• Hey, guest user. Hope you're enjoying NeoGAF! Have you considered registering for an account? Come join us and add your take to the daily discourse.

PlayStation 5 owners prefer boxed games to downloads

The good thing about digital is you're maximally supporting devs, ie the people making a living and being most directly responsible for the games you're playing.

Let's be real here, the ones benefit the most from digital format are not the developers who put up 12-15 hours a day during crunch time, the ones benefit the most are the rich share holders, the board directors, the executives, the CEOs, the Bobby Kotick, the Phil Spencer, etc. Developers wages barely increase over the years, while game publishers revenue hit new record every year
 
Last edited:

Tschumi

Member
My owning two copies of breath of the wild - a physical, purchased first at a good second hand saving - and a full priced digital, bought second - should elucidate my stance on this... I'd play Returnal, tales of arise, demon's souls and other titles far more if i didn't have to bend down at the cabinet to switch discs.

Horizon FE, GT7 and Elden Ring are all digital and this is good.
 
For me as a physical collector, the biggest worry for me is the day one patch thing. Imaging in the future when all of our games became retro and all the current gen servers are down, we would have to count on our hard drive that stores the patch file to be functional. Or else we are left with a incomplete version of the game.
 

yurinka

Member
Zhuge already debunked this report. Tons of data missing. This is misinformation.
I'm taking it this Zhuge doesn't want to come here and back this up himself?
Like he debunked his own over 8 million Series sold?

The data is actually correct… it is missing downloaded only titles that makes no sense to be included for that comparison.

BTW Sony own 70ish% digital is heavy weighted in digital only titles.
Yep.

-GSD doesn't get all the digital data.
-GSD ignores PS4 and all non-PS5-SKU games
-digital is king even on Playstation, with around 60-70% of total software sales

The GSD data is correct and complete.

GSD is an organization of the European gaming national trade associations and big and small publishers (including all the console platform holders) with presence in Europe, where each publisher shares their own sales digital data for the PAL territories (basically Europe, Middle East, South Africa and Oceania) plus the physical sales for Europe regularly in order to be able of becoming part of GSD and see the other publisher's data for the covered regions.

This include giving GSD access to their own account on all the game digital store databases to get the info directly from there. Most big and small publishers (including most known indies) are on board.

https://www.isfe.eu/our-membership/
https://www.isfe.eu/games-sales-data/

The only European sales that GSD doesn't cover are the one from the publishers who aren't member of GSD, basically small/new indies with tiny digital sales and no retail sales.

It's the only reliable source to get accuratte console game sales data from Europe in both physical and retail, since they are real sales numbers directly from the publishers and the digital stores. Unlike the Niko Partners (the company where Zhuge works) sales estimations, GSD numbers are the real deal.

But since it's only available for publishers who are part of GSD, maybe Zhuge doesn't have access to it and doesn't know what he's talking about. Or maybe he's aware of it and he's worried that if the publishers continue expanding this to other countries and regions it will higly hurt the business of the company where he is working.

Isn't it true that Sony remains the only seller for digital PS5 games? If you are forced to pay whatever price they charge you'd get your games physical. I get my physical games from ebay on PS5 and get great savings and it's always less than what Sony charges for a digital copy. Here is a story about how Sony handles digital.

https://arstechnica.com/gaming/2021...ed-monopoly-pricing-of-playstation-downloads/

Part of the reason digital is more popular on Xbox platforms is that you can buy digital games from non Microsoft sources like CDKeys. In some cases you can get digital games for less than physical on that platform. Sony seems to be the reason physical is selling more on PlayStation.
You can also buy PSN games from non Sony sources like cd key stores, or in cards they have in retail stores. You can also buy cheaper PSN credit (I frequently do it) on cd key stores:
https://www.cdkeys.com/playstation-network-psn/psn-games

I think you're talking about other topic, the lawsuit is more related to people like Epic or Microsoft wanting to publish on PSN using their own store without paying the platform holder their 30% cut, same as in the Epic vs Apple trial.
 
Last edited:
Let's be real here, the ones benefit the most from digital format are not the developers who put up 12-15 hours a day during crunch time, the ones benefit the most are the rich share holders, the board directors, the executives, the CEOs, the Bobby Kotick, the Phil Spencer, etc. Developers wages barely increase over the years, while game publishers revenue hit new record every year

Whether or not that's true (you can apply that in general to the executive level of the tech space), the question is what does buying a game from the secondary market do for developers? The answer is, basically nothing. So in that direct comparison, one is clearly better and one is clearly worse. It doesn't mean buying digital will immediately give every one who worked on the game a residual payment. But don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good... or at least don't argue that way.

