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End of an era...


MattyP
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I know this has been discussed in various topics in here over the years but at the moment it really feels we are at a point where gaming is moving fully digital. What with GamePass and PlayStation Plus its a matter of time before these become the de-facto distribution channels for new content on Sony's and Microsoft's platforms.

 

Sure Sony might have to do some rethinking on how they get this to work financially with their AAA games however as the new PS Plus rejig gathers momentum it will be clear for Sony this will be the future.

 

Not sure what to make of it. Myself now I no longer care about "owning" disks as they are practically just keys to the content anyway what is on the disk is out of date and by and large not much use without an internet connection. Even the Switch with its carts relies on downloads to supplement its offerings so again just a matter of time. It also feels inconvenient to use disks - swapping them out to play feels oddly old fashioned and to be honest a barrier to playing a game! :) Many times I've just played a game because its accessible on digital rather than grabbing a disk and booting it in the console. Further to that they are noisy too... :D I'm now even going one step further and not even installing digital games and streaming them to play! 

 

So you going to embrace and move forward with it all? Happy about it? Or are you going to stick to retro going forward - or a blend of the two?

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I had a brief chat about this with a c colleague yesterday. 10+ years ago I was 100% for physical media because "it's always there even if the service goes offline or media is no longer sold", nowadays I can not even pretend to care from the ownership point of view. I've many dozens of PlayStation 2 and 3 games on disk I'll never ever again play.

 

Digital is easy and fast (depending on internet connection and bandwidth allowance). Tis rarely the cheapest option though.

 

Edit: also, most games you buy in retail are outdated on day 1. Huge chance you're greeted by a "there's a mandatory 15GB update available".

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I'll subscribe to the services when they're discounted but when games I want get released, I still buy the physical copies. At least I can sell them or trade them even if its version 1.0 on disk.

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I’ve been 99% digital since end of the PS360 generation, and a lot longer than that on PC. The few discs I bought for PS4 I ended up selling and buying a digital version. 
 

Generally I’m happy to wait for a digital sale as I don’t need to play games on release, but thanks to Game Pass I have the pick of a number of day one releases should I want it. Sony seem to be reluctant to heavily discount their first party titles or confirm they’ll stay on their new service, which is fine, I just won’t buy them. 

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I haven't bought a physical game since Ring Fit Adventure, and that was only because it was the only option. I'm mainly a PC gamer anyway, and physical games have long been a thing of the past on that platform.

 

I've not even found it any more expensive. PC games are regularly available for very low prices at launch, with the odd outlier, and if you're a little patient you're bound to find the stuff you want on sale before long. Then of course there's Game Pass.

 

The only other platform I buy for is the Switch, and there have been plenty of bargains on the eshop over the years. First party games are more expensive, but I've been able to get many of those for "only" £30 or so in sales. Digital games are so much more convenient for a portable platform either way.

 

Physical game shops lost their appeal a long time ago for me. As a kid they were amazing, not least because you could actually trial new games in store. Even looking at new games on the shelves was exciting! Then the in-store trials disappeared, and looking rows of the latest FIFA alongside a smattering of other games you already know about from the internet just wasn't the same.

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I went digital-only this gen with the Series S and I don't regret it at all. I think that's partly down to me getting older and so becoming much less attached to "having things" and much more conscious of "doing things" in my finite time. Game Pass has given me way more than enough to enjoy, and I've bought a grand total of one game for the system (Lego Star Wars) which didn't cost me anything as I paid for it with points I earned from playing everything else.

 

We're a multi-Switch family though and so our rule is if any of us buy a Switch game we have to get the cart if one's available, so we can all share it. But I can see that rule going out the window before too long.

 

I've not traded in a physical game since the days when @moosegrinder still worked in his game shop in Nottingham.

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Digital libraries are fine I think. I'm well indoctrinated thanks to being a long time steam user! 

 

I still don't like streaming tho. I've tried man, it's such a cool idea I want it to work. But combination of not great image quality and that latency is too much for me. 

 

 

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I definitely adopted digital a lot sooner because of moving on to PC, but admittedly with PC there's certainly more than one way to play a game if it ever goes out of print or not available to buy. It's not like consoles where if the marketplace dies, so does a majority of the games you'd have.

 

With older formats, I'd much rather have an Everdrive or ODE these days anyway - keeps my games collection on hand, and sidesteps any wear and tear you'd normally associate with cartridge slots or disk drive lasers/motors. I've been a convert to that methodology since PS2's HDLoader and Modded XBox days.

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The only time I’ll buy physical is if there is a significant cost saving for doing so. By significant I mean like half price . A tenner is not worth me getting up off my arse to put in an disc.

 

with  regards to ps plus extra premium essential, im signed up to the top tier but Sony won’t launch triple A stuff on that so I’ll continue to purchase top titles digitally as they come out, if I’m interested in them . No problem paying £70 if I want it . 

