Physical Gaming vs Digital Gaming - The Ultimate Debate Thread
Let's get ready to ruuuummmbbbbllleeeeeeee!!!!!
There have been a lot of discussions as of late discussing the pro's and con's of both digital-only and physical-only, it's time to make one big main thread so that all of us can finally debate this.
These arguments have been sparked a lot more recently due to the shutting down of the old PS Store on mobile and web, which has now culminated in the entire shutdown of the PS3, PS Vita, and PSP stores altogether.
Here's David Jaffe (creator of the God of War and Twisted Metal series') defense of Sony shutting down the old console PS stores:
Digital gaming is considered more convenient in every way, they are digital, after all... Meaning they can be accessed without physical cartridges, discs, etc. They usually load faster, can be deleted and re-downloaded at your leisure, and even be backed up to the cloud along with your saved data. You can back them up onto flash drives, external hard drives, etc. They aren't susceptible to damage, being scratched up, broken, or stolen. You can even have the game on multiple systems of yours at once with cross-buy.
On the other hand, people have attacked digital gaming as a whole due to popular Nintendo games being removed on March 31st, 2021 (along with the PS Store fiasco), making them question whether digital gaming is a good idea when stuff could get pulled from purchase at any time. Attacking the digital market for removing things that they'd planned to buy.
There's also the argument many people have been making since the advent of online gaming, they feel it is a lot easier to hack an account then it is to decide to break into someone's home and steal their physical games. For older games this is more apparent, as many of them had no updates, so you only need worry about the physical degradation of the game and the console it's played on. Then there's the fact that there are many physical games that one can't play legally and have never been on a digital store to date, requiring a physical copy to play.
Then there's people who just don't have very good internet, or HAD good internet but no longer do, which makes it very hard to download games OR update them, especially when said games are very big these days, being gigabytes upon gigabytes of space (with some saying that if games keep increasing as they are, it may turn into terabytes.)
Digital is the norm on how we consume content. Video games are slightly lagging behind the current trends but in 15 years, there will most likely not be physical releases anymore.
Computer games have gone all digital now and it has been for many years. Xbox Game Pass I believe has been a pretty large success. And I assume Sony will most likely offer something similar down the road.
Even Nintendo has started to move towards digital.
Movie and TV has gone all digital. Every single major TV station has a streaming platform. You can buy blu rays but the majority of people do so because they have a top notch home theatre setup.....Even Disney, the biggest publisher has moved most of their content to streaming...3 years ago, I had to make do with the Canada TV station CBC for Disney content for my kids...but now...all of it its available (which is awesome).
I think the only thing left is really books...but I don't think that will go away because reading a physical book is a specific feeling...and its not provided by holding a tablet or e-reader.
cdtm destroys all his credibility in his opening post. Glad you're still doing okay buddy.
In what imaginary world do you live in that digital games need an internet connection beyond the original download? I literally just played Shantae and the Seven Sirens offline. Opened up FF7R, DOA6, and P5 too.
The ones that do is because of developer/platform policy, or because they are online multiplayer games. For example, games obtained free through Playstation Plus require an online connection. As I said a billion times though, anti-digital logic is people hating DRM policies and not understanding the difference.
Digital is better in nearly every situation.
Digital distribution is the best thing to happen to indie games ever.
I'm always watching.
Last edited by StyleTime on Apr 1st, 2021 at 12:00 AM
Keep in mind, I'm not saying toss out your physical games. I'm all aboard the digital train personally, but I understand that collectors exist. Practicality was never their concern though, and I totally get that. If you just like collecting things, go for it.
But just say that. Just say that physical media brings you comfort. Just say you have an emotional attachment to them. It's absolutely fine to feel that way.
Just don't argue that they are somehow superior to digital...because they're not. That's all I'm saying.
I walk ~2.5 miles(~4 km) to grocery shop, and ~2.5 back. There are closer grocery stores, and it's utterly impractical since I can only carry so many bags. I can't make a logical argument supporting it, but I do it because I enjoy the walk. It's fun for me to listen to music/podcasts and take a stroll. I don't need to fabricate lies to justify it. It makes me feel good and doesn't hurt anyone, so I do it.
I'm always watching.
Last edited by StyleTime on Apr 1st, 2021 at 02:10 AM
So, I bring forth an argument for physical gaming, at least in Latin America and the Carribean. Last year Nintendo shut down their e-shop access for Wii U and 3DS, this is old news, but it had a seriously disturbing line there:
"In certain Latin American and Caribbean countries, limited Nintendo eShops for the Wii U system and Nintendo 3DS family of systems have provided a few basic functions, such as game code redemption. Those limited Nintendo eShops have closed as of July 31, 2020 JST and users in the affected regions will no longer be able to access them to redeem a download code, redownload software or update software. Also, any software that requires the limited Nintendo eShops to operate may cease to function. (Note that Mexico and Brazil are not affected.) We thank everyone for using the limited Nintendo eShops and for being such great fans of Nintendo."
