You're all looking at digital downloads wrong!

Discussion in 'General Gaming Discussion' started by LinkTech, May 23, 2013.

  1. LinkTech

    LinkTech Member

    Feb 10, 2013
    United States
    I was all against digital downloads for the longest time for all the same reasons most people hate the idea but I recently just started to understand why it will become a huge asset to us all.

    You see, when you buy a game physical, there are two major perks, one is you can sell it again and get 15 bucks back(average), and you actually own something physical.

    On average, a used game buyer or new game trade in'er saves 15 dollars in one way or another.

    Now what if, just what if say..Nintendo started releasing all their first party games for 40 bucks even with no tax online? Yeah you lose your ability to sell it but, you are practically already selling it setting as you've saved that money already, and on top of that you KEEP the game.

    Your game is on a hard drive now. Not in your hands, that is true..but! At least(with Nintendo) they ate not on a companies servers where they can just take it away from you at any time.

    What's more is,no disk breaks or scratches!
    So my concluding point is, buying online might end up saving us just as much money, we get an invincible copy of the game and the companies spend less money on production which lowers delays and issues with demand.

    I still suggest the companies release hard copies for people who just can't download big games, or do what Sony tried to do with the vita and sell memory cards for the people who can't download, but they would cost more.

    Does it not sound good? I'm not implying we go pure digital, there if way to many issues with that, but there should be perks to supporting a company by digital download (aka 20 dollars off).
  2. FAST6191

    FAST6191 Techromancer

    pip Reporter
    Nov 21, 2005
    United Kingdom
  3. LinkTech

    LinkTech Member

    Feb 10, 2013
    United States
  4. ShadowSoldier

    ShadowSoldier GBAtemp Guru

    Oct 8, 2009
    Except it's not invincible. What if say on your 3DS you download every game. Okay, now 20 years down the road, your 3DS breaks, OOPS! There goes ALL of your games. And chances are the company you bought them from, won't replace them 20 years later either.

    Physical copies will always win. You can make so much more money reselling it.

    Also I've never had any of my games break without me trying to break them (IE Resident Evil 6). I also haven't had any of my games scratch beyond playability.
  5. kristianity77

    kristianity77 GBATemp old fogey

    Jul 10, 2003
    Bewdley, UK
    Also the biggest flaw in this is that the pricing just doenst happen. If you take games off the shelves and go digital only, your at the mercy of what Sony / Microsoft want you to pay. If digital downloads on consoles were indeed say 20-30% cheaper on release date then I wouldnt have a problem and your point would be more valid. But more often than not, digital downloads (especially where M$ are concerned) are a damn sight more expensive online. New released on Xbox Demand can be £49.99, way more expensive than they ever have been off the shelf, and this is usually a good few months after physical release date. On Sonys side it can be even worse. They release some games online at a whopping £54.99 in the UK.

    I fully expect digital to be the only way for distribution in the coming years, but to think its a better model for the consumer, especially with the pricing structures they have now is absurd.
  6. Costello

    Costello Headmaster

    Oct 24, 2002
    Not sure about Nintendo, but "games on demand" on the Xbox 360 cost just as much as physical copies.
    I wanted to buy FIFA 2013 the other day, Microsoft wanted to charge me a good 70€ for it (usual retail price in France-- that's 90 USD to you).
    Eventually I found a used copy for about 20 dollars from a friend.

    So yeah, it would work if companies kept prices down, but let's face it: they don't. And they certainly won't.
  7. LinkTech

    LinkTech Member

    Feb 10, 2013
    United States
    My point was if they do (and if they want it to be successful they will) go with cheaper online downloads, then a lot more people would be more than willing to go for it. I believe Nintendo is going in the right direction by allowing the option of digital downloads but are only rewarding people with double Nintendo points at the moment.

    As far as the "what happens in 20 years? " comment. I do understand the value of old games, I have a unopened copy of pokemon blue that's graded and worth 500 bucks, yet If I wanted to I could go play pokemon blue on the flash player on my phone or an emulator on my phone. Point is you will have access to your game and legal rights to play it.

