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RTTP How does buying physical copies works these days?

keraj37

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I haven't bought a physical copy of a game for more than a decade and I am out of the loop.

But recently I took under my roof XSX and I hear its disk drive booting with a gentle sound, so I figured out I will buy some physical game as next.
But I am not sure how it works now - could someone explain how physical is linked to my MS account (if is at all)?
Can I sell it back?
What are advantages of having physical disk over digital convenience? (Apart from obvious, less download and speed of installation/copy to disk)

Maybe this thread could be also a spark to discuss "physical vs digital".

I was so far only digital because of how extremely convenient it is - and all my massive physical library got lost/destroyed/given away due to lack of care and order, but all my Steam games are there, and waiting to just "click" and install :)
 

Derktron

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Dec 27, 2019
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.................................... Buy going to Walmart or Target or even Best Buy to buy the copy of the game you want? Doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure that out. This thread makes it seems like it's hard work doing that. Also to point out, all you have to do is pop in the game and wait for some of the data to install along with the updates.
 

bellome

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dcx4610

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It's really just a way of bypassing a download and an alternate distribution system. The disc ties the content to your ID (you can still sell the disc), it installs from the disc and then usually still requires patches and additional content to be downloaded. You then play the digital version of game and the disc is just used as a license/unlock key.

I'm a big physical media guy when it comes to movies but it hardly makes sense for games in the modern era unless you like to sell your games (I don't ), buy used/cheap copies, have something to display on a shelf or have poor internet. As much as I hate to admit it, it's a digital world for modern game consoles and there's very little reason to own a physical copy these days. It would be like buying big box PC games in 2021 only to play them on Steam.
 

ReBurn

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The only physical games I buy these days are switch games. I order them from Amazon and they show up at my house. Hopefully 3D World/Bowser's Fury shows up on release day like it's supposed to.
 
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Warablo

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Xbox One was going to try and get physical discs that turn that game into digital, but the time and PR was a nightmare.
 
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What I wanna know is how physical discs work on XSX since they use the same disc for the X1 and XSX versions of the game. What's on the disc? Is it just the X1 version?
 
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keraj37

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.................................... Buy going to Walmart or Target or even Best Buy to buy the copy of the game you want? Doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure that out. This thread makes it seems like it's hard work doing that. Also to point out, all you have to do is pop in the game and wait for some of the data to install along with the updates.
Sorry, I should not name the thread "How does buying physical copies works these days?" but rather "How does physical copies work these days?".
I know how to buy a disk I just don't know everything else.
 
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Duchess

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Oct 2, 2020
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I order them from Amazon, myself. Occasionally go to the local CEX in town.

I just posted my PS4 copy of A Plague Tale to my brother to play, so there's still an advantage to be had with physical copies.
 
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dano1

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Sep 25, 2013
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All digital and never going back.
Especially now that PlayStation has there flash sales and discounts
 

Roger Rabbit

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Oct 21, 2020
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99% physical here, except in cases when physical is rare and outrageously priced (Harmful Park on PSN and Neo Geo games on Switch) or when something just doesn't get a physical release.

I get the advantages of digital, but I like the fact that my rights with physical games are better and more clearly protected in consumer. Plus, having read about people having all manner of problems with their accounts on PSN, I'm reluctant to give that much power over the games I own to Sony. I think Pockets was the name of the user on another forum who had a long-running battle. I've also read that sometimes, unbeknown to the user, the credit card company does a charge back, assuming that the spending is suspiciously out of pattern. Then Sony automatically suspends the account. I suppose these cases are rare, but it seems like no end of hassle if they do.

Also, I like finding old games in second-hand shops, car boot sales etc. I enjoy browsing. If physical bit the dust, I couldn't do that any more.
 

HotPocket69

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Oct 10, 2018
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I haven't bought a physical copy of a game for more than a decade and I am out of the loop.

But recently I took under my roof XSX and I hear its disk drive booting with a gentle sound, so I figured out I will buy some physical game as next.
But I am not sure how it works now - could someone explain how physical is linked to my MS account (if is at all)?
Can I sell it back?
What are advantages of having physical disk over digital convenience? (Apart from obvious, less download and speed of installation/copy to disk)

Maybe this thread could be also a spark to discuss "physical vs digital".

I was so far only digital because of how extremely convenient it is - and all my massive physical library got lost/destroyed/given away due to lack of care and order, but all my Steam games are there, and waiting to just "click" and install :)

Go to a fucking game store?

What is it with the stupidity of this place lately
 
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Anchovie123

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Feb 24, 2018
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Theres actually a common misconception that disc games are played from the disc therefore you save space on your HDD but this is not true. Since PS4 and Xbox One when you insert the disc the entire data is installed to the HDD and the disc simply acts as a verification key step. The reason for this is because Blu Ray discs can only transfer like 8 MB/s a second compared to 80MB/s for a HDD.
 

SpecialAgentZ

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Feb 28, 2013
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Every game needs to install to your console storage.
Disc is only for installing and license checking. The games only launch if the respective disc is in the drive.
You can buy used/resell the discs.

It's more or less the same thing we always had with physical copies of PC games.
 
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Plantoid

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Nov 4, 2015
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So you guys are saying that if I ever buy a disc I will have to insert it on the drive everytime I want to play a game?

What? If that's true I will never buy physical
 
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That's usually acomplished by going to a store and buying it. Can't you drive or walk?

I mean, at least here, there's a lot of bargain physical copies of games on the second hand shelfs. I'm not paying the absurd prices they ask for some digital games on the consoles stores. Nope. The hell with that shit.
 
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sn0man

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If it’s like PS4 you just put it in and play. It’s what it was when you left.
 

Gamerguy84

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I was physical for as long as it made sense for me. If I see a deal on something I'll still buy.