So yeah, I'll keep buying my physical games, cool that one day my Fire Emblem DLC will be useless though.
That is apparently only for the limited E-shops, as Nintendo didn't do full E-shops in those countries. From what I understand, they don't have games on them and those folks generally just use the closest same language E-shop to them (Mexico, Brazil, US, etc). For those that did use codes, Nintendo said you can contact them if you need assistance retrieving previously purchased software. It sounds like it won't be on the "shop", but you can still obtain it.
On a side note, importing physical games isn't feasible in many places. From browsing reddit, apparently Brazilians are looking at 300-350 R$ per physical game due to tariffs and such. Digital gives them the chance to play things they might never get a chance to otherwise. I think the frickin' PS2 didn't even arrive there until 2009.
And if your console malfunctions and can't read physical discs, you're out of luck completely. Happened to me and it sucked.
With digital, you could at least just buy an adapter to go online. Or play the games you already have.
Either way, you're talking about malfunctions. Those happen to anything.
The whole "it can be taken from you" argument goes back to what I said earlier though: people not understanding the difference between digital games and DRM. Some platforms let you own the game with no DRM, so it can't be taken from you.
I somewhat understand if you're wary of Sony/Nintendo/etc I guess, but that's not inherent to digital games. That's just what that specific platform does.
I'm always watching.
Last edited by StyleTime on Apr 11th, 2021 at 10:43 PM
Physical is almost always better for the consumer, in the context that a used game market is important for protecting consumer rights and protection (developers/producers having absolute control over the pricing of their games and your access to them is a net negative for consumer rights). However it can't be denied that digital copies are waaaay more convenient, to the point that even a staunch anti-corporate individual such as myself has pretty much completely switched over to digital. I haven't had a disk drive in my computer for about 5 years and I think the last time I actually bought a disc game was like Halo 4 or something. With modern internet speeds it only takes a couple hours at most to download a game and cloud sharing has made it extremely convenient to go wherever you want and still have your stuff.
The argument that physical discs have more permanence than digital makes no sense. Physical discs can be lost or damaged, a digital copy can't. Even if all digital games required a internet connection, that's more than feasible for 99% of people living in a first world country, unless you are living in ****ing Afghanistan it will be very unlikely that you'll have zero access to an internet connection of any form, and if you are that deep in the sticks you likely won't have a power source either so it's a moot point.
"The Daemon lied with every breath. It could not help itself but to deceive and dismay, to riddle and ruin. The more we conversed, the closer I drew to one singularly ineluctable fact: I would gain no wisdom here."
I treat digital and streaming much differently, personally.
My preference is digital, but standalone. Like, I don't mind ripping discs to save space, but I don't want to be using a version that could be edited/censored or removed from the marketplace at someone else's discretion.
I generally only buy physical games if I plan on trading them in after I am done...or they are for the Switch.
Since COVID, I haven't bought a physical game....with being a Game Pass subscriber, those games where I would trade in after I am done..I will just wait until they either go on a super good sale....or wait until they hit Game Pass.
But in reality, physical is going away..and 10 years, I would be surprised if there is physical copies.
Depends on the game, for me. If I'm getting a sports game I'll typically go digital. If it's a 3rd person or 1st big action/adventure game and got a big fold out map in the case I'll buy physical cos I like shit like that.
I'm just saying you will never ever have a guarantee, (assuming you game on consoles) that your digital purchases are indefinite, and that the company that LET YOU buy them won't take them from you tomorrow. The real e-shop and it's downloads could go just as quick as that limited e-shop.
Would it be a questionable decision? Yes. Would they receive tons of backlash? Yes. But there's still never any guarantee that they won't decide to up and down all your digital purchases.
That's not even the only way your stuff can go missing. Suppose someone hacks your email, your PSN, etc.
I'd argue for most of us on KMC, we're far less likely to get robbed, break our discs, etc. Assuming we're all functioning adults. I mean as a kid I ****ed up tons of my games, but as an adult I'm pretty immaculate with all my games, especially PSP games (which are likely the easiest to ruin.)
All I'm saying is, if Sony exits the console gaming business, or is bought out and decides "nope, no more downloads, we need that server for something else now", then people who spent hundreds of dollars on those games is screwed.
Maybe you'll call me dumb, but I honestly believe I'm far more likely to get hacked or hell, for Sony to get bought out before I'm robbed or my games get ruined.
Yes there's the inevitable death of physical media: Disc rot, but experts say majority of us will be long dead before stuff like games and movies (DVD's and Blu-rays alike) start to rot.