Digital Distribution

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How do you feel about Digital Distribution?

I'm mostly Digital
8
25%
I'm about 50/50
5
16%
I'm mostly physical
19
59%
 
Total votes: 32

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Rayne
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Digital Distribution

Post by Rayne » Fri Jul 03, 2015 9:45 am

Now that we're well and truly in a new generation of consoles I thought it would be interesting to hear everyone's views on Digital Distribution.

My question to you: Over the past few years has your attitude to DD changed, if so why?

At first I was whole-heartedly against it. I wanted physical boxes, I wanted to be able to re-sell/trade-in titles I didn't enjoy. After getting my own place I realized how precious space is and how unnecessary it is to have a physical collection. Thanks to the super internet speeds in Canada, and Xbox Live's more aggressive marketing & deals, I amassed a collection of about 115 retail & arcade games.

I love that they're all sitting on the console without the need to change discs, I love that they don't take up space and I really don't mind not being able to sell them on (as I got them all for bargain prices anyway).

Now with the next generation I own an Xbox One, which due to a hardware fault means I can do downloads only. Here is where the beauty of DD starts to waver. Currently there is a HUGE price discrepancy between titles advertised on the store (49.99 for Shadows of Mordor for instance) and in a retail store (14.99 for the same title). Not only that but with the size of next gen games I find downloads can take several days to complete! The Master Chief Collection was downloading for 8 days solid! (which is partially due to slow UK internet).

So - for me personally I love the idea, I feel it works great on last gen but it's not quite there yet for this gen :)
Last edited by Rayne on Fri Jul 03, 2015 7:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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RetroBob
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Re: Digital Distribution

Post by RetroBob » Fri Jul 03, 2015 9:54 am

I still very much want physical disks, this has not changed, though I have bought the occasional games that were digital only such as the SEGA 3D Classics on 3DS.
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Antiriad2097
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Re: Digital Distribution

Post by Antiriad2097 » Fri Jul 03, 2015 11:40 am

I'm up for digital at the right price. I've 2-300 games on GoG & Steam, but I'd balk at paying full whack for a game. I've accepted digital more than I thought I would tbh.

I'd also add that I don't want it the Nintendo way, tied to a system instead of an account. I want my games available on any device, not just the one I bought it on, so I can double up or replace and not lose my games.

Resale isn't really an issue for me, since I don't tend to do that anyway.

Physical discs are great, but for the last couple of generations I've not placed much value in them, since they're all rather bland generic boxes now.

Is the Dreamcast the last system to have unique packaging?
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necronom
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Re: Digital Distribution

Post by necronom » Fri Jul 03, 2015 12:07 pm

I still hate it.

It fills up your drive in a few months.
You have to start deleting them, then downloading them and putting all the patches back on if you want to play again (which isn't worth the hassle).
You don't own them forever, as once you delete them you don't know if you'll ever get them back.
Once the servers are switched off, they are gone.
They cost twice the price of owning them.

I'd only consider a downloaded new release if it was about a third of the usual price from somewhere like Amazon, or ShopTo.net, so around £10 on day one. To me, it's renting.
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The Beans
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Re: Digital Distribution

Post by The Beans » Fri Jul 03, 2015 12:34 pm

I've never been totally against it and I still see nothing fundamentally wrong with it now. If it's taking days to download a game you should really upgrade your connection though.
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Megamixer
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Re: Digital Distribution

Post by Megamixer » Fri Jul 03, 2015 2:10 pm

Rayne wrote:My question to you: Over the past few years has your attitude to DD changed, if so why?
No. They have always been great and always will be :wink:

*ahem*

Serious answer time...I used to be fully against digital and I do still 100% prefer a boxed game for the shelf BUT I have warmed to the idea considerably in recent years. Issues that still prevent me from loving digital would be:

- Not a physical product I can hold. Purely personal and I understand how a lot of people don't care about this these days but a digital game for the same RRP as a physical release doesn't feel like it's worth as much. I know on paper that statement is heavily flawed but from a desirability point of view, it just isn't there.

- Console could die/HDD could die/related servers could be switched off. Obviously there are ways around this and downloads can be recovered on most machines but it still bugs me. Recently however, I have come to realise that I rarely replay many games so the likelihood of me wanting to play a digitally-distributed game all over again years down the line is probably very low anyway i.e. if I lost it somehow, is it really a big deal?

- Price. Kinda tying in with my above point about downloads not having much value in my eyes, it's really the price that will determine whether I download a game. Physical shops will discount games to get rid of them and prices naturally decrease over time but some digital prices remain bafflingly high or are at least £10 more expensive than a boxed copy on the day of release. It makes no sense to me why you would pay £49.99 for something you can get from the supermarket for £37.99. Unless the industry can restore a sense of value to a product rather than the throwaway nature of things these days, then I can't see this changing while we have both boxed and digital versions available. There's also the fact that I would never pay full price to take a risk on something I was unsure about or received average reviews purely because I can't re-sell the game if it is crap.

