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Is there any point to having physical game releases anymore?

Humdinger

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Apr 21, 2010
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I used to be a staunch supporter of physical discs, but over time, I've defaulted to digital more and more. The main thing is, it's more convenient. I don't have to wait for my game to arrive. I don't have to go out shopping for it. I don't have to load the disc into the machine, unload it, or change discs when I want to play something different. I know this sounds like small peanuts, and it is, but I prefer the convenience of it.

I used to like physical discs because they would come with manuals, which I'd enjoy reading in bed, preparing for the game. They don't include that anymore. You just get a disc in an empty case, with some promotional flyers or whatever. Meh. The manuals are online now, which doesn't feel the same. So the physical disc has lost a lot of its charm.

With digital, the gaming companies get more profit. That's okay with me. I'd rather the money go to the publishers and developers, rather than to the physical distribution process itself.

The only real reason I have to buy physical is for the resale value -- for the option of selling a game if I don't like it or if I think I'll never return to it. After gaming for a couple decades, though, I have a pretty good sense of what I'll like, so I rarely end up with a game I don't.

Most of the time, reselling a game isn't worth my time anyhow. Most games I buy game are around $30 or $40. If I decide to resell them a few months later, I have to spend time creating the listing, attending to the sale, packaging and mailing it off. For my efforts, I recoup maybe $10 or $15 -- whoop dee doo. So in most cases, it's not worth the effort to resell anyway, at least not for me.
 
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Evil Calvin

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Resale value, deeper discounts, and more options to purchase games. Not to mention the ability to display your games and not having to worry about online stores closing.
True. Just using Apple IPhone as an example (I know there are no physical games but talking about buying digital games). I have spent so much money on games on older phones and often when I went to download them on a newer phone they say it isn't compatible with the new version of IOS and deveoper hasn't updated the game. So basically I am shit out of luck. Physical games you at least have the base game (except for online and MP games). MOST games are on the disc. But yes, developers and publishers are getting lazy and releasing huge patches.

Also it's seeming to be a trend that physical copies are not being available at launch. They want to reap a bigger cut with digital sales and then have the physical sales later. May get duplicate sales too.
 
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Aug 26, 2018
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I still prefer physical but slowly im moving towards digital mainly due to convenience. Simply after some years I move or even move countries due to work so I just want to keep it simple because at the moment I don't have my own "den" that I know i can just stack and build for 10+ years. Packign all this stuff and then depending where, explaining to customs that Im not bringing in these to sell but are actually my own collection etc is a pain in the ass time.
 
Mar 16, 2014
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I bought Deathloop at launch for £42.49 on disc.

I completed it.

I sold it today for £42.

Enough said about why I prefer physical media over digital.
Here in America there’s a store called Game Stop where if you buy the game used, you have 7 days to return it for full refund. You can basically use it as a rental service and if you can beat the game in 7 days then bonus.
 
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rolandss

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Another daft thread saying “how good is digital, discs suck!”, ignoring that digital distribution on PSN and Xbox stores entrench a retail monopoly for your console of choice and guarantee increased prices. In Australia, new releases on PSN are routinely $10-$30 more than physical disc copies, and they stay more expensive than disc copies longer. I prefer having both options of physical and digital. Drives prices down.
 

Armorian

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Jan 17, 2018
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Physical games = more noise, more heat, slower load times, the annoyance of changing the disc...

No point.

LOL

With horrible next gen prices there is no other way than go physical with PS5 other than some massive sales on PSN (but you don't know when game you want to play will be on them).



339 PLN (~86$)

I bought brand new copy for 170 PLN... and will sell it for around the same.
 

Esppiral

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Nov 19, 2018
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Nintendo physical games is a must, especially 1st party!
The second hand value is off the charts compared to ps and xbox games.
Thats because they rarely if ever, discount their games, nothing to do with quality.
 
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Matt_Fox

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Jul 24, 2019
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the annoyance of changing the disc...

There are many reasons why digital will inevitably replace physical but this simple one may be the most telling.

Having to get up to change a disc will one day be seen in the same way as having to get up to change a TV channel prior to remote controls.
 

YeulEmeralda

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Aug 8, 2020
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II'm going for a more minimalist approach in my new flat. Every year I'm doing a big cleaning and throw a bunch of stuff out. Reminds me of my consumerist lifestyle. Oh yeah here's that thing that I bought and only used once or twice.


