GBAtemp Exclusive Weekend Discussion: What would you do if games only released in a digital format?

Discussion in 'GBAtemp & Scene News' started by Chary, Sep 1, 2018.


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    Chances are, if you're a fan of video games, you've more than likely gone to a store to pick up the latest hot fall game release. If not, then you likely have purchased a game online and had it shipped to your door. From the older cardboard boxes housing bulky game carts, to the plastic cases that hold thin game discs, we've seen multiple forms of video games throughout the years. While the form of its delivery has changed, what hasn't changed is the fact that if you want to play a game, you need to get a cart or disc.

    That is, unless you buy digitally.

    The advent of digital games has changed the entire industry. The previous console gaming generation introduced the idea of being able to download older retro titles, or even smaller indie-developed games by simply connecting to the internet and paying through a digital storefront. Shortly after that, we began to see fully fledged major releases on both Xbox Live Arcade and PlayStation Network, and later, the Nintendo eShop. During those years, there was a heavy push for being able to have your library of games be playable without even getting up to change the disc. Not everyone was willing to take that step, however, with a large portion of players preferring their beloved boxes. PC gamers might be more at-home with being invested in a digital only library--they're familiar with forgoing physical releases. If you play only on a computer, there's a chance that you may not even own a single hard copy of a game.

    To counter the rise of the "digital age", many people were outspoken about only supporting physical releases. This led to small publishers like Limited Run Games becoming incredibly popular, and providing fans with official boxed copies of smaller titles that wouldn't normally be put on such a format.

    Even if you do purchase a physical game these days, you might find yourself forced to download it to your system anyway, and in the Nintendo Switch's case, sometimes the full game doesn't even fit on the game cart itself. SD flash storage and HDD prices are falling more and more with each passing year, and it makes going all in on digital gaming a more appealing option. Especially in regards to the Switch, because while it is considered a home console, it also has a portable function, and having to carry multiple cartridges on the go alongside it can be considered cumbersome.

    Though a full-digital future isn't imminent--the chances of the next generation of PlayStation and Xbox ditching discs entirely is unlikely--it appears that the industry is certainly trying to move towards that goal. Representatives and analysts from influential companies like EA, Ubisoft, and Activision all believe that in the next decade, physical games will be a thing of the past. More niche games have even managed to make their way stateside purely on fact that a digital-only version would be much more financially viable, compared to having to release it on store shelves.

    What are your thoughts? Have you already made the jump to a digital world? Or are you a collector, and the thought of not being able to buy a physical copy of your favorite games pains you? If such a future time comes and you're forced to play digital-only, will you be okay with that? Let us know in the comments below!
     
    Discussion (169 replies)
  1. blubber987

    blubber987 GBAtemp Regular

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    Apr 13, 2017
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    Angry because my wifi would be too slow downloading the games and it would take forever.
     
  2. Noctosphere

    Noctosphere Adoptive father of my kitty named Zelda

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    Back with kitty Zelda forever :D
    For PC, it's pretty much a standard nowadays
    As for console, I think people aren't ready for that though
     
  3. THEELEMENTKH

    THEELEMENTKH GBAtemp Advanced Maniac

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    May 31, 2016
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    Easy for me: Stop playing current games and play old games

    The reason?
    1- My internet speed is god damn slow, and current games easilly take ~60Gb of space (GTA V, 77Gb, took me a whole week to download from steam no jokes)

    2- I have no easy way to add digital currency
     
  4. LiveLatios

    LiveLatios Profesionnal Scalie

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    i wouldn't do anything tbh, i'm switching over to digital only because it's far too easy to lose my physical copies
     
  5. Noctosphere

    Noctosphere Adoptive father of my kitty named Zelda

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    Back with kitty Zelda forever :D
    if your internet is sooo slow...
    And that it took you a week to download it...
    Damn, what about your bandwidth...?
     
  6. Ryccardo

    Ryccardo and his tropane alkaloids

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    Pretty much every 3DS game I legally own is digital: by buying them (most of which in 2014), I took a bet that eventually we would be able to create backups installable on any other console - looks like I was right - which solves the disadvantage of digital games I care about
     
    Eddypikachu and JustANoob;) like this.
  7. The Real Jdbye

    The Real Jdbye Always Remember 30/07/08

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    Alola
    I like having physical boxes, but if it was like Steam with sales all the time, and being able to log in and play your games anywhere, then I guess I wouldn't mind.
     