People don't have to prioritize that over saving themselves some money, people can do what they want. It's clear there's a percentage of consumers who want physical media, and a percentage of that group specifically wants it in order to retain SOME value in the resale market. That's fine, that's how markets and physical products work. But I was only responding to someone who said the "only benefit" to going digital is not juggling discs, which is very obviously not true.
 
Last edited:
For me as a physical collector, the biggest worry for me is the day one patch thing. Imaging in the future when all of our games became retro and all the current gen servers are down, we would have to count on our hard drive that stores the patch file to be functional. Or else we are left with a incomplete version of the game.

So, play new games and support new developers!

I get that it's not exactly that simple, I understand that the gaming community want to not just replay stuff but preserve gaming as a whole the way people preserve films and books and what not... but every time this comes up, in terms of any individual consumer, I can't help but honestly wonder how often are people replaying these games years and years after they've been not only released but support for them has been discontinued? How much free time does one person have?
 
Last edited:

ReBurn

Gold Member
GSD is an organization that compiles the sales data of the European gaming national trade associations and big and small publishers with presence in Europe, where each publisher shares their own sales digital data for the PAL territories (basically Europe, Middle East, South Africa and Oceania) plus the physical sales for Europe regularly in order to be able of becoming part of it and see the other publisher's data for the covered regions.

This include giving GSD access to their own account on the digital stores databases to get the info directly from there. Most big and small publishers (including most known indies) are on board.

https://www.isfe.eu/our-membership/
https://www.isfe.eu/games-sales-data/

It's the only reliable source to get pc & console games data from Europe in both physical and retail since they are real sales numbers unlike the Niko Partners (the company where Zhuge works) sales estimations. But since it's only available for publishers maybe Zhuge doesn't have access to it and doesn't know what he's talking about. Or maybe he's worried that if the publishers continue expanding this to other countries and regions it will higly hurt the business of his company.
France, Italy, Benelux, Iberia, Nordics and Oceania is not exactly a representative sample of PS5 gamers. Unless I missed the Micronesia boxed charts thread or something. GSD may be cool but the article that started this thread is weird.
 

yurinka

Member
France, Italy, Benelux, Iberia, Nordics and Oceania is not exactly a representative sample of PS5 gamers. Unless I missed the Micronesia boxed charts thread or something. GSD may be cool but the article that started this thread is weird.
GSD covers Europe, Middle East and Oceania, the article talks about European sales and well, gameindustry.biz is European. It doesn't cover America or Japan, whose behavior may be different but in the case of America typically is pretty similar to Europe.

Territories covered by the scope of GSD digital data charts from 49 countries being Australia, Austria, Bahrain, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Great Britain, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, India, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Kuwait Lebanon, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Oman, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Romania, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine and UAE are the ones listed in their page (they keep adding countries, the website may not be fully updated).

The GSD physical data comprises games from every publisher sold in 23 countries (as mentioned in the GI article) and their website mentions Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland (they keep adding countries, so maybe the website isn't updated). Retail charts are being displayed in both volume and value.

The 'France, Italy, Benelux, Iberia, Nordics and Oceania' is only the sample they took for this data. Doesn't include the two biggest PAL land countries, Germany and UK, but the regions they cover that come after them are the listed ones in the sample, which cover the full data of over half of the European market (sometimes the gaming industry also includes Australia and New Zealand in the European numbers because in the past they splitted the gaming industry into America, Japan and Europe/PAL territories). So it's a very representative sample of the European market, specially considering these countries behave similarly to the other close ones. And well, to make an accurate statistic you don't need huge sample, it need to be representative.
 
Last edited:
I don't understand the idea of physical media anymore. All games today need a day one patch, so what "advantage" would I have in having it physical if all of them are "stuck" to their 1.0 version without updates etc.

If today's games came like they used to; physical media is the final game, ok, I would understand the appeal of that, but we are in a very different era than that, where games are released in beta and are patched over time.

(Edit) Some games don't even have game data in the media, but a key to download the game, so...
 
Last edited:

ethomaz

Banned
You can also buy PSN games from non Sony sources like cd key stores, or in cards they have in retail stores. You can also buy cheaper PSN credit (I frequently do it) on cd key stores:
https://www.cdkeys.com/playstation-network-psn/psn-games

I think you're talking about other topic, the lawsuit is more related to people like Epic or Microsoft wanting to publish on PSN using their own store without paying the platform holder their 30% cut, same as in the Epic vs Apple trial.
Sony doesn’t allow games redeem cards anymore for PS5.

