistance. The key is for at least two of the three major players to do it in order for the transition to work. Another option is to have a digital-only SKU and a premium, more expensive SKU with a media drive/slot and let consumers decide if the added expense is worth it.

It’s also worth remembering that video game consumers are, in general, a weak-willed lot. Sure, they say that they’ll boycott or not buy something because of whatever controversy comes up, but this doesn’t often translate to reality. If platform-holders can sell consumers with strong games, it will be harder for them to push back and say “no”.

At some point, the video game industry will call consumers on their collective bluff. It won’t be this coming generation, but Gen10 could be very interesting indeed.
I guess if they get rid of the disc drives, the machines also wont be able to play everyone's blu-ray discs/movies...
Something to take into consideration.

Which group is more loyal to physical media:
MOVIE FANS
GAMERS
 

Quezacolt

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I can see how some people view getting physical copies as owning something a little bit more. However, in this day and age, the way so many games still need various patch updates, people are only going to be able to own a game for so long before the servers that provided those updates disappear. So, ownership is still only temporary in that case as well.
In that case the solution is simple, just dont give money to publishers that ship broken games at release. even if you go digital only, i bet that everyone hates having to download GB of patches constantly.
 
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Javthusiast

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I mostly get digital games nowadays, often on sale. If the servers go dead in the future and I lose all of them I personally won't give a damn. Most games I don't replay nowadays anymore. There is too much new stuff to consume and I can't keep up.

I pay for streaming services, like netflix, spotify, youtube premium. I pay to consume and don't own anything there already and as soon as my sub runs out I lose access. And yet I still haven't bought a movie to own it in years, because I don' t want to.

And I am actually tired of seeing all the blu rays and books etc. in my house that take up so much space and I haven't touched any of them in over 5 years, becaue as I said prior there is so much new stuff coming out daily, and I simply can rewatch stuff I already own on streaming services.

So as far as I am concerned full digital or not I don't give a damn, I know many do, but the future will be mostly digital with some physical stuff here and there.
 
D

Deleted member 740922

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My old physical collection from earlier generations is just stowed away, never to be used again.

Why not sell it then if it's never going to be used again? Make $1 and you've made more than you'd make from selling your digital collection.
 
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Mr Nash

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In that case the solution is simple, just dont give money to publishers that ship broken games at release. even if you go digital only, i bet that everyone hates having to download GB of patches constantly.

It's not just broken games, though. A lot of titles get new content added through patches as well through the lifetime of a game. In those situations, the owner would only retain the original version of the game, but wouldn't have access to subsequent side missions and extra goodies after the servers are taken out of commission.
 

Lupin3

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Why not sell it then if it's never going to be used again? Make $1 and you've made more than you'd make from selling your digital collection.

I've sold of plenty. The rest wouldn't be worth the hassle, and I'm gonna keep the gems for my kids so they can sell them (if they would want to) whenever they get old enough.
 

The_Mike

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What about selling em?
Isn’t there a benefit to having physical media where if you no longer want the game you could sell it?

Ya can’t do that with digital only

Being able to buy games from other region in some countries makes physical reselling worthless.

I can buy a game cheaper on the American Xbox Store than I could physical in my country, even if I decided to sell it later, it would still be cheaper to just buy on US store
 

DeepEnigma

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As soon as they add additional content download required to the disc you disc becomes virtually useless going forward.

The Crash Trilogy, Spyro, Cod MW they don’t give a fuck if you own the disc. You can’t play them without the required download.

I see a pattern there.
 

ROMhack

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What do you mean? Steam is one of the major reasons PC gaming lost its appeal here. Lots of people either quit gaming or made the switch to consoles. 10 years ago+, basically everyone had a desktop or laptop and was playing some kind of game. Consoles were an extra. Then those roles started becoming reversed. Even in the ten years since then, the new kids who unfortunately grew up with the likes of Steam, Origin etc still haven't replaced the people that left.

Dude, you are surely not arguing that Steam made PC gaming LESS popular.

The Steam platform is the largest digital distribution platform for PC gaming, estimated in 2013 to have 75% of the market space.[4] By 2017, users purchasing games through Steam totaled roughly US$4.3 billion, representing at least 18% of global PC game sales.[5] By 2019, the service had over a billion registered accounts with 90 million monthly active users.

—Wikipedia.