    True question is if technology will exist in 20 years at this rate of decline :/
  8. Thanatos Telos

    Thanatos Telos random stuff

    Sep 13, 2009
    United States
    All 3DS games are stored on an SD card. I know that it's an example, but you can do MUCH better.
  9. ShadowSoldier

    ShadowSoldier GBAtemp Guru

    Oct 8, 2009
    Can, but refuse to.
  10. mysticwaterfall

    mysticwaterfall Streamforce Supreme Commander

    Aug 11, 2008
    United States
    Right behind you
    If it was a Google Play like system where you can share one account across everything without any hassles and easily transfer stuff to new devices while being more reasonably priced, I'd be for it. But right now there's no incentive to not get physical copies.
  11. Depravo


    Global Moderator
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    Oct 13, 2008
    You obviously haven't seen the PSN store where new releases sell for £10 or £20 more than physical copies.
    EZ-Megaman likes this.
  12. spinal_cord

    spinal_cord Knows his stuff

    Jul 21, 2007
    Anyone who likes to play classic games will always vote agains digital only versions. For most, the ability to keep a copy forever just incase you want to play it years later, show it to their kids etc. I have plenty of very old games that I am able to play whenever I like, not just when the download provider says I can. Many things can prevent downloads content from working, such as servers going down (which the users have no say in what so ever), the console breaking, as in the case of Nintendo, where the games are locked to the device, rather than the user. But if you have a CD or Cart, then you can play the game on a different machine, even when that machine doesn't have any sort of server access.
    Personally, I'm agains it.
  13. Pleng

    Pleng GBAtemp Advanced Maniac

    Sep 14, 2011
    There probably will come a time when the games companies can give or take the support of high street chains, at which point they will be free to undercut the retail prices without fear of them freezing out shelf space. When this time comes there probably will initially be a fairly decent saving for buying online vs retail. Over time, however, as buying online becomes the accepted way of purchasing games, and the high street stores fade out, the prices will creep back up again.
  14. Lilith Valentine

    Lilith Valentine GBATemp's Wolf-husky™ Panties

    Sep 13, 2009
    At the end of another lost highway
    I am not for digital download because I am collector and a gamer. I enjoy collecting physical copies of my games as much as I enjoy playing them.
  15. FrozenIndignation

    FrozenIndignation Tyrant R. of ye olde Prinny Squad

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    Nov 10, 2010
    Wherever Yakity sax plays
    To use Australia as an example;
    Nintendo charges $70 for new 3DS games... Physical wise, you can buy newly released games for about $60 or even as low as $50, and again, that's for new releases (you could also import, in which, you can get just about any pal 3DS game for $50 or less, new or otherwise)... Hard to justify buying digital at an optimal $25 difference :/ Additionally, there's the whole loss of collector's value, increased risk in losing those digital games should something happen to the 3DS and so forth.
    Essentially, Nintendo is a quintessential example of how not to do digital, at least in terms of 3DS.

    Sony, on the other hand, seems to be more competent in terms of pricing. New vita games tend to (with exceptions) cost loss for digital, rather than their physical counterparts in Australia. That, and the whole account system is certainly a boon. However, the cost of vita memory cards are somewhat of a detriment to those prices in that, one can justify the difference between physical and digital to be on par as result of purchasing one.

    Subsequently: Whereas I have purchased vita games digitally, I have little desire in purchasing 3DS games digitally, as there simply is no compelling reason for me to go digital. (At least, not yet)

    Conclusively; The way digital is being handled by the big 3 at present, it is not all too compelling in switching to digital. There may be the odd game that makes it worthwhile, and it's certainly a good fallback in case a game is unavailable physically, however, considering that costs for digital are generally greater (particularly when you consider the long term), and in case of nintendo, FAR great (at least, in Australia), it is unlikely that digital will replace physical copies anytime soon, as there is low incentive.