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I still buy most of my console games physically (I've been digital only on PC for about a decade), I always will as long as they are available. I'm not really committed to blockbuster titles, haven't been for years so most of what I get are smaller releases. While I have thousands of physical games, and will continue to add to it, part of me is kind of looking forward to the end of physical games. In some ways I like the idea of there being a finite number of physical console releases (even if it numbers in the tens of thousands) for me to collect from. Sometimes trying to split time and funds between collecting both new and old games is difficult. Maybe I should just stop collecting for a bit as I probably sound burnt out with it! 😅

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51 minutes ago, MattyP said:

I know this has been discussed in various topics in here over the years but at the moment it really feels we are at a point where gaming is moving fully digital. What with GamePass and PlayStation Plus its a matter of time before these become the de-facto distribution channels for new content on Sony's and Microsoft's platforms.

 

Sure Sony might have to do some rethinking on how they get this to work financially with their AAA games however as the new PS Plus rejig gathers momentum it will be clear for Sony this will be the future.

 

Not sure what to make of it. Myself now I no longer care about "owning" disks as they are practically just keys to the content anyway what is on the disk is out of date and by and large not much use without an internet connection. Even the Switch with its carts relies on downloads to supplement its offerings so again just a matter of time. It also feels inconvenient to use disks - swapping them out to play feels oddly old fashioned and to be honest a barrier to playing a game! :) Many times I've just played a game because its accessible on digital rather than grabbing a disk and booting it in the console. Further to that they are noisy too... :D I'm now even going one step further and not even installing digital games and streaming them to play! 

 

So you going to embrace and move forward with it all? Happy about it? Or are you going to stick to retro going forward - or a blend of the two?

 

How was your decade long sleep? ;)

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If I’m paying full price I buy digital.  It’s a game I really want and know I’ll be playing for hours.   Anything else I buy physical but have an upper limit of £20.  I like having games on my shelf and picking up a bargain knowing if I want to resell I’ll recover most of the spend.

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Anything worth playing can still be 'found' if you really want it. Anything that requires online connection to actually play can get in the bin 

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I'm pretty much fully digital on both Series X and PS5 now. However, I still often buy physical versions of Switch games - it's a combination of high trade-in prices should I ever want to downsize my library, and memory considerations with the Switch's piddly storage even with an SD card added.

 

I find it a bit weird to still want physical collections of Series X and PS5 stuff, to be honest. Now that a disc is often just an unlock key to download the full game, or contains a version that you can't even play as it's several iterations behind the day one patch, it's not like you have the 'actual' game anymore and trade-in values are low. Seems pretty pointless unless you really can't do without boxes on your shelves.

 

The only downside with digital is that prices haven't gained parity with physical. I think a lot of us assumed that physical was being kept artificially cheaper in order to help game shops stay in business, but inevitably as the digital market swallowed everything up the 2 forms of media would cost the same, and hopefully digital would actually end up cheaper due to how much less expensive it must be to service the digital market rather than a whole retail supply chain. However, Sony's antics this gen indicate that this isn't going to happen. Having complete control of prices actually makes the situation worse when you have a greedy company at the digital wheel. Nintendo is no better, though. Indeed it's probably worse, because at least Sony's first party games properly fall in price eventually... well, at the moment, anyway! Breath of the Wild still being £50 outside of sale periods over 5 years after release may be great for game value purists but I don't like it. Microsoft kinda gets to stay out of this argument because of Game Pass, but it's notable nonetheless that it's not charging £70 for first party games if you don't have a Game Pass sub.

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I've been fully digital for a while now. I got physical copies of a few things on my Xbox One, bit fairly quickly went digital, even before Game Pass, purely for convenience. I never trade in or sell games on, do that side of things doesn't bother me. My only console these days is a Series S, so there's not even the option for physical versions.

 

Some of it I think is down to piracy. Prior to the Xbox One, my main gaming machine was a modded 360. Having a library of all the games I wanted right there when I booted it up just made it all so much easier. Swapping disks to change what I was playing suddenly became a pain in the arse. 

 

Can't see me going back.

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The funny thing is that I was all for a purely digital future because I liked the convenience, but everyone told me that it would never be successful because everything's too expensive through digital stores. But this was before Instant Game Collection, Games with Gold, Game Pass, Prime Gaming, Humble Choice... a bunch of ace services offering plenty of games through digital downloads at reasonable subscription costs - not to mention MS and Sony both revealing digital consoles at the start of this generation. So I kind of want to say I was right about digital having a future... but in truth I was premature :P and there are still £70 purchases on stores to deal with.

 

Unless there are particularly good offers on digital storefronts, I'll continue to buy physical because I like having the option to trade etc, and I'm still a sucker for a special edition if it's not too absurd. As much as everything's supposed to be £69.99 I still ended up buying PS5 Elden Ring Launch Edition - with its art cards, stickers, poster - for £45. And physical discs are great when buying gifts for gamer folk. :wub: 

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26 minutes ago, Cyhwuhx said:

 

How was your decade long sleep? ;)

Well I've been using digital on PC since 2004 when I bought Half Life 2 on Steam... :) Think the issue I've had with console digital stores is the cost of the content... it should be cheaper than physical (given you are removing all physical distribution costs ). Although you can I guess get discounted codes etc.