The convenience and overall ubiquity of Steam opened up PC gaming up to a huge new audience.
 
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ROMhack

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I mostly get digital games nowadays, often on sale. If the servers go dead in the future and I lose all of them I personally won't give a damn. Most games I don't replay nowadays anymore. There is too much new stuff to consume and I can't keep up.

I pay for streaming services, like netflix, spotify, youtube premium. I pay to consume and don't own anything there already and as soon as my sub runs out I lose access. And yet I still haven't bought a movie to own it in years, because I don' t want to.

And I am actually tired of seeing all the blu rays and books etc. in my house that take up so much space and I haven't touched any of them in over 5 years, becaue as I said prior there is so much new stuff coming out daily, and I simply can rewatch stuff I already own on streaming services.

So as far as I am concerned full digital or not I don't give a damn, I know many do, but the future will be mostly digital with some physical stuff here and there.

Same. I went through a lot of my blu-rays and DVDs at one point and threw away the boxes because they were taken up so much room (kept the best discs in those holder things).

It feels like a total burden to me to own so much — I feel more content limiting my choices so as not to suffer from analysis paralysis.
 
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cireza

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Doing 100% digital with Xbox, because I am bit more confident that my games will stay available and playable in the future.

0% confidence in Nintendo and Sony though.
 

PocoJoe

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Digital only is stupid, gives no choise.

Now people can be digital only if they want.

Digital games have about zero value so that is another thing.

Cant sell them, cant trade them, cant give them away = no value.

My personal opinion is that people whom pay full price for digital are little bit stupid(unless they are rich enough), instead of getting used physical or waiting for sale.

And digitals have no other benefits than no disc swap as modern consoles dont spin the disc while playing, after the install/boot sequence

Crazy how some even on this thread think that discs spin and making noise while gaming
 

Javthusiast

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I feel more content limiting my choices so as not to suffer from analysis paralysis.

That is a big problem for me, ironically even more so with digital, as if it wasn''t already years prior with my physical movie collection for example, cause now I truly spend minutes just sitting there deciding what to watch or play, only then to just go on youtube again and randomly watch recommended stuff or play Fortnite, because it's quick mindless fun. xD
 
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Eiknarf

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I used to love the smell of new game cases until I found out it was PVC offgassing and really toxic.

It was like finding out Father Christmas wasn't real all over again :messenger_loudly_crying:
That’s only one scent

the GOOD smell others might be talking about is the smell of the new print.

it was prevalent when ya opened up a new album on cassette, CD, and in games

I know. I was a mastering engineer at a cassette CD and DVD plant that made em
 

Paperboy

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Are consumers willing to pay as much for a digital product as a physical? Has there been any studies regarding this? I'm sceptical. It's customary for many to wait for the inevitable sale on Steam etc. You can always resell a physical copy and gain some of the money back (to spend on the next game). If you buy a digital game you're not satisfied with it's pure regret, which probably makes you less likely to take the same risk next time.
 
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Ma-Yuan

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Yep always online and digital only is a no go for me. If I want that there is already a solution buy a gaming PC and use steam.
 
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ROMhack

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That is a big problem for me, ironically even more so with digital, as if it wasn''t already years prior with my physical movie collection for example, cause now I truly spend minutes just sitting there deciding what to watch or play, only then to just go on youtube again and randomly watch recommended stuff or play Fortnite, because it's quick mindless fun. xD

That's true. I had an issue with going on the PSN store so much I disconnected the console from the net in order to make myself play the games I actually own.

The worst is books - the amount of times I walk into a book shop to browse new books is crazy. Also because bookshop girls are cute but that's a whole other story :messenger_beaming:
 
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ROMhack

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Are consumers willing to pay as much for a digital product as a physical? Has there been any studies regarding this? I'm sceptical. It's customary for many to wait for the inevitable sale on Steam etc. You can always resell a physical copy and gain some of the money back (to spend on the next game). If you buy a digital game you're not satisfied with it's pure regret, which probably makes you less likely to take the same risk next time.

Not sure but it's certainly growing. An example is the FIFA series which saw a shift from 20% to 25% of sales become digital over the space of one year (source via eurogamer).

I suspect that digital downloads are being kept at higher prices because publishers are eager not to totally piss off retailers, who are still a valuable source of advertising.
 
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Javthusiast

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I suspect that digital downloads are being kept at higher prices because publishers are eager not to totally piss off retailers, who are still a valuable source of advertising.

