PC/Console - Digital/Physical



  • I'm sorry for asking this question in a new thread, but it's one I've been keen to ask for quite some time.

    I frequently hear people's arguments against buying digital titles, yet they often seem to go against them by admitting that, when it comes to PC, they will always go digital.

    I am aware of the sales and what not and, of course, i'm aware of how Steam works and the offers it gives. This aside though, I still find that I can get the same games on Amazon, for as cheap, if not cheaper, than the sales that Steam offers.

    I guess i'm just curious as to if people who primarily game on PC are a lot less interested in seeing their games on a shelf?



  • Its been long time since i own physical disc. everything I own on steam and digitally.

    imo digital are more safer than physical. no waste of space in rooms, no fear of loss or broken, no fear of disc bieng robbed.



  • I like to own a mix. I buy new releases on physocal, but previous gen titles/remasters digitally. Dunno why, just how I do it.

    I can see why some people might not like digital though. A few years back I moved and didn't have internet for two weeks. After a week I was locked out of my PS4 games, and a few days later my Steam games, because they couldn't reach the authentication server.

    Considering that physical copies install the entire game to the hard drive, they aren't much different from one another at this point. You either authenticate with a disc or a connection, and sometimes you need both.



  • I used to buy everything physical , but now It depends on the game and console.
    As someone who is studying abroad I realized (a bit late) that I have too many things , so now I only buy physical for used games since they are cheaper . Digital I buy them since I don't want to throw/sell my games if I don't can't bring them back home (when I go back to my country). Also I have more than one PC , so when I play on any of them I can download them again and play them , on the other hand if the games were physical and I want to play when I'm outside of my home I would have to anticipate that.Last, digital games get more sales events.



  • PC: Digital. (not like I have much of a choice ;))

    Console: Whatever's more convenient at the time. Sometimes retail (especially with larger games, cause my download speed leaves a fair bit to be desired), sometimes digital. (especially if there's a sale)



  • I own a mix on console, usually depends on the game. I know when I first got my PS4 almost everything I bought was digital. Since it is cheaper then buying physical copies by $4 (No tax on digital goods in my state....Yet) But since I've signed up for Amazon Prime I've been getting more physical games again.

    Although I feel like im buying everything twice now, Ill buy it a physical copy first, play it for who knows how long. Delete it from my hard drive, pop it in months later and see like a massive patch thats going to take a hour or more, start questioning why I bought it physically, see it pop up during a flash sale. Trade in my copy and use the credit from that to buy it digitaly (Or at least save me a few bucks)
    Granted I can easily save myself time an money by just buying everything digitaly....Probably about time I upgrade my HDD again (just have a 1TB right now)



  • I'm all digital at this point. I live very modestly, and really don't like things I own taking up space. My shelves are for books.



  • With steam and other services, digital games are super easy to access on PC, so it became more of a chore to purchase games digital for it. Only if there is a game I'm extremely hyped about, so that I would actually put it on a shelf or something, I go and buy physical copy.



  • physical unless there no other choice i would rather spend my money on something rather then air



  • If there's a game I really care about, I want physical edition of it, no matter the platform. But I don't mind digital downloads of games.



  • With PC I buy everything digital on Steam or wherever. I kind of have to since I don't have a disk drive

    With Console I usually buy physical copies of everything because I like displaying them and they take up less space on the hard drive (plus they're almost always cheaper). Sometimes I'll get multiplayer games digitally, for example I'm planning on getting a digital Battlefield 1, so I always have it with me and can switch easily to it whenever I want to.



  • I like the idea of looking at a shelf and seeing rows of games and consoles I've collected since the 90's. However that's all it is to me. A cool idea.

    To be clear I don't have old games or consoles. I don't replay games. I don't even have the time to play new games. The one and only reason why I buy physical, is because I truly own the game and can sell it or trade it. I don't need to look at the thousands of dollars spent on games I'll never touch again and can't get rid of. That being said, one day I'll have to embrace a digital future. That's fine, I really don't mind. I just like being able to sell it. I look forward to changing games on the fly one day lol.

