Is digital the way to go?
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I can honestly say that gamers are some of the most passionate people on the planet. We like what we like, and rarely do we fail to voice our opinions. With the rise of social media, our voices are louder than ever. Because of our strong opinions, we tend not to shy away from a good debate. Casual debates among gamers, however, can become very heated in nature. One of the biggest ongoing debates is the one over physical vs digital games.
Physical games have been around for decades, but a change is on the horizon. Digital gaming is here and it’s here to stay. I’ve noticed over the last few months, I’ve bought more games digitally than I ever have. Games like Fire Pro Wrestling World, Dead Cells and Oddworld: New N Tasty round out my recent digital downloads. I can’t deny how convenient it is to just buy a game from the comfort of my own couch. Kids are growing up in a world where they don’t need to go out and do anything. I literally had to beg my granny to take me to the video store every weekend as a kid.
Digital gaming has also led to the influx of awesome indie games over the past few years. Smaller companies are now able to push their own titles without the need of massive publishers. My stance on digital gaming is positive. I think it fills a lot of voids, but it may come at a cost. Let’s look at digital gaming and how I feel it affects the gaming landscape.
Physical space is an issue when collecting especially with retro gaming enthusiasts. Can you imagine trying to store a complete collection of Sega Genesis or Sega Saturn games for that matter? Going digital allows you to do away with that space to make room for other important things. (As if other things are more important.)
Digital games save you time. You no longer need to drive out to a physical store for a game disc. It even beats having games shipped to you through the mail. Anyone can play their games right away on their favourite console. Sometimes you can even pre-load your games and play at the top of the hour. That’s a sweet deal.
Shipping and Handling
For game companies, it’s in their best interest to avoid shipping and packing costs. Companies can save costs on discs, cases, inserts, and the shipping for millions of copies at a time.
Blocks Resale Market
The resale market has long been an issue for video game companies. Places such as Gamestop allow gamers to buy and sell games while the game companies see none of those profits. Going digital can change that outlook while changing the entire resale landscape. Who knows, companies could create their own digital exchange program in the future.
With games being digital, who wants to worry about something being out of stock? Stock problems are non-existent in the digital world.
You Buy it, you Own it Forever
As of right now, there is no way to sell back a digital game. For people who choose to buy this way, you own that game forever. You can’t transfer, share, or sell that game to anyone else. Often, it’s the trade value from old games that add to the sales of brand new games. Think wisely before making that $60 purchase online.
Internet is Needed
To install digital games, you need to have an internet connection. Not only do you need internet but, it needs to be fast enough to handle a large download. The Internet is a common luxury in 2018, but there is still a population out there without it. This population would be out of the equation.
I cringed at Microsoft when they first announced the “always online” aspect for the Xbox One. They made things right although games are becoming increasingly dependent on their online connections. Games such as Fortnite, PUBG and even the upcoming Call of Duty Blackout need online connections to even start the game. What happens if a company decides to pull the plug on their game? Suddenly, our games are gone, and we have no control over it.
What Special Edition?
Out goes the special editions and in comes the Deluxe Digital Editions. Special Editions come with physical items that you can either display or keep for collecting purposes. Deluxe Digital Edition games come with extra digital goodies in the form of a code. This may be added bonuses such as skins, weapons, or in-game currency, etc. This could mean no more Fall Out Pip-Boy Editions.
Gaming is once again going through changes but, as gamers, we roll with the punches. Regarding physical vs digital, I stand firmly in the middle. I believe in preserving video game history with physical items. At the same time, I believe in decreasing the footprint of unnecessary games.
I imagine that 10 years from now this will probably be a non-issue among us. Let’s just hope that there is still a market for these old physical game cases for us old folks.