The physical versus digital decision

Personally, I have some downloaded games.  Some.  Mostly games which were available for free as part of Games with Gold/Origin etc, and occasional other games which I want having spotted on whichever digital store.  As you can probably guess from this most of my games are physical copies.


I appreciate the convenience of digital games and I appreciate the minimal storage space in the home that these require.  However, I still don’t use this as my usual way of purchasing games.  I guess I prefer having the physical copy even though my collection takes up an increasing amount of space and takes time to organise.


I once was asked if I felt that I was a collector of games, and I hadn’t ever considered it that way before.  I guess that I am, as I don’t usually get rid of games and that works for me.  I still go back to games from my childhood and still have most of them as some have gone walkabout in the last few years (or I have forgotten where they have been stored, which is probably the more likely of those options).  I have an increasing collection and this results in an increasing game backlog which I am working on, although the backlog isn’t all mine as my Player 2 has a collection too and their own backlog (some do overlap though).


I also still like having the artwork on the cover of the box and I appreciate the design work that goes into these and I feel I miss this when I digitally acquire games.  I do find that, sometimes, I miss the instruction booklets, that used to be standard in game boxes this used to give me something to look at even when I wasn’t playing them.  Did anyone else look at these when they weren’t playing the game or was that just me?  I also have to admit that tin cases and special editions also greatly appeal to me.  I only own a few, as I try to be good and follow a budget but these are so tempting.  The shininess, texture (sometimes) and the general design look are often incredible.  To be honest if I could I would buy more of these.


Whatever way you buy games it doesn’t overly matter as long as you still get enjoyment from the game itself, but what is your preferred way of owning games?  Do you have any special editions/tin cases and what are your favourites if you do?

11 thoughts on “The physical versus digital decision

  1. I miss physical video game manuals! They were extensions of the digital world: something to draw you into a title’s world and its history before you’d even pressed the start button.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I agree, I was thinking about manuals the other day as I was trying to remember what was the last game I bought that still had a manual. I loved reading through them, even before playing the game itself, and miss them being included with games. They were such a nice introduction to the game and it’s world.


  3. For the most part I prefer downloaded, takes up less physical space. But if I think a game will be especially special to me I’ll want the hard copy, mostly for displaying and sharing.


    1. Downloads for that reason are fantastic and part of me wishes I downloaded more when I have to move games. I do still love the selecting between games and looking at the cover art, and in the case of special editions displaying. I like that the option exists as I can choose what works for me when it comes to that particular game or the system I am using. As long as however a person buys games works for them it is great.

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  4. I’m now 99.9% a digital guy. The convenience is too good for me to pass up. It can be problematic being a Nintendo fan because they hardly have digital sales.

    The only special edition stuff unused to collect was some DVD stuff but even that was limited. I think I really only got LOTR with extended cuts and such.

    There are some games I do get physical. Most.nitabky being Metroid Samus Returns. Being my favourite series and the fact I do still have the prime trilogy and the NES and SNES games somewhere, figured it’s not bad to pay tribute to a series that doesn’t release a whole ton of games.


  5. My PS4’s disk drive is broken and Sony will not fix it. I was able to remove the eject button from the system so it doesn’t constantly spit out my games so I’m kinda forced to do digital.

    I do see the appeal of physically holding the game but the way I see it it’s better for everyone to do digital simply bc of convenience/no tax/less plastic being produced.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Wow that is quite a break on your PS4. Why wouldn’t Sony fix that? It is definitely a good reason to go digital, as are your other reasons. I do like the convenience, less plastic and less space required for digital. I can’t see myself going 100% digital (for consoles) but that may be down to nostalgia and tradition of buying physical games. Who knows, I might change the way I buy them or have it more evenly split in the future in terms of console games.


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