    But forsooth, should it be cheaper than physical, it's likely that digital could become as prominent as steam, or to some extent, shift trends in favor of it.

    On a completely unrelated note: To put digital in another perspective, it's at least allowed for PAL to get some games it's likely we would (Debatably) otherwise never get; such as Ragnarok Odyssey (vita) and Code of Princess (3DS). Ironically, both are somewhat competitively priced here at $40 and $50 respectively.
    EZ-Megaman likes this.
  16. Issac

    Issac I

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    Apr 10, 2004
    But they\re still connected to the 3DS. otherwise, piracy would be dead simple.
  17. Rayder

    Rayder Mostly lurking lately....

    Former Staff
    Jan 14, 2007
    United States
    I'm speaking with my wallet. More of you guys should do the same. I put it like this:
    In a box, on a shelf, in a store, or I'm not buying the games anymore.

    Sure, some games are logged in through Steam or Origin, but they were still games I bought in a box, on a shelf, in a store. I have never bought "just a download" and don't plan to start.
  18. war2thegrave

    war2thegrave GBAtemp Regular

    Feb 12, 2010
    United States
    They can keep their "digital downloads".
    I prefer my downloaded games to be analog.

    Kids these days with all of their fancy solid state and hard drives.
    Back in my day, downloading games meant waiting on the mailman
    to deliver our punch cards. If we were lucky, we could game for a
    whole day before having to go to radio shack to replace our vacuum tubes.
    Then, we walked to and from school up hill both ways while barefoot.
    xwatchmanx likes this.
  19. Foxi4

    Foxi4 On the hunt...

    pip Reporter
    Sep 13, 2009
    Gaming Grotto
    You still don't have the disc, plus used games go well below $15 at times, but even so, if I wasn't going to buy the game at launch, if I planned to buy it used for $15, I saved nothing, I lost.

    Good luck getting that game back when a service is discontinued and you experience HDD failure (which is more common than you think).

    Yep - just the neverending fear of file corruption... since hard drives do that sometimes when they're old.

    False on all three accounts.

    Yeah, we're not moving away from physical copies anytime soon - games are getting bigger and bigger in size, so good luck downloading 26 gigs worth of data each time you want to play a game instead of "Popping it in and bam! Done!".

    If digital games were $20 off, sure... but they're not. :P

    I went half-digital with the PS3 and the PSVita already, but that's mostly due to PSN exclusives, Gamesharing and PS+ games- if not for those, I'd still buy physical copies en masse wheras now I buy them when I know I'll be their only user or if the price is just right.
    xwatchmanx likes this.
  20. the_randomizer

    the_randomizer The Temp's official fox whisperer

    Apr 29, 2011
    United States
    Dr. Wahwee's castle
    The flash RAM they use on SD cards deteriorates over time. It's not an infallible technology, hell, no storage medium is exempt from inevitable deterioration.

    Argument scenario one: "Digital downloads are better than physical copies because they're more convenient"

    True, they do have advantages over physical copies, but it's not without potential issues, servers shutting down, companies going under, etc. You could be out several hundred dollars' worth in games. Unless you could somehow download it once more, you'll have to repurchase said games. You should only have to pay for a game once and keep it and not have to buy it again. The companies got the money from said game once already, why should you have to pay for that same game twice?

    Argument scenario two: "But you can always transfer them to another hard drive, online storage site or SD card."

    Also a good point to bring up, but again, magnetic or flash-based storage devices are doomed to fail after so many years of use; It's impossible to keep said digital downloads stored forever unless infallible storage mediums are invented. There's no substitute for physical copies, and the other major flaw are internet connections.

    Only a small percentage of people (at least in the US) have super-fast internet due to inconsistencies in the entire infrastructure. Those who paid for digital games will often download several gigabytes worth of data on a connection <128 kbps, which will take quite a while, and a lot of the time, those games have to be verified over the internet. For those who don't have gigabit connections, damned if you do, damned if you don't.