    Kafkaus00 likes this.
  8. Kourin

    Kourin Touhou Maniac

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    Jan 24, 2016
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    Ripple Star
    I'd be mad af because I'm Australian and my internet sucks.
    I'd honestly buy more digital if it wasn't so bad here.
     
    Seriel and Subtle Demise like this.
  9. Axido

    Axido GBAtemp Advanced Fan

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    I'd pirate the hell outta those mere downloads I could get elsewhere just as fast. Unless a game makes me want to support the devs. Then I'd buy it in a sale after I already pirated it.

    Jokes aside, I'm already pretty consistently buying digital games, but only if in some way they make up in price what they lack in physical components.
     
    Last edited by Axido, Sep 1, 2018
    RedBlueGreen, DuoForce and Kafkaus00 like this.
  10. Noctosphere

    Noctosphere Adoptive father of my kitty named Zelda

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    Back with kitty Zelda forever :D
    Honnestly, Internet is a worldwide thing
    It should be available with high speed everywhere in the world
    Country that are too poor for it should require the help of industrialized country
    Those who don't have high speed just don't have the correct infrastructures...
     
  11. aarti

    aarti GBAtemp Regular

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    I would buy games in digital format
     
  12. Vieela

    Vieela GBATemp's official thinkerâ„¢

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    In a place where my internet spikes at 5 Mbps, it's impossible for me to go digital, specially on PC games. I mostly buy physical games or download small games (10 GB max) because i can't simply let my computer on for 9 years and expect the energy bill to come cheap or anything. It's annoying. Plus, i really love the feel of physical media. It just seems more collectible, it's special in a certain way, i guess. I kinda feel like it's better.
     
    Niels Van Son and Kafkaus00 like this.
  13. FAST6191

    FAST6191 Techromancer

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    Nov 21, 2005
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    Can I trade, lend, resell... these games?
    If so carry on as usual and lament my decision to do this country living bit (800KB/second is too slow for a lot of modern stuff to be done after being used to internet over light).

    Are they going to be locked down might as well be permanent rentals a la most such things today?
     
    Kafkaus00 and Subtle Demise like this.
  14. Jack Daniels

    Jack Daniels GBAtemp Advanced Fan

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    Jun 6, 2016
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    • A disc or a medium to store it for myself is worth more in some conditions when it becomes rare, a digital download will not ever have this value.
    • If i bought something i wanna be able to sell it as well, not as a package like my whole account but each game separate.
    • I wanna have the guarantee to be forever able to get to my bought stuff.
    • If i buy something online i want guarantee that the game will work on my HW of today.
    1. Internet must either never fail, or there must be another solution to that problem.
    2. Better conditions then GOG, Steam, Origin, Uplay (okay, origin is a total waste i know) offers now.
    3. Permanent updates are a must.
     
    HaloEffect17 and air2004 like this.
  15. leon315

    leon315 POWERLIFTER

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    Nov 27, 2013
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    Honestly i don't mind, now i passed to the Light (pc) side all games bought from Steam and Blizzard are digital only.

    The game unlike the physical ones won't break or get scratches :)
     
  16. Noctosphere

    Noctosphere Adoptive father of my kitty named Zelda

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    Back with kitty Zelda forever :D
    Idk about steam, but with blizzard, you can buy the game in store
    and register the cd key on your battle.net account and download it;)
     
  17. SwitchGlitch

    SwitchGlitch Member

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    May 1, 2018
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    If it is only digital. i dont buy it. for example
    RE Revlations for ns is in europe only download but in america gamecard and download but i really like that game but it is download only in europe so i dont buy it. :(
     
    Metoroid0 likes this.
  18. Jayro

    Jayro MediCat USB and Mini Windows 10 Developer

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    Octo Canyon
    The world's ISPs are not ready for that kind of abuse yet, and with games getting ridiculously huge these days, and devs not giving one fuck about using lossless compression, it seems digital-only distribution for consoles just isn't ready, and won't be for a while (15 to 20 years, realistically). Ant then there's the data caps ISPs put on us too, that also cramp gamers.

    — Posts automatically merged - Please don't double post! —

    Good thing the Switch is region-free, so you can buy the American game card, and it will work in your Switch.
     
  19. THEELEMENTKH

    THEELEMENTKH GBAtemp Advanced Maniac

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    May 31, 2016
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    Total crap, I did Google's internet speed test and the results are... hilarious
    Warning: Spoilers inside!
    That's why I prefer physical games
     
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