I hope this changes soon, cause it is unreasonable to expect same price for digital freshly released games, when they don't have to manufacture any cases and discs. More often than not I can get new games on release cheaper in physical form than the standard 69.99 digital price.
 
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TheSHEEEP

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I don't care about physical anymore. Except for games that I might for some reason have a personal connection to and want some keepsake.
I care about the games themselves, and they are the same no matter if they come on a disk or a download.

"But if Steam shuts down, you'll lose all your games!"
So what?
Those that I want to play again after that scenario, I'll simply buy again (at a MUCH lower price by then most likely).
Some extra cash for developers I don't mind supporting.
I don't have this false sense of ownership for digital goods. And make no mistake, a game on a disk is still very much digital. In contrast to truly physical goods, digital media has unlimited copies. You spend money to keep developers developing, not because disks are expensive to make. Bytes are bytes, how they end up on your device is irrelevant once they are there.
If you bought a disk or if you made a backup of a drive that has game X installed - all the same.

The only two advantages I see in disks is that
A) installations are faster - which only matters for those extremely large games (which I rarely play, I'm mostly into indie games).

B) you can use them if you have no internet - which didn't happen to me in the last 15 years for more than a few hours, maybe a day or two and I'm not planning to move to countries with messed up infrastructure.

I hope this changes soon, cause it is unreasonable to expect same price for digital freshly released games, when they don't have to manufacture any cases and discs. More often than not I can get new games on release cheaper in physical form than the standard 69.99 digital price.
You have to let go of that idea that cases and discs are expensive. They are not.
If you go to pages like https://www.discmakers.com or similar ones, you can see that even a typical Bluray in a wraparound, etc. is below 3$ when ordering 1000. You can bet that big publishers get much better deals than that.

Sure, collectors editions are different, but those really fall in the keepsake category I mentioned initially.
 
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FeldMonster

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I don't want digital only but.... MANY disk games are digital only anyway with necessary day one patches. It's ridiculous and shouldn't be aloud really. If I buy a washing machine I don't expect them to come fit half the parts when it is delivered.
When you invent a digital software washing machine, let us know.
 
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Sander Cohen

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Why it always has to be one or the other? I read those pros of digital-only from the OP and all I can that’s laughable.

“Keep up with the technology”? Bro, digital games are not new technology, you’re not extra cool by doing that.
Consoles are already small enough and I’m sure you can find space in your big European house.
Cheaper? Well, maybe, but if you’re willing to forfeit trading in your games and buying used it means you’re pretty well off financially so 50€ more or less in pricing wouldn’t even scratch you.
And no, I don’t care how many games you have, unless you buy every single release you won’t have problem with space. You’re not living in Hong Kong coffin homes after all.

So why would any consumer cheer for less buying options instead of more? You can go full digital if that’s convenient for you but don’t force your will on everyone else. I wouldn’t want physical-only world for you.

Problem is and will be if percentages continue to go up for digital and someone someday decides to pull the trigger and do the unthinkable.

I reckon many publishers loathe used games market and want it obliterated just as many governments want to eliminate cash so they can have full and total control over any transaction ever.

Yea, fuck that. And I’m pro-plastic. People forget that plastic made life easier for billions of people in the last 100 years. What would you want new consoles to be made of - wood?
 

FMXVII

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You don't get that new game smell with digital.

80% of that was the instruction booklet.

That's a long gone relic among days past.

I still remember the smell of Zelda 1's booklet (NES).

That was like a buffet of magic in itself.
 
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Are Europeans then against PC gaming, which for the past 10 years is 99% digital, with the occasional boxed disc of The Sims and Diablo 3?
 

FMXVII

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Are Europeans then against PC gaming, which for the past 10 years is 99% digital, with the occasional boxed disc of The Sims and Diablo 3?

I think they are down with it, provided they can resell their keys.

Also: Steam and GoG at least allow you to make backups. Like, literal physical ones even, if that's your bag (mine are just stored on a backup hard drive and a large flash).
 

dalekjay

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the main villain of the people who likes physical games is the day one patches and patches in general, someday the updates will not be live and the disc will be worthless to play...
 
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Lucumo

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Dude, you are surely not arguing that Steam made PC gaming LESS popular.