You can still buy them for PS4 titles.
 

DarkMage619

Member
You can also buy PSN games from non Sony sources like cd key stores, or in cards they have in retail stores. You can also buy cheaper PSN credit (I frequently do it) on cd key stores:
https://www.cdkeys.com/playstation-network-psn/psn-games

I think you're talking about other topic, the lawsuit is more related to people like Epic or Microsoft wanting to publish on PSN using their own store without paying the platform holder their 30% cut, same as in the Epic vs Apple trial.
I am talking about retail PS5 games not PS4. Sony took action to ensure they were the sole source for digital PS5 titles. Your link didn't have games like Returnal, Ratchet and Clank, or the new Horizon game. You can purchase digital Xbox games from retailers like Target and Amazon. Big difference.
 

rofif

Gold Member
I don't understand the idea of physical media anymore. All games today need a day one patch, so what "advantage" would I have in having it physical if all of them are "stuck" to their 1.0 version without updates etc.

If today's games came like they used to; physical media is the final game, ok, I would understand the appeal of that, but we are in a very different era than that, where games are released in beta and are patched over time.

(Edit) Some games don't even have game data in the media, but a key to download the game, so...
Play a game without patch once. You will realise it’s the same fully playable game. And having the version gold is also an interesting fact in itself
 

three_muffins

Gold Member
Im all digital and even own a post digital.
I understand and agree that there is a price reason to still buy boxed games.

I only buy games 6-12 months after release and usually pay around 30-40 € which ist ideal for me. I'm usually 6 months behind new games and for me it is still like buying new games. :)

I hate to have video game boxes in my house. So digital is the only way for me. (Same with movies btw.)
 
Digital is way too expensive too often on PSN store. While you can find good day 1 deals and sales on boxed games that you can also resell when done with the games.

When Returnal was on 20% sale on PSN store it was still like €65….
 
Last edited:

arvfab

Member
For me as a physical collector, the biggest worry for me is the day one patch thing. Imaging in the future when all of our games became retro and all the current gen servers are down, we would have to count on our hard drive that stores the patch file to be functional. Or else we are left with a incomplete version of the game.

That's the reason I would like to have a possibility to download patches separately. Give me a PS/Xbox/Nintendo page where patches can be downloaded on PC and installed via USB on console.
 
What are you smoking? If they could they'd love to get rid of it for good in a heartbeat. Makes them less money.
Yes but they more often update disc prints, use better quality control when printing the discs and there are some games on ps that ship with 2 discs while on xbox they’ll put one disc in there and make you download the rest.

Sony is more physical friendly while ms is more digital but yes I understand they want to get rid of it as well.
 

Soosa

Member
EU: good infra, easy to get to stores, cheaper physical games, no capped internet usually (so easy to upgrade ps4 -> ps5 version), easy to buy used copies

At Finland almost all launch games are 49,95€ for ps4 version and 49,95-59,95€ for ps5 version on one store chain at launch week, then they usually jump 10-20€ higher.

at the moment elden ring ps5 version is 44,90€

So it is just financially stupid to pay 69,90€ for digital version, when physical is 20-25€ cheaper.

Basically every 3th -4th game is "free" when buying physical vs digital.
Benefits from digital games are, no need to change discs (not a big deal), no need to go to store (not a big deal), and less environmental waste.

Maybe EU vs US digital vs physical is also tied to how our infra is build?

At EU it is really common that you can just take a bicycle and be at store that sells games in 5-30minutes, or take a bus etc. At US it is more common that stores are far away and cities arent build for walking/cycling? And here with car (unless you live outside of city) it is like 5-15 minutes trip to store, buy game, get back. If we would have real rush hours + it would take like +40 mins to get to a store, maybe it would be a different thing.

People here also use this weird argument:
"but if you sell it, you cant play it again! and you have to pay again to play it!"
Which is faulty logic, because if I buy a game as new for 50€, play it, sell it for 40-45€, I can almost always buy it back for about 5-15€ months/years later. So it is still cheaper than keeping the original copy.

facts are that physical games are usually 10-25€ cheaper than digital, and it is super easy to buy them used too. I like to buy launch games used, and I can easily find them for 35-45€ within 2 weeks after the launch, so that is even cheaper. And because buying physical games is fast, it doesnt really matter.

