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Is there any point to having physical game releases anymore?

levyjl1988

Member
Jan 31, 2010
1,719
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Canada, Toronto
It seems that we will never go back to the before times where a game was feature complete like DS era and before that.
Games now sold as physical releases are hardly complete at all.
When you have a base copy of the game you still have to connect to the internet to access the patches, hotfixes, DLC bonuses, preorders, access game servers, free updates, expansions, etc.
So when the servers shut down or it's no longer supported by the publisher or the system itself, everything disappears along with it. The game is wholly reliant on it.
Content is spread all over the place, you have the console, the physical cart, then the internet access, then the memory card, etc.
Wouldn't it be better just to have a larger capacity memory card instead?

I used to go big on physical collecting, but now seeing that physical release is nothing more than check to see if you have an access license, it just doesn't make any sense now to have digital copies.
For example looking at Xenoblade Chronicles 2, copies of the Torna expansion increased in price because of Mythra and Pyra announcement which got attention and demand to see their backstory etc.
Smash Bros always has a way of making niche franchises and making them popular.
The Torna physical copy doubled in price. However, it's part physical release and also DLC vouchers.
With all these updates, it seems like it is better in the long run just to own a digital license and have an account.
As long as you don't violate the TOS then you can still gain access.

With Smash Bros Ultimate and its constant updates and additions keeping a physical copy seems like a chore now. Always swapping and juggling physical carts.
I guess it may be good to buy games that are already feature complete knowing that it will never have additional content added down the road.

Anyways what are your thoughts on going all physical, digital etc?

For me as a physical collector, I would go for the Special and Collector Editions of games.
But games like Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, Animal Crossing New Horizons, Monster Hunter Rise, games with constant updates, it's best to be kept digital.
Games fully completed in carts with no chance of getting additional content will always be bought physical.
 
J

JeremyEtcetera

Unconfirmed Member
People are going to bring up PS3/Vita closing down as a counter-argument but I agree with you. Most games today are printed on a disc half-done or requiring a patch. The only versions of today's disc games that are actually worth the physical purchase are goty editions.
 
Jul 6, 2015
5,560
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720
As someone that owns a shit load of physical games from this gen, like 90% are perfectly fine offline with no patches. This argument is so exaggerated its insane. Sure there are some games that the patches make a huge difference like FFXV, but its a small percentage of the total physical releases. Do people actually read the patch notes for their games? Like what are all these patches that people are seeing that makes them think, well without this patch I wouldn't even want to play this game anymore.
 

bender

Bending Rodríguez (22, 1,729)
Apr 12, 2010
11,682
20,208
1,480
After the PS3/Vita/PSP store rumors, I've been thinking of "backing up" my Switch digital collection with physical copies as I really don't trust Nintendo (or Sony if that rumor is true) to give me access to those digital libraries long term. What has stopped me is the premise of this thread. Just about every game I'd want to have access to long term would be a downgrade from what's available in the games final patched/DLC form.

I then thought of another business opportunity for LRG. Second run copies of games once they've stopped being supported that are complete editions with all DLC and the latest patch on disc/cart. *shrug*
 

TKOFromTokyo

Member
Jul 20, 2020
3,085
6,412
565
No there is not.

/thread

I went all digital last gen already, only exceptions were a couple bargains I got in physical, other than that digital is way more convenient.

Donald Trump GIF by Election 2016


Resale value, deeper discounts, and more options to purchase games. Not to mention the ability to display your games and not having to worry about online stores closing.
 

bender

Bending Rodríguez (22, 1,729)
Apr 12, 2010
11,682
20,208
1,480
It depends on your living space and what you enjoy. I enjoy having my own store in my basement and I’be seen some incredible game rooms.

I have the space, just not the desire to store and maintain them. I still have a book case full of games but I've paired my collection down to the favorite of my favorite games.
 
Oct 7, 2019
1,585
2,352
445
I always buy physical. My two biggest reasons:

1) That way I can actually sell them? I would never buy a new game that I wasn't too sure about if I'm gonna like if I couldn't sell it to someone and get my money back.

Or like now, I've finished Assassin's Creed Valhalla and there's no way I'll ever feel the need to play it again. Great, I'll just sell it! I don't need it sitting in my collection.

2) I'm a collector. I like to have the games on my shelf. It gives me pleasure 😎
 

Kagey K

Member
Dec 18, 2013
11,646
17,499
995
I only bought 5 games physically last gen, and 3 of them were at launch. The other 2 were Rock Band and Guitar Hero, where you were basically forced to.

I tried to offload a pile of my 360 games that I had rebought digitally and it wasn’t worth the effort. Very few games appreciate in value and getting essentially 2 copies for the price of 1 far outweighs it.

I am a big fan of people that use resell value as a reason to go physical, as they are usually the first ones to run in and say I don’t rent games, but if you buy it beat it and sell it, you basically rented that game.
 

Ozzie666

Member
Jun 27, 2020
591
562
295
I also prefer a more simpler time, when we had cartridges and games released in a final, mostly bug free state. No big patches when I popped the game in. CD-ROM tech doesn't last, lasers die, disc erode. Cartridges from the 80's still work. Built to last and tangible.