The days of an entire bookcase of vidya are over.
 

junguler

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Sep 1, 2019
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the best point is how expensive it is to buy internet in my country and how normal it is to only have 80 to 100 GB of data usage per month, if you are living somewhere were it's dirt cheap to buy blazing fast internet and in many cases there are no restrictions on data usage i can see why the convenience of digital only is appealing to you but not everyone is fortunate enough to live in these conditions.
 
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Claus Grimhildyr

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Jan 30, 2018
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Physical games = more noise, more heat, slower load times, the annoyance of changing the disc...

No point.

Noise isn't much of an issue unless you console has heating problems after the first few seconds.

Slower Load times is not true. Neither is more heat.

Changing a disk takes literally 2-3 seconds, unless you have some sort of physical disability in which case it may take 10 to 20 seconds.
 

ReBurn

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Dec 6, 2008
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If people still like physical then it's good they still have the option to buy them. I'm not interested in the clutter any more but that's just me.
 
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Rhazer Fusion

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When I look at things like 5 year old games still being sold on the digital stores at full retail price and I see them for a few dollars with physical, I don’t know people can ridicule physical and praise digital. But, but, but, but, but it’s convenient!!!!
 
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bronk

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May 17, 2013
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No there is not.

/thread

I went all digital last gen already, only exceptions were a couple bargains I got in physical, other than that digital is way more convenient.
Pshhh. Get stuck with your trash digital games as I flip mine.
 

GasTheWeebs

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Aug 20, 2021
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When I look at things like 5 year old games still being sold on the digital stores at full retail price and I see them for a few dollars with physical, I don’t know people can ridicule physical and praise digital. But, but, but, but, but it’s convenient!!!!
That's a console exclusive problem
 

zokie

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Aug 4, 2005
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since C19 , i mostly gone digital but i will wait for digital sales
and i need to spend $ for shipping cos i live overseas ( cutting costs if its physical )

But if i see a brand new copy DQXI S below $20 , i dun mind buying it cos digital 50% off is very rare from NOA ( 30% off maximum )
 
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Gamezone

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Nov 2, 2014
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I want there to be a point, but you have to be online to even activate some physical games, so the preservation is rubbish at best.
 
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theclaw135

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The heavy-handed part is that Sony and Microsoft now force installation. Developers are prohibited from deciding for themselves whether letting the game run from the disc is viable.
 

Rumpleforeskin

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Oct 16, 2020
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I still buy many games as physical copies, but i've grown wise to the massive pitfalls of it. "Physical forever!" people are fooling themselves.

Now, nothing beats having a library of games on a shelf that you can point to and say "this is my games collection". It's an irreplaceable feeling of ownership and quite nostalgic to browse the spines of all my game cases. It makes me want to pick something, take the disc out and play it, much more than clicking an icon in a digital library ever will.

There are also obvious advantages like being able to sell crap you no longer want. You aren't sidled with a physical game like you are digitally. And I guess you can lend games to people (but who the fuck really wants to do that - every single time i've gotten them back, it's 6 months late and scratched to fuck).

But the big negatives of physical are that in the event of a home disaster, you're collection can literally go up in smoke. I bought a shitload of Limited Run Games releases on Switch, yet I don't dare let them leave the house in case I lose half my collection in a single robbery. It ends up defeating the whole point of the Switch's portability. Whereas if a digital player were robbed, they could just get a new Switch and re-download their entire library in the same afternoon, at no extra cost.

I also have a disdain for these companies like Limited Run Games and the marketplace health in general. Outside of the special editions, LRG releases are painfully barebones for the money. Imagine paying inflated AAA prices for an indie game that goes for $10 on the eShop. Don't forget to also add on the extortionate shipping costs and a 9 month delay. Then you get the game and it's just a basic bitch plastic case with no manual and questionable cover art. I stopped supporting 'limited run' shit years ago when I realised what a waste it was.

The retro game market is also in a bubble right now, so older physical games are going for 2-3x the amount they went for just 5 years ago. I'd like to collect a few classics, but it's getting prohibitively expensive. Throw in disc aging issues and i'm being pushed into digital more and more. Why pay $175 for a copy of Symphony of the Night which will succumb to disc rot in a few years, when for the same price you can just get an SD card, an XStation ODE mod and throw the entire library of PS1 ROMs on it?

That's the convenience of digital too. The Xbox's quick resume feature was brought up in another thread, letting you switch between multiple games seamlessly in just a couple of seconds. You really only get the full benefit of that innovation with an all digital library, because otherwise you still have to get up and swap the disc. Not exactly 'quick' any more.
 
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Impotaku

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Jul 26, 2014
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I still buy many games as physical copies, but i've grown wise to the massive pitfalls of it. "Physical forever!" people are fooling themselves.

