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Keranov

Digital vs Physical Copy

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Whenever it comes to buying games, there are mainly 2 ways. Which one do you prefer to use? To purchase your games physically on a disk from a store or to download them from platforms like Steam, Origin, uPlay, etc?

I always have preferred to get my video games digitally, mostly from Steam. I have a good download speed and usually there are sales which would save me some money. Physical copies also take space in your room and this is something which I don't like too.

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I usually go for physical copies because I'm afraid of losing the digital somehow. Even though physicals get damaged if used too long or not cared for properly I'd rather take my chances there. 

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Depends on what you're playing on. I'm a huge digital copy fan but when I got my first console I realized that it doesn't work there as well. So I would go Digital for PC and Physical on consoles (especially if it's the Switch that you must own countless SD cards to fit all those digital downloads).

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This is difficult for me to decide because on one hand, I'm extremely lazy and I hate going out of my way to change discs (yeah, I'm terrible) but on the other hand the thought of cloud gaming becoming a thing truly terrifies me. I've usually ended up just getting digital, but lately I've been going out of my way to get physical even though I'm sure my contribution won't matter in the long-run.

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This honestly depends on what game & platform. 

For PC: All my games are usually digital on PC. I use Steam or download the game Online. I don't see the need in hard disk copies for PC anymore personally.

For Xbox: It really depends. If I am in Game Stop and I find a game I like then I will buy a hard copy. Although, I would say 75% of my other games are all through Xbox Store. It is so much more convenient to just hit a download button!

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I don't see the harm in either method.  However, though, with physical, you have to take care of the discs or otherwise they get damaged - and this is also a problem when kids are in the house!  So anyway, I think it boils down to maturity on whether a person can handle physical.

Edited by Jayson

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Not too long ago I decided that I want to collect games so I try to get physical games as much as I can. I'm actually gonna start buying LOTS of games so I can save some money and sell off whatever I don't need or want.

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I'm physical media for life. I do have a few dozen Steam games that were free/extremely cheap, but those are the rare exception to the rule for me.

There are so many advantages to physical that it's not even funny. You can sell it when you're done and get cash back towards another game. You can buy games used for cheap since the market isn't controlled by one source. You can lend it to a friend. It looks nice on your shelf. It takes up less hard drive/memory card space. If your internet goes out or becomes limited, you've always got everything on-hand with physical. Ownership is guaranteed as long as your media is intact (digital only grants you a "license" to play a game which can be altered or even revoked - just look at the way Rockstar is altering GTA radio stations years after the fact). And most importantly, your ability to play is not dependent on the publisher or console manufacturer maintaining the servers indefinitely in case you have to re-download it. All you need to do is look at the graveyard of DSiWare and soon to be WiiWare games that are possibly gone forever since Nintendo shut down the DSi and Wii shop servers. Some day that could happen to PS3 and Xbox 360... then PS4 and Xbox One. PC sources are no guarantee either. I don't want my game collection to live and die by the whims of a company.

Unfortunately we are heading for a time where even physical games are becoming highly dependent on their connection with digital distribution, with some games not even working without a Day 1 patch or supplemental internet install. But I will hang on to my physical games regardless. Game publishers can pry them out of my cold dead fingers, because I'll be the last person to switch to all-digital 😂

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Deep down I prefer physical simply cause I grew up in a physical pre-digital age where you'd still buy games on CD-ROM's and such, and that's always what will feel real to me. But lately due to space concerns I've been reluctantly getting more and more games digitally.

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I grew up in the age of owning a physical disc, but these days I stick with digital downloads. It's better than going to the store and I find a lot more coupons online. 

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For indies I don't mind purchasing the digital copies as I usually tend to wait for the PSN Flash sales.

For AAA titles I do prefer the physical copies as they generally have massive installs meaning they would take forever to download given where I live.

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On PC I feel like digital makes more sense.  For console I almost always go physical unless it is a small indie game or something PSN has a crazy sale on.  I think for console this makes more sense because HDD space is more limited, also you get the option of selling a physical game back.  You don't get a lot of money for this but something is better than nothing, and I have been able to knock 20-30 dollars off a new game purchase before with sell backs.  I feel like that is worth it.  Plus the risk of damage is minimal as long as you take care of your games.

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I like being lazy and booting up digital games from the home screen of my PS4 (without putting a disc in), but for the most part, I prefer buying physical so I've got the option to sell on the game when I'm finished with it.

Edited by DylanC

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