Digital is artificially more expensive, to protect brick and mortar shops.

Backwards compatibility can never be guaranteed by any of the big 3. I suppose that's fine if you keep the hardware.

Will game shops carry consoles if there is no software to sell? Digital future is unstoppable, much to our dismay.
 
Oct 26, 2018
21,012
29,046
820
Depends where you live. If you live in a place with shitty internet or sky high rates with no unlimited bandwidth option, a disc might be better.

Also, what happened to all the concern about the guys living in forests with shitty wifi or all the guys in submarines?
 

Kagey K

Member
Dec 18, 2013
11,646
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995
Depends where you live. If you live in a place with shitty internet or sky high rates with no unlimited bandwidth option, a disc might be better.

Also, what happened to all the concern about the guys living in forests with shitty wifi or all the guys in submarines?
I think people didn’t realize at the time just how always online and connected these consoles and games were going to be.

We lost a lot of good features like selling and sharing digital between friends because of that.
 
Last edited:

Kagey K

Member
Dec 18, 2013
11,646
17,499
995
This.
Also why do digital only users have a hard on for people that buy physical?
Its like they want to convert people into a religion or something.... its fucking weird man.
I’d say it’s the opposite, but biases being what they are, we are likely seeing the same things, in reverse.

It seems like the physical buyers are trying to force ppl into shit, and even making hashtags about it.
 
Last edited:

BlackGauna

Member
Dec 3, 2015
57
54
330
Physical is just superior in many ways.

What even are the actual advantages of digital only? There are only two I can think of: it doesn't take up physical space and you don't have to switch the medium to play another game.

You still have to download new patches if the game was already downloaded beforehand.

And in times where seemingly almost every game gets a goty/complete edition release, one advantage of digital versions is nullified.

Physical games you can play offline, and often they are fine without any patches. Even if you want patches, but have slow internet access or limited data plan, you don't have to download the whole game, just the patch.

And, of course, you can borrow, sell and buy games freely.

You could say that the only obsolete pyhsical releases are of games that are online only anyway, but even then the advantages above apply partially.

Here in Europe atleast, digital games aren't even cheaper than physical and digital sales on PSN are mostly a joke, as you can get those games way cheaper in pyhsical form.

And finally, if we learned one thing in the past, it is that you can't give companies too much freedom. You can only hope that digital only will come as late as possible because you saw what anti-consumer moves game companies pulled in the past with things like play passes, micro transactions, lootboxes etc. If you completely give them control over your bought games, then I can't even imagine what shady shit they might do.
Just think about price increases. They would have free control over prices as there isn't any competition (on consoles at least).
 

Kagey K

Member
Dec 18, 2013
11,646
17,499
995
Physical is just superior in many ways.

What even are the actual advantages of digital only? There are only two I can think of: it doesn't take up physical space and you don't have to switch the medium to play another game.

You still have to download new patches if the game was already downloaded beforehand.

And in times where seemingly almost every game gets a goty/complete edition release, one advantage of digital versions is nullified.

Physical games you can play offline, and often they are fine without any patches. Even if you want patches, but have slow internet access or limited data plan, you don't have to download the whole game, just the patch.

And, of course, you can borrow, sell and buy games freely.
With games tied to account and games tied to the home console, I can buy 1 copy of the game and play it with my significant other.

I would have to purchase 2 copies your way.

The rest is nonsense, if you are playing on your “home“ console you can play it regardless of internet connection, or “offline.”
 

phil_t98

Member
Oct 10, 2014
4,922
5,111
655
It seems that we will never go back to the before times where a game was feature complete like DS era and before that.
Games now sold as physical releases are hardly complete at all.
When you have a base copy of the game you still have to connect to the internet to access the patches, hotfixes, DLC bonuses, preorders, access game servers, free updates, expansions, etc.
So when the servers shut down or it's no longer supported by the publisher or the system itself, everything disappears along with it. The game is wholly reliant on it.
Content is spread all over the place, you have the console, the physical cart, then the internet access, then the memory card, etc.
Wouldn't it be better just to have a larger capacity memory card instead?

I used to go big on physical collecting, but now seeing that physical release is nothing more than check to see if you have an access license, it just doesn't make any sense now to have digital copies.
For example looking at Xenoblade Chronicles 2, copies of the Torna expansion increased in price because of Mythra and Pyra announcement which got attention and demand to see their backstory etc.
Smash Bros always has a way of making niche franchises and making them popular.
The Torna physical copy doubled in price. However, it's part physical release and also DLC vouchers.
With all these updates, it seems like it is better in the long run just to own a digital license and have an account.
As long as you don't violate the TOS then you can still gain access.

With Smash Bros Ultimate and its constant updates and additions keeping a physical copy seems like a chore now. Always swapping and juggling physical carts.
I guess it may be good to buy games that are already feature complete knowing that it will never have additional content added down the road.

Anyways what are your thoughts on going all physical, digital etc?

For me as a physical collector, I would go for the Special and Collector Editions of games.
But games like Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, Animal Crossing New Horizons, Monster Hunter Rise, games with constant updates, it's best to be kept digital.
Games fully completed in carts with no chance of getting additional content will always be bought physical.