Just doesn't make much sense since the disk installs. Unless collector item, you want to sell, or maybe have a data cap.
 

GametimeUK

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all my massive physical library got lost/destroyed/given away due to lack of care and order, but all my Steam games are there, and waiting to just "click" and install :)

My digital library got hacked / forgotten emails / forgotten passwords due to lack of care and order, but all my physical PS4 games are there and waiting to just "pop" into the machine. :)
 
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Nitty_Grimes

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So you guys are saying that if I ever buy a disc I will have to insert it on the drive everytime I want to play a game?

What? If that's true I will never buy physical
That’s fine just pay £20 more each time for that privilege.
 
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Zog

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Oct 24, 2017
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Go to the store or order online. Unwrap disc. Place disc in console. Done!
I need some extra details.
- Now when I go to the store, where are the discs? I looked in the dairy section but found nothing.
- When you say unwrap disc, is this a Christmas thing or do they all come wrapped up?
- So do I open the console and then put the disc in or do I break it into small pieces and put the pieces into the vent holes?

LOL
 
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xrnzaaas

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Dec 9, 2013
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I will always go physical unless it's not available or there's a massive sale for the digital version. The biggest advantage of having a physical release is a very simple one - you actually own the game so you can launch it on as many consoles/accounts as you want and you can sell it to get some of your money back.
 
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waquzy

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Nov 10, 2020
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Go to the shop, buy the game, take it to the counter, pay for it, take it home, put the disc inside your console, make sure the console is plugged in, power up your console, install the game, play the game.

Hope this helps.
 
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Hudo

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You buy a box with nothing in it but a download code which basically forces you to install one of the DRM online account gatekeeping apps like Steam so you can download the game.
Meanwhile, you go to the shitter and think back to the glorious times when you bought a game:




 

Miles708

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Sep 11, 2019
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Roger Rabbit Roger Rabbit summarized the benefit, basically you tie your purchases to your account, lose account, lose games. At the moment GOG is the only digital store that makes sense as an user.

Other than that, gaming on disk gives you a choice wether install or not patches, and that comes handy because:
  1. There are instances where unpatched is superior (The last guardian on ps5 for example)
  2. You avoid downloading 100's of GB of useless data if you play offline
  3. It can happen that a patched game save is incompatible with the previous versions. Meaning, if you want to reinstall the game you need to be online. That may not be an hassle for you, certainly is for me
  4. As an addition to point 3, you can uninstall/reinstall games while being completely offline, having to rely on at least one less service.

You can lend and resell freely, and basically you don't have to check if you have double the hdd space before installing, if your internet works optimally, if all related company services are online and working .
 
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Gloomnivore

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On Switch you sometimes get download codes instead of cards in the game cases. That’s probably the best solution for those who insist on having plastic displayed on their shelves in 2021.

Reselling is the only reason left to stick with physical. Some of these modern discs surely won’t work in decades to come when you can no longer download the rest of the game.
 
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xrnzaaas

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On Switch you sometimes get download codes instead of cards in the game cases. That’s probably the best solution for those who insist on having plastic displayed on their shelves in 2021.

Reselling is the only reason left to stick with physical. Some of these modern discs surely won’t work in decades to come when you can no longer download the rest of the game.
Nah I find it dumb, same with PC retail releases with Steam/EGS codes inside the box. You're buying a digital version, just with a DVD case that doesn't serve any useful purpose.
 
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Roger Rabbit

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On Switch you sometimes get download codes instead of cards in the game cases. That’s probably the best solution for those who insist on having plastic displayed on their shelves in 2021.

Reselling is the only reason left to stick with physical. Some of these modern discs surely won’t work in decades to come when you can no longer download the rest of the game.

Lending to friends.
Better consumer rights.
No danger of Sony / Microsoft / Nintendo buggering about with your account and making your games inaccessible.
Often cheaper.

Those are the advantages for me, as well as reselling as you said, which I only do if I buy a game and find I can't stand it.

Filling shelf space is very low down on the list.

Obviously you prefer digital, but surely some of the above occurred to you. They've been mentioned in this very thread.
 

Roger Rabbit

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Nah I find it dumb, same with PC retail releases with Steam/EGS codes inside the box. You're buying a digital version, just with a DVD case that doesn't serve any useful purpose.

I suppose they're handy if you buy them as a Christmas present for someone who prefers digital. They still get their digital game but they have something to open on Christmas morning.

Apart from that, I can't see any point to them.
 
S

Sidney Prescott

Unconfirmed Member
Digital has transformed gaming and is my first choice that’s not being arrogant, I like physical though and with those it’s about buying USED for less.
I like the convenience of digital. I think the only problem is not being able to get a refund or sell it to someone else if it isn't your thing. I have to do a lot more research to make sure I'll like a game first.
 
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P.Jack

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Dec 30, 2020
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I like the fact that I can take a bunch of discs with me to a freinds house. Do it all the time. We've tried the digital way of logging in and downloading, but it's way more cumbersome, even if the games install size isn't that big. With discs, just pop 'em in and ignore the patches if you're in a hurry.
 
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RebellYell

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Dec 28, 2020
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Why would you even buy physical discs Grandad? The future is digital and there is absolutely no reason to go to a store and buy boxes with pointless little discs in.

Proper men go digital only. Imagine bringing some broad back to your abode and her seeing your Final Fantasy PS4 collection mounted on your shelf. She'd be outta there in a shot bro I'm telling you now.
 

Wizz-Art

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You buy a box with nothing in it but a download code which basically forces you to install one of the DRM online account gatekeeping apps like Steam so you can download the game.
Meanwhile, you go to the shitter and think back to the glorious times when you bought a game:




Holy shit, that's a whole tree.