Now, nothing beats having a library of games on a shelf that you can point to and say "this is my games collection". It's an irreplaceable feeling of ownership and quite nostalgic to browse the spines of all my game cases. It makes me want to pick something, take the disc out and play it, much more than clicking an icon in a digital library ever will.

There are also obvious advantages like being able to sell crap you no longer want. You aren't sidled with a physical game like you are digitally. And I guess you can lend games to people (but who the fuck really wants to do that - every single time i've gotten them back, it's 6 months late and scratched to fuck).

But the big negatives of physical are that in the event of a home disaster, you're collection can literally go up in smoke. I bought a shitload of Limited Run Games releases on Switch, yet I don't dare let them leave the house in case I lose half my collection in a single robbery. It ends up defeating the whole point of the Switch's portability. Whereas if a digital player were robbed, they could just get a new Switch and re-download their entire library in the same afternoon, at no extra cost.

I also have a disdain for these companies like Limited Run Games and the marketplace health in general. Outside of the special editions, LRG releases are painfully barebones for the money. Imagine paying inflated AAA prices for an indie game that goes for $10 on the eShop. Don't forget to also add on the extortionate shipping costs and a 9 month delay. Then you get the game and it's just a basic bitch plastic case with no manual and questionable cover art. I stopped supporting 'limited run' shit years ago when I realised what a waste it was.

The retro game market is also in a bubble right now, so older physical games are going for 2-3x the amount they went for just 5 years ago. I'd like to collect a few classics, but it's getting prohibitively expensive. Throw in disc aging issues and i'm being pushed into digital more and more. Why pay $175 for a copy of Symphony of the Night which will succumb to disc rot in a few years, when for the same price you can just get an SD card, an XStation ODE mod and throw the entire library of PS1 ROMs on it?

That's the convenience of digital too. The Xbox's quick resume feature was brought up in another thread, letting you switch between multiple games seamlessly in just a couple of seconds. You really only get the full benefit of that innovation with an all digital library, because otherwise you still have to get up and swap the disc. Not exactly 'quick' any more.

Digital is no safer than physical, a power surge can just as easily wipe out your entire games collection if the HD gets fried. Peoples accounts can be compromised & then you have to battle with customer support in hopes that they will restore your purchases to a new console if you for example got robbed of your switch chances are they'd only get a few carts with it, if you went all digital they have your whole collection & also your system so you are gonna have a fun time trying to convince nintendo it's your machine unless you remembered that serial number off the console. There have been threads on here in the past where people got fucked over by customer support because they got their PSN/Xbox/Nintendo accounts hacked & they ended up losing their accounts because they fucked up in proving ownership or remembering the details they set it up with. I'll take my chances with physical as i have robust house insurance if the worst ever happened.

As for limited run type stuff it depends on why you buy them some people are buying them to speculate which i doubt was their intended reason for releasing these games but scalpers gonna scalp, all of the games are available digitally for cheap so it's not like anyone is been denied access. Eventually the eshop for switch will be shut down and then a lot of games will vanish unless you already have it on your machine or you resort to piracy. I have a handful of limited style physical games of indie stuff that i really enjoy and i own digitally and i don't like the idea that one day they can totally vanish if my machine craps out & i can no longer get it from my account so i bought them in physical form as a backup as they are reasonably cheap. Unless i'm a huge fan of a certain title i don't go for the bloated super expensive full of tat editions unless it's a game i REALLY love. as for barebones releases not always true some of the the limited style release stuff has had way better presentation compared to normal physical hell some even come with full colour manuals something that a LOT of games no longer have.

Agree on retro, grew up before gaming was even a thing so i have been fortunate to pick up everything when it was retail for a lot of the machines i have owned over the years but yeah the market is fucked for anyone unfortunate to have been born way too late however stuff like disk rot is way overblown. In the 1000+ games i own i have exactly zero games that have been affected by this problem. I guess if you live in some hellishly hot or cold country then the risks go up but all of my stuff has been looked after as i never treat my games as disposible throw away entertainment they cost me a lot so i kept them in a temp stable environment. The only risk i have is with save files batteries die, thanfully i have a multitude of save extraction hardware to back up saves from all my physical collection as some of those saves & the free dlc data is now irreplaceable stuff like the DS dlc as the wifi servers are long gone.