Having different options os always better, while i dont buy physical myself i will support always having it
 

RebellYell

Banned
Dec 28, 2020
221
553
285
I was physical only for the longest time, for me there was nothing better than having all my games lined up on a shelf where I could sit and look at them. I was a collector.

Then one day I was watching a Youtuber who had all sorts of memorabilia and stuff behind him on his wall, and then it hit me like a ton of bricks. It just looks so pathetic.

Now I'm completely digital and my shelf is no more. I won't be leaving behind mountains of plastic crap for someone else to dispose of when I'm gone.
 
Last edited:

xrnzaaas

Member
Dec 9, 2013
12,630
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805
Threads like this keep popping up once every few months. Some people will prefer digital because it's convenient and often cheaper, some will prefer retail because you own the games you buy. Just pick whatever you like and don't lecture others what to do, because there's no 'better' and 'worse' picks here.
 

Verkerkthegreat

Neo Member
Feb 19, 2021
17
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100
Yes unless it's get cheaper. Most of the time digital games are way more expensive (without sale) then physical games. At least here in the Netherlands, especially on psn.

 
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Shodan09

Unconfirmed Member
Yes I like them. Digital is still overpriced particularly on ps5. I like the fact that once I've got a physical copy it can't be arbitrarily taken away from me, and it's also sometimes useful to be able to play the first version of a game before it's been updated. Assassin's creed unity is playable at 60 fps on series X if you play the version on disk.
 
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UltimaKilo

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May 17, 2006
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Much of the world (even in the developed world) do not have access to high speed internet, so yes, it’s very necessary, which is why physical won’t be going anywhere this decade.
 
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nordique

Member
Sep 17, 2011
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I mean. Looking at 2020 games Alone, my resale value of digital titles was 0$

whereas my resale value of physical titles was around 700$ CAD. Yes it was a lot of games (Several sold for 80$ rest for 40 to 50$) but it funded my ps5 and series X to a great degree and those are games I’d never touch again

I just wholeheartedly disagree with people who think physical games have no rhyme or reason to exist

If given the option, I go physical. But I view games as recyclable and I put the money forward towards new hardware and games.
 
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rolandss

Member
Mar 9, 2017
293
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I'll never get this argument. If only way to buy games was through Sony/MS having a retail monopoly and selling games at full price at launch, then I'd be paying about 30-40% more for new releases. People thinking everything should just go digital are just wishing against competition in the retail market. I live in Australia, AAA game RRPs here are around $99-$120 RRP when they launch. This is what the PSN store charges. Physical game retailers will sell disc copies at anywhere from $59-$89 at launch. I never buy digital unless its like 2 years after the game releases and its in some PSN bargain sale, and that's not they way I want to play.
 

BlackGauna

Member
Dec 3, 2015
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With games tied to account and games tied to the home console, I can buy 1 copy of the game and play it with my significant other.

I would have to purchase 2 copies your way.

The rest is nonsense, if you are playing on your “home“ console you can play it regardless of internet connection, or “offline.”

You are right about sharing the game. But at least Sony already limited the amount of active consoles from 5 to 2. If that will stay forever is another question. There are rumors of a new account sharing exploit. If that is real and will be published, then we can't know how the sharing feature will change.

You still have to download the game, so have to be online at least once. My other points still stand.
 
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Shadowstar39

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Apr 25, 2018
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Using the switch as an example. Memory cards are expensive after 256gb. I lucked out on a sale for a 400gb stick but over that it's in the 100s of dollars. I own over 100 games for the switch. About 25 to 30 physical carts and thr rest digital.

I can only keep half on the mem stick. I buy games that are mainly intact on cart. Some may have a small patch but you are talking a lot of space saved. I just got kingdoms of amalur rereckoning on switch. It's all on the cart. The patch was small. Done. Got monster hunter on cart. Games like Mario 3d world I bought digital, why, 2.5gb is a small size. No problem.

Even with a 1tb sd if they ever go down in price (seems sd prices have been stagnate for 3 years now on the large capacities) I may be able to have everything on one cart, which would be ideal.

On pc everything is digital now, but storage is cheaper. I have 2 2tb hdds, a 500gb m2 gen4 ssd, and a 500gb sata ssd. That's 5 terabytes and I only have around 1.6tb free. Storage adds up.

On ps4 I have a 2tb hdd and a 2tb external hdd, both packed full. If games ran from disc like previous gens storage wouldn't be so bad. I am concerned about ps5. You get peasly space and ssds are too expensive.
 

xrnzaaas

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Dec 9, 2013
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I've always found that physical copies are far, far cheaper, and come down in price much sooner than digital copies.
That depends. New games are usually cheaper than digital ones sold at full price, but the older ones can get massive sales on digital platforms. It's hard to buy a physical game 80% off and even if some appear they get sold out almost immediately.
 
Last edited:
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Fredrik

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Jun 27, 2005
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Well you can sell the games after you’ve finished them.

But I went 100% digital when I realized everything had to be installed on the hdd last gen. Zero regrets.
 
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