Digital or Physical

by on 02/08/2017

Ever since the Xbox One was announced and they said it was going to be digital only I have been really excited to finally get rid of my physical disc collection.  My music collection has been this way for quite a while now and I am just getting all of my movies in the cloud with VUDU, Disney Movies Anywhere, iTunes, Google Play and Amazon.  So why haven’t I really updated my game collection to be the same.  It makes sense on the Xbox One, since all games have to be installed why not have them be digital as well.  I was glad when they were going to enforce this because I don’t trade games in anymore.  Ever since I stopped working at GameStop I decided that I wouldn’t sell any games back.  One reason is I know how they screw people over some times, but because I really wanted to start to build up a collection of games.  When I did work there I only had the game I was currently playing and maybe one or two additional, but I never had more than 5 games at any time.  Now I horde games and boxes like they are going to be a form of currency some day.  I have about 200 games now (I know it could be way worse) and I wish all of them were just in a catalog somewhere that I can choose which ones to install and play.  I basically wish my console games had their own Steam Library.

The other thing that gets me with Digital Console games is that we have had Digital PC games for almost 10 years by mainstream gamers.  With services like Steam, Origin, Games with Windows (gross), and others why has this not been adopted on consoles? I can tell you one of the main reasons why I haven’t switched over and it isn’t because I don’t have room on my HDD. It’s because digital games almost never go on sale, almost never get discounted, and carry the same cost as the physical copy.

For a physical game to get into your hands it has to go through a process that is far more costly than pushing a digital version out to game services.  I would think that a game in physical would cost $59.99 where as a digital counterpart may cost $49.99 or even cheaper to get people to buy those more.  But we don’t and I would genuinely love to know why.  The other discount I can get on physical games are from Best Buy’s Gamer’s Club.  I got this when I bought Halo 5 legendary.  It gives you 20% off of a game so I got the subscription for free and saved a bit.  Amazon also has a similar thing with Prime.  You get 20% off physical games two weeks after it releases.  So again these discounts are for physical only…..

I think the reason companies can push these discounts is because they have physical stock and that cost money to carry around 50 copies of Gears of War 4, where a digital game is just taking server space costing a couple bucks a month. So they discount games that are already out to make way for the games that are coming in.  The developer/publisher doesn’t care because they have already sold the game and everyone is happy, well everyone except for me.

Now that Xbox games are playing across Windows and Xbox I like the idea more of having a digital copy, so I can just play.  This recenylu came up with Resident Evil 7: Biohazard.  I went to go buy it the day before it came out but didn’t know in what format. I know I wanted it on Xbox, just because I consider that my system where the PS4 is my wife’s.  So now if I get it on physical I have to wait until I get home to install it, then get the patching, then possibly play on Tuesday.  Where as if I get the digital version I can get it starting at midnight, it will install and update so I am ready to play when I get home.  But then price rears it’s ugly head again.  I can get it for $59.99 digital or $47.99 for  physical….

Is this struggle worth $12?  Do I just start considering digital a “premium” kind of service where I am just expected to buy games at full price?  I really don’t know that answer but I wish the game companies can figure it out soon.  I think I will start to bite the digital bullet when I upgrade my systems again for the Switch, PS4 Pro, and Scorpio

What do you do, physical or digital? Do you think the price difference is worth it?  Let me know in the comments below or you can tweet @FunPsycho to let me know.

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