The reason i won't give up physical is simply ownership, i mainly game on nintendo & in this respect i own all my physical games barring disasters i am not restricted in ever been able to play them. It doesn't matter if there's no internet connection i can play everything i own with no issue. None of this install disk bullshit, i'm very careful what i buy on switch in this respect as cheapskate western devs love to use smaller capacity carts to put on the bare minimum then expect you to download the rest i won't ever buy into that shit same reason i will not buy online only games or cloud games either. It's amazing how easily gamers have been manipulated to give up all their consumer rights just for the convinience of not having to get up and walk 10 steps to the console to put a game in.
 
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Matt_Fox

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Digital is no safer than physical, a power surge can just as easily wipe out your entire games collection if the HD gets fried. Peoples accounts can be compromised & then you have to battle with customer support in hopes that they will restore your purchases to a new console if you for example got robbed of your switch chances are they'd only get a few carts with it, if you went all digital they have your whole collection & also your system so you are gonna have a fun time trying to convince nintendo it's your machine unless you remembered that serial number off the console. There have been threads on here in the past where people got fucked over by customer support because they got their PSN/Xbox/Nintendo accounts hacked & they ended up losing their accounts because they fucked up in proving ownership or remembering the details they set it up with. I'll take my chances with physical as i have robust house insurance if the worst ever happened.

 
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FStubbs

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One reason physical is good is I don't have to worry about deleting games to make room for other games. I'd do physical on PC if it were still an option.
 

Umbasaborne

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Games today arent even playable without an install, so yeah, you arent even saving hdd space anymore
 

Robb

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I’d say yes, I still buy all my Switch games physically.

Xbox on the other hand is all digital for me, but that’s mainly due to GamePass.
 
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OuterLimits

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Apr 25, 2014
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Overall I tend to lean towards physical but at times digital versions have such a great sale that I get that version.

OP mentions Nintendo though, and I would argue physical makes much more sense on Nintendo systems. Especially if you have interest in ever selling your used copies. Look at how insane prices have become for a significant amount of 3DS games, including used copies.

These aren't 25 year old PlayStation 1 games, but insane prices for games released just years ago on Nintendo's prior generation. I imagine this will happen to quite a few Switch games as well in the not too distant future.
 

Armorian

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Sany can ban your account for some minor shit (cc problem?) and you will lose hundreds of dollars/euro. Same for almost every company.

Accounts can be hacked etc. Company can shut down services for older consoles. There are many reasons to go physical aside much lower prices and being able to sell and trade games.
 

Rubberwald

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I’ve gone all digital around three years ago, but as a hopeless film collector who still buys Blurays and UHDs all the time I can relate with game collectors. Let them release games on discs as long as possible.

That gave me an idea. These days there are tons of boutique labels that buy rights for a certain movie and release it under their own label. Criterion, Arrow, you name it, These releases are a labor of love, full of supplemental material. Maybe gaming world needs similar labels. And, yes, I understand that both mediums are not exactly comparable.
 
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Claus Grimhildyr

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Jan 30, 2018
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What was wrong? Or can you not explain because you have nothing to counter, hence the use of a cheap, lazy meme?

Everything they stated was literally correct. I have been on the receiving end of asinine digital ownership problems. I have lost hundreds of dollars thanks to online stores shutting down and not being able to redownload/reaccess those titles I purchased. I have had accounts lost due to hacks and shitty customer service operations (in particular, Steam). Something insurance does not cover. Now if I were to lose all my physical items? I have it insured, I can get it back with little issue.
 

Matt_Fox

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What was wrong? Or can you not explain because you have nothing to counter, hence the use of a cheap, lazy meme?

if I were to lose all my physical items? I have it insured, I can get it back with little issue.

It seems obvious that if your house burned down then you're better off digital.

Realistically gaming would be the last thing on your mind, but hypothetically you could buy yourself a new playstation log into your account and have your digital library back in the few hours it takes to download them.

For physical you'd have to

a: remember what games you owned
b: prove to the insurance company you owned those games
c: wait months for the insurance pay out
d: search Ebay, retro stores, and online retailers to rebuy all the games individually
e: stick the disc in your machine and wait for the patches to install
f: think to yourself it would have been much bloody easier if only my library had been digital :messenger_grinning:
 

Rykan

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One reason physical is good is I don't have to worry about deleting games to make room for other games. I'd do physical on PC if it were still an option.
I don't think thats really the case anymore on most platforms, right? The games are installed to the HDD/SSD anyway. They aren't actually running off the disk.
 

MikeM

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May 21, 2021
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Yes. I buy physical first unless its cheaper through the online store. I hate not having the option to lend games to whomever I want, or sell/trade the games whenever I see fit.