I have series x too, and my plan is to buy zero games for it for the next 3 years, because 3 years of GPU cost me 94€, I just play whatever they add to game pass.
But if I would buy games for series x, I would buy physical too as xbox is less popular here so their games are usually much cheaper used than ps4/5 games.
 
Last edited:

Helghan

Member
Makes sense when games cost 80 EUR, and you can get them cheaper physical. Even more so when you buy them second hand.
 

UnNamed

18+ Member
Digital is more expensive most of the time.

I can buy an AAA game for 50€, then I could sold it for 35€, I can play a game for just 15€. How many AAA games are 15€?

I bought Mario 3D, Luigi's Mansion and other games for 35€, second hand. I sold them for the same price. Basically I played them for free.

The problem with digital is you can not sold your license to others (for now, because some countries are not happy with this). Allow to sold your license of your digital games and physical will be (almost) useless.
 

rolandss

Member
Boxed games are generally cheaper. I just bought Horizon FB on launch day which is $124.95 AUD on the PS Store. It’s $95-$99 at boxed retailers.
 
So, play new games and support new developers!

I get that it's not exactly that simple, I understand that the gaming community want to not just replay stuff but preserve gaming as a whole the way people preserve films and books and what not... but every time this comes up, in terms of any individual consumer, I can't help but honestly wonder how often are people replaying these games years and years after they've been not only released but support for them has been discontinued? How much free time does one person have?
Because, some games are so memorable, after awhile you miss them, you play them again and find them even more memorable. Then the habit of replaying that game once a while became a stable, you then subconsciously do this for 20 years without even realize it.

That pretty much sums up of how I felt about all the great NES, SNES/Genesis, N64/PS1, NGC/PS2 games

Now imaging in the future you can't do that anymore. :messenger_crying: Games as service or cloud gaming rob all that away.
 
Last edited:
I don't understand the idea of physical media anymore. All games today need a day one patch, so what "advantage" would I have in having it physical if all of them are "stuck" to their 1.0 version without updates etc.

If today's games came like they used to; physical media is the final game, ok, I would understand the appeal of that, but we are in a very different era than that, where games are released in beta and are patched over time.

(Edit) Some games don't even have game data in the media, but a key to download the game, so...
Price promotions and resell value, it's hardly something which needs to be understood...
 
Because, some games are so memorable, after awhile you miss them, you play them again and find them even more memorable. Then the habit of replaying that game once a while became a stable, you then subconsciously do this for 20 years without even realize it.

That pretty much sums up of how I felt about all the great NES, SNES/Genesis, N64/PS1, NGC/PS2 games

Now imaging in the future you can't do that anymore. :messenger_crying:

How often do you actually play any of those games though, would be my question.

I'm not saying your feelings are invalid, in fact I agree your feelings are shared by a whole lot of people! I have some of those feelings.

But let's focus on a specific example of an N64 game, or a SNES game, that you want to play that can no longer play that you want to play?
 
Last edited:
I don't understand the idea of physical media anymore. All games today need a day one patch, so what "advantage" would I have in having it physical if all of them are "stuck" to their 1.0 version without updates etc.

If today's games came like they used to; physical media is the final game, ok, I would understand the appeal of that, but we are in a very different era than that, where games are released in beta and are patched over time.

(Edit) Some games don't even have game data in the media, but a key to download the game, so...
For me as a physical collector, the biggest worry for me is the day one patch thing. Imaging in the future when all of our games became retro and all the current gen servers are down, we would have to count on our hard drive that stores the patch file to be functional. Or else we are left with a incomplete version of the game.
That's exactly what I'm talking about, day one patch is an excuse of releasing a unfinished game and still get away with it which in the past they can't
 
Last edited:

Rocco Schiavone

I am terrified of Microsoft and am always concerned about them.
The good thing about digital is you're maximally supporting devs, ie the people making a living and being most directly responsible for the games you're playing.
Again this maximally supporting devs bullshit.

Tell you something the devs get more money If you buy the Special or Collectors edition of their Games rather than buying a shitty digital copy.
 
Again this maximally supporting devs bullshit.

Tell you something the devs get more money If you buy the Special or Collectors edition of their Games rather than buying a shitty digital copy.

I'm already supporting them... the secondary market is not.

It's not bullshit, this is how most of the people I know make their living and support their families. Literally. So save your performative outrage, especially since I was merely responding to a very specific point, which is completely inarguable.
 
Last edited:

MikeM

Member
I prefer physical. In saying that, when I really want to buy a game, i’ll buy wherever its cheaper. Trading games with friends is easier with physical too.
 