 

Think the last physical game I bought was Ghosts Of Tsushima from FB marketplace. In future I won't be able to do that I guess... :)  In an all digital world there will be no second hand market... 

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I've been fully digital for quite a while now, at least a couple of xbox & PlayStations iterations and the Switch for Nintendo.

 

The biggest thing beyond all the obvious advantages of convenience is that I won't have the mental scars from previous house clearouts where I didn't want to keep huge amounts of game discs and tat so ended up giving them away or binning them. 

 

My gamecube stings the most for some reason, wish I'd kept that and all the games/controllers.

 

It's much easier to stick a console on a shelf safe in the knowledge all your games are on it, even if some of them may get turned off and not work when you try to start it up again in 10y for a 10m go before deciding old games are crap.

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I went full digital around 2018, but this year I've switched back to buying physical discs for PS5 and also carts for Switch. 
That's not a hard and fast rule though, if a game is on sale digitally or is only available digitally I have no problem buying them there. 
But "big" releases on those Platforms, I like to have a physical version.

 

I've been finding the storage managment on both the PS5 and XsX to be annoying to the point that I prefer these large install games to be on disc, so I don't have to uninstall them (or put them in cold storage which is also a lengthy process) and redownload them later. Using a disc is soooo much easier for those larger games. 

Also, the recently closure of the old Nintendo stores, and the half-closure of the PS3 store has defo made me think twice about having an all digital library. Xbox is another story as I really do feel they're all in with their digital store.

So that's the sweet spot for me. Also Gamepass and PSN+ Extra have made me long a bit more for owning and buying physical games. 

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Bottom line, whatever is the cheapest option. No loyalty either way.

 

If I'm gonna play through it once and not bother again, physical and sell it on.

 

Any Nintendo title, physical. As I ain't got the bank balance to keep buying them up and looking at them sitting on a shelf. Seeing that they never drop in price, i trade one in against the other to offset cost. Except mario kart and Zelda of course 😁

 

Nice thing going back to digital is sparking up old consoles and forgetting what you have in your digital collection.

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I've gone digital for a lot of Switch titles, especially indie games - because even the largest games top out at <12GB; A PS5 game takes a week to arrive on my connection.

 

Had I a decent fibre connection, I might spring for digital only. I find myself replaying very little these days.

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13 minutes ago, Thor said:

I'm all in for digital now. Fuck hoarding physical media.

Yes that is my take on it too.. books, magazines, films and games all digital these days.

 

Even when I indulge in the odd physical game (PS5) it gets sold on afterwards. I only usually get it on physical because its cheaper. 

 

Hate clutter.. why pay money to have a bigger house to store crap? :D 

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I'm almost all digital on my PS5 because I'm an impatient little idiot. Once I make the decision that I want to play something, my desire to get it immediately outweighs my desire to be sensible and get a disc I can trade in later. I do an awful lot of 'but what if there's a problem with the post and the disc doesn't arrive in time for the weekend where I have time to play' and 'but I'm always busy and it's a pain to get down to Cex to sell it' in my own head.

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16 minutes ago, Pungee said:

I'm almost all digital on my PS5 because I'm an impatient little idiot. Once I make the decision that I want to play something, my desire to get it immediately outweighs my desire to be sensible and get a disc I can trade in later. I do an awful lot of 'but what if there's a problem with the post and the disc doesn't arrive in time for the weekend where I have time to play' and 'but I'm always busy and it's a pain to get down to Cex to sell it' in my own head.

Well I'm going that way too... It was actually really nice pre-loading GT7 weeks before on the console and getting it unlocked Day 1 fully patched and ready to go. All seamless. It was a great experience. No launch day anxiety of whether something will arrive in the post or not as you mention!

 

I also found some wallet top ups around the web for discounted prices so paid just under £60 for it. 

 

I expect all my games will be digital going forward. For most of my gaming it will be via a sub service  (PS+ Premium) and the odd must have AAA game on release in a similar way to how I acquired GT7. On the PC it will be mostly business as normal with Steam and some other clients (GOG etc). Maybe I'll sub to GamePass from time to time when MS decide to launch a new AAA game on there. Think Forza Motorsport will be the next interesting thing for me in that respect. 

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I love a physical copy of a game I do. The boxes (more so switch versions), that box art, the little leaflets etc. All tat I know. And I appreciate it makes me look like I’m a bit of a lunatic by having a house full of games tat.  I guess I’m clinging onto the physical era as it’s what I’ve always known. Dunno. 
 

I still have a fair amount of digi stuff like. 
 

Barely play any of it…

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