The Steam platform is the largest digital distribution platform for PC gaming, estimated in 2013 to have 75% of the market space.[4] By 2017, users purchasing games through Steam totaled roughly US$4.3 billion, representing at least 18% of global PC game sales.[5] By 2019, the service had over a billion registered accounts with 90 million monthly active users.

—Wikipedia.


The convenience and overall ubiquity of Steam opened up PC gaming up to a huge new audience.
So? For one, that 2013 estimation is obviously bs, unless they only looked at one specific market (like the American one). Second, you see that the sales number percentage-wise is about one would expect. The people playing games on PC via Steam is obviously lower than that. The "registered accounts" metrics is one that doesn't matter at all, for obvious reasons. MAU is more relevant and even then, it includes people using more than one account.
Anyway, even all the above is not relevant because I'm talking about the European market. The flood of Chinese users to Steam thanks to PUBG, for instance, has nothing to do with the shift away from PC around ten years ago which happened in Europe. And I'm not saying Steam made it less popular, I'm saying the shift to digital did here.
 
My old physical collection from earlier generations is just stowed away, never to be used again.
Yep I like the option to buy a disc copy but I still have lots of last Gen media wasting space.
In all honesty I would love a way to convert my discs to digital and dump them.
They take too much room and offer so little value
 
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Kenpachii

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This research is done for console players. And nothing else. Even while they talk a bit about PC and Mobile's they are not going indept into this at all and ignore these markets entirely because they are both 100% digital.

So basically most european players are digital only gamers by far.

Stop pulling PC and mobile as platform in there as arguments guys. PC and mobile are 100% digital.

Anyway,

Obviously people don't want digital only on consoles, because the the company's are a utter joke on there digital front. Nobody even knows at this point if there collection moves over towards the next box. And then the subscription playwall to even play your old games online, yea gg.

Totally useless research.


What do you mean? Steam is one of the major reasons PC gaming lost its appeal here. Lots of people either quit gaming or made the switch to consoles. 10 years ago+, basically everyone had a desktop or laptop and was playing some kind of game. Consoles were an extra. Then those roles started becoming reversed. Even in the ten years since then, the new kids who unfortunately grew up with the likes of Steam, Origin etc still haven't replaced the people that left.

v So people like this have no clue what they are talking about. PC gaming "more popular now than ever" makes no sense. Even with technically more people playing games in general than ever (which is natural, as people age and the gamers of the 80s still play these days), smartphones alone destroy that notion.

This is bullshit.

Everybody has a PC because they needed it to communicate with the outside or for work or for school etc. Telephones and tablets replaced that solution. So that market dissapeared for PC.

When digital store front wasn't a thing on PC, most devs jumped over towards consoles because single player department of gaming was dead on PC. PC moved towards online multiplayer games and most of these company's where stuck in there old ways and didn't wanted to shift over but instead keep making the same shitty single player games nobody cared for anybody on PC. And the ones that did care where hit by piracy heavily.

Also company's like sony and nintendo started to heavily invest into developers to bribe there titles ( microsoft also ) towards there platform in order to set it apart and make it sell which killed of this market entirely for PC or mostly. Digital shops however reversed this in the recent decade again.

PC gets pretty much all the single player games now, but also has a huge own library of games that all revolve around competition and online solutions. The biggest titles of the last decade are all PC titles and dwarf the console user base massively.

So what you saying here is complete bullshit.
 
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TimFL

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Been exclusively digital for this generation (and almost since forever on PC). Couldn't care less if next gen consoles drop physical as a whole, will never go to a retail store to buy a game ever again in my life. Pre-loading is just too convenient.
 
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Discusguy

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I’m only digital for sub $15 games on impulse. Other than that it’s mostly physical. Probably the reason I switched most of my gaming to the Switch this past year.
 

Hudo

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One of the peak moments in my life was when I came back from a school trip in 1999 (Wattwandern an der Nordsee, fucking exhausting as shit) and my mom bought me Command & Conquer: Tiberian Sun, which was in a classic bigbox, like the PC games were back then. I installed that fucker right away and played through it the whole night, only leaving my PC when I had to take a shit. Took the manual with me on the crapper and was reading all the unit descriptions and the backstories etc.

Digital can't give you that.

Also had a friend back then who was very much into flight sims. The manual for Falcon 4.0... I strongly believe you could actually really fly the F-16 Falcon after you've read it.
 
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