Rocco Schiavone

I am terrified of Microsoft and am always concerned about them.
I'm already supporting them... the secondary market is not.

It's not bullshit, this is how most of the people I know make their living and support their families. Literally. So save your performative outrage, especially since I was merely responding to a very specific point, which is completely inarguable.

Maybe you're too stupid or you just don't want to get it. I was talking about developers making more money if the buyer buys a special or collectors version instead of just buying a game digitally. I wasn't talking about the used game market.
 
Last edited:
I've been gaming for decades so physical is always going to win for me. Point in case I see Jumanji: the video game for 15 euro in a bricks and mortar shop down the road brand new or 39.99 on the xbox store. It's a no brainer. But if something is vastly cheaper on the store I am going to buy through that.

As times goes by hard drives will get filled up with games. Sure rdr2 is over 100gb on xbox one so with games like that you are constantly playing tetris with space. I like owning something physical. If I delete from my system I still have it. When xbox switches off the store I'll still have it.

But it has to be said that as each new generation starts to play games they'll think its stupid to own copies. As they would have grown up on digital only, xbox game pass etc.
 
Last edited:
How often do you actually play any of those games though, would be my question.

I'm not saying your feelings are invalid, in fact I agree your feelings are shared by a whole lot of people! I have some of those feelings.

But let's focus on a specific example of an N64 game, or a SNES game, that you want to play that can no longer play that you want to play?
Compare to modern game I would say 50/50

I don't just play 1 or 2 games, I constantly shift between them

For example, I just did a classic Resident Evil marathon last month. The total time I spend on Final Fantasy Tactics is at least over 2000 hours (accumulatively, with all the different SCCs). I Still Play Super Metroid, Link to the Past, Mario World, Mario 64, Mario Galaxy 2, Metroid Prime marathon, Silent Hill marathon, Onimusha marathon, Metal Gear marathon, Bunch of Shump on Genesis, the list goes on, I play all these game time to time.

Another beauty of physical copy, is that they line up perfectly on your shelf, reminding you all those good memory every time you look at them.
 

64bitmodels

Member
Makes perfect sense if you know the difference between how Xbox physical games are and ps. Sony definitely cares more about physical.
well yeah, MS got their foothold by selling a primarily digital OS with a focus on digital games and digital applications, while Sony got their foothold by selling Physical media to blu ray players and dvd players. not only that, but the Xbox Series X and Xbone use blu ray drives, which are owned by Sony. They gotta pay royalties every time they sell an xbox with a disc drive... which is fucking hilarious when you think about it
 
Last edited:

64bitmodels

Member
If your house burns down you will still have your digital games.

When you go to heaven just log in and you still have your games.

Physical buyers are just grasping for straws at this point.
dumb as this guy's example is, it's true in my case....
even after losing all my physical games, i still had my digitals. they're always in your account because they're tied to an account and not just... you. shit happens and it's far harder for me to preserve my physicals than it is to keep my digitals. especially for people who move a lot, like me. I lost my older PC a while ago and for a while i couldn't play steam games. eventually i got a newer system though, and when i logged in all my games were there. i didn't have to rebuy them just to replay them. there are positives to owning all your games, but there are negatives to that as well. not everyone is as responsible as physical owners to always own and keep their games.
 
Maybe you're too stupid or you just don't want to get it. I was talking about developers making more money if the buyer buys a special or collectors version instead of just buying a game digitally. I wasn't talking about the used game market.

Yeah... and perhaps you're too stupid to understand that I was, and you were directly responding to me. So you not getting that means that you are indirectly talking about the used game market isn't my problem.
 
Last edited:

Susurrus

Member
I don't buy games used unless it is some older game that is unreasonable to get new, but buying games physically saves me quite a bit of money. I'm also aware of sales on PSN can be good, at the end of the day I'm going to get whatever is cheapest most of the time. Kids games especially, holy crap. My son wanted the PJ Masks game. Digital version is $10 more than physical. We also like playing Lego games together. Marvel Lego 3 game collection on PSN is $60, but $20 on disc.

If price and everything else is equal, I'll get physical just because I can sell it when I'm done or let someone borrow it. But I'm not so dedicated to physical that I'd ignore good digital deals on a game I'm interested in.
 

anothertech

Member
Digital makes more sense to me for most games because I gameshare with another account so the games are basically half price for us. Really great for online multiplayer stuff.

It's the main reason I went ps5 digital so I'm stuck with digital anyways!
 
Top Bottom