    Also, as great as a physical copy is these days, it's not the same as the same a pre PS3 era. My copy of pretty much any game is unplayable without the patches available to download them. You can use a Nintendo to play old games. If ps4 support was ever dropped you would never be able to play 3 quarters of your games 20 years from now. the industry is better at salvaging games now though, so we will see.



  • I buy physical on console when possible, I buy digital on pc because the kinds of games I play on pc generally aren't on console and don't get physical releases. Pretty much any cross platform releases, I buy physical.

    Whenever I can, I buy on console because I trade in old games for cash quite a bit.



  • PC buyers go digital cause we aren't really given a choice, how many actual retail stores CARRY PC games these days? The rest only sell you codes, which I could just do over the client.

    Even when PC games were sold regularly in physical format, you couldn't resell them. So it's not a fair or even accurate comparison to console gaming.

    But as for my personal stance, console I prefer to always have the disc, reasons as follows:

    • Digital versions have more botched releases than physical (Latest example for me was Grand Kingdom, game wasn't unlocking, content was missing, pre-order bonuses weren't being delivered, content in the game wasn't updating properly).

    • Costs the same as physical without the option of resale

    • No resale

    • No awesome smelling manuals (Though most games don't anymore anyway)

    • Zero incentive to pre-order digital since console download speeds never match my actual speed and with everyone downloading at once it's even WORSE, and yes this is PS4 AND XB1 so midnight releases don't really matter when you're still waiting to play past 2am.

    • Online clients can close or remove games at any time, for any reason, but you can't take my discs from me without considerable discomfort to yourself.

    • Large file sizes

    • Performance can be better or worse than physical, this is a case by case basis of course.

    • I get better discounts from amazon prime than most retail employees get, and it only applies to physical copies AFAIK. $69 turns into $51.

    • No option to import digital games without jumping through more hoops than it's worth.

    That's just off the top of my head.


  • Global Moderator

    Call me old fashioned, but I buy physical copy when I can. I don't really buy PC games though, last I did buy were Starcraft 2 which were digital as I wanted to start to play right away with some friends.

    I do prefer to have a "hard copy" on my shelf

    • I LOVE the smell of new games (I miss the manuals though).

    • I can always access the disk, no worries about the servers going down.

    • I actually OWN the copy, digital can disappear (for you nay sayers, just look at various servers that gone down and gamers not being able to play).

    • My game library looks awesome in my bookcase with my statues and figures.

    • I save hard drive space on my PC on the few occasions I buy PC games.


  • Banned

    I buy digital because the ease of use, better load times and immediate access is unparalleled.

    Plus I find games/movies/music cd's on a self to be a bunch of clutter more than anything else.

    Just my personal preference. I've never had any issues buying games off Steam or PSN.


  • Banned

    I've bought 98% of all my PC games digitally the last 5-6 years, while I've bought 80% of my console games physically the last 3-4 years, though lately I've bought plenty of games digitally for my PS4 because of the convenience and cheaper price.



  • As I primarily play on a PC that has no disc drive it is all digital all the time. Install the games I want and ensure "offline" mode works with no issues. If not I get a refund and keep moving.



  • Well with the advent of Steamworks on 3rd party retail copies. And also Battlenet for Blizzard games. Physical copies for PC's have essentially lost much of its purpose. Outside of collectors editions and games that people just want to have a physical box of. Even if the majority of PC physical games, have become the equivalent of an online redeemable code.

    I personally wouldn't be interested in physical PC copies for the above reasons. For consoles, I only buy physical for a game I really like. As PSN eventually gives pretty good deals for practically every game. I am though very grateful, that I brought the digital verison of Destiny TTK. As I am constantly jumping in between games. And don't need to be swapping discs everytime I switch games.



  • I prefer to buy every game physically but like most have already mentioned it's not possible on PC, even if you buy a physical copy you still have to deal with Ubisoft, EA Origins or Steam. I don't like the fact a lot of games require online authentication which means you can't play without an Internet connection, even in 2016 I'm not okay with this, I wish there were more recent games on GOG.

    Same thing regarding consoles, think about all those digital games bought on the previous generation console which you no longer own, at least with a physical copy you could either resell or give the game to someone.

    On top of this physical games are often cheaper than digital.