Overall I'm not as against the concept as I used to be. I've got numerous downloads on my PS3, Wii and 3DS and I enjoy them as much as boxed games. However, I only tend to download things that are exclusively digital and it must be at the right price. Thankfully, a lot of the sub-£10 downloads on the likes of PSN are either retro re-releases or retro-inspired games so the whole thing tends to come together nicely there.
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Flint
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Re: Digital Distribution

Post by Flint » Fri Jul 03, 2015 4:06 pm

My main issue with digital distribution was always their future availability, I want to be able to play my games in 5, 10, 20 years from now and with flaky hardware and servers going down there's no guarantee of that. Not just games I own but ones I may have missed, with licensing issues some may not even be available for the duration of the generation.

However games are released in an increasingly incomplete state it doesn't make much difference, even Nintendo have started to go down that route which doesn't bode well seeing as their last gen offerings have been the worst effected by servers going down.

So I've softened massively to the point I've bought most of my Vita games digitally even when a physical option was available, that's mostly due to them being cheap in sales and the convenience of digital on a hand-held though. I wouldn't willingly do the same for the PS4 as I expect most discs to drop in price eventually.

However I've made it a rule not to spend more than £15 on a digital game, they're worth less to me due to their long-term rental status.
100% digital on consoles would be a nightmare as there'd be no need to reduce some games to that low a price, at least there's competition on PC to somewhat regulate costs.

Generally speaking I just want the choice.

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Antiriad2097
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Re: Digital Distribution

Post by Antiriad2097 » Fri Jul 03, 2015 4:46 pm

Megamixer wrote:- Console could die/HDD could die/related servers could be switched off. Obviously there are ways around this and downloads can be recovered on most machines but it still bugs me. Recently however, I have come to realise that I rarely replay many games so the likelihood of me wanting to play a digitally-distributed game all over again years down the line is probably very low anyway i.e. if I lost it somehow, is it really a big deal?
This seems to be the recurring thing that people fear most, but in reality its probably the least troublesome aspect.

Let's say you had a fave SNES game and it died. You can still readily play it, having downloaded it in minutes and fired up an emulator or dropped in into an Everdrive.

This will be the same for digital games, except without the pain of your original being dead. Digital is the same, whether a copy or an 'original' bought version. And it should be easier to rip, and play on the proper hardware.

In theory, by removing the hassle of transferring from strange physical media, software houses are making this easier than ever.
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Re: Digital Distribution

Post by ALK » Fri Jul 03, 2015 5:03 pm

I'd say one thing has changed for me over the last 5 years. Even though I've been buying digital only games and DLC for klonger then that I always said I'd NEVER buy a digital version of a retail game, purely for that physical preference. However, I never thought I'd have Nintendo throwing free digital downloads of retail games at me or Microsoft have sales on them for as little as £2 sometimes (To which yeah, sometimes you can find the physic version that cheap but sometimes it's much more like say Bully of Tales of Vespeia) not to mention Games With Gold every month.

So yeah, that's certainly changed to an extent, but would I throw £40 notes on a Digital Retail game I could get physically? Hell no. But if offer me it for a small bag of chips, I'll certainly consider it more....
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paranoid marvin
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Re: Digital Distribution

Post by paranoid marvin » Fri Jul 03, 2015 5:48 pm

As there is rarely any difference between a digital download and the physical package (usually now just a disc in a box) I've given up on buying from shops - esp as a lot of the stuff I'm interested in these days (retro or retro-themed) isn't available in shops.

I must admit I do think that it's hard to justify full price games at £40+ on digital download. Ok so they might be able to justify them , but I won't pay those prices. £20 is the absolute max I'd pay for a digital download.
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merman
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Re: Digital Distribution

Post by merman » Fri Jul 03, 2015 6:49 pm

Good and bad points about digital distribution, but I will continue to buy physical games.
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ALK
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Re: Digital Distribution

Post by ALK » Fri Jul 03, 2015 6:58 pm

I guess I'm just the old fashioned type who prefers to hold a physical copy in my hands then not at all. Its the same with media as I still buy Blu Rays and DVDs and do not do anything like Netflix, due to a lot of reasons, but still goes back to the physical preference.
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DPrinny
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Re: Digital Distribution

Post by DPrinny » Fri Jul 03, 2015 7:06 pm

Still prefer to own what I buy

Problem is, when they bung out a download game at the same price as a retail copy, might as well buy the disc based one
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Rayne
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Re: Digital Distribution

Post by Rayne » Fri Jul 03, 2015 7:10 pm

^ I think you've hit the nail on the head Prin, price is always going to be a troublesome factor. It's the reason I'm really enjoying my 360 (games at $2.00!) and not quite going overboard with my X1 (games on sale at just $45.99!)

Very interesting views so far though. I've added a Poll for fun
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outdated_gamer
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Re: Digital Distribution

Post by outdated_gamer » Fri Jul 03, 2015 8:56 pm

I'm not a collector so I don't really care if there's no physical medium involved. I also don't play games on my old consoles and computers anymore because I consider it a inferior experience to emulation (purists can flame away... :P ). Although it is also true that it's nice knowing that you actually "own" a game and can play it anytime you want, no internet connection required. But as far as I can see even modern consoles require you to download large patches/updates to just start a game so that argument is out of the window for any system. Also physical media tends to age, optical and magnetic disks being the biggest offenders but tapes and cartridges aren't exactly immortal either (dust or battery leak takes it's tool).

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