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Report: Hardcore Gamers Will Stick With Physical Media

While the casual gamers may not care about having a tangible product in their hands, the hardcore might always care.

According to a recently released Wedbush Securities report, the idea that all consumers are shifting towards digital is a "commonly held misperception." The report in question states that the hardcore gamers will continue to stick with physical media.

"Many investors believe that consumers are abandoning packaged products in favor of mobile and social games, and think that the publishers who have lost share will never recover. We think that this thesis is only partly true; in our view, casual gamers are likely to shift their playing time from packaged products to mobile and social games, but hard core gamers are far less likely to do so.

If we are right, the packaged goods business should be viewed as consisting of hard core games (the vast majority of sales on the Xbox 360 and PS3) and more casual games (the vast majority of sales on the Wii and DS). Our thesis has been borne out by the 2011 figures (according to the NPD Group), with Xbox 360 software sales up 12%, PS3 software sales up 4%, DS software sales down 21% and Wii software sales down 31%."

The report also noted that there is a "large overlap of social gamers among the older and female demographics," which isn't going to surprise anyone who understands this industry. Furthermore, with so many games coming out, consumers have become more selective and are often limiting their purchases to big AAA releases, which has led to an overall decline in software sales. For a 2012 prediction, the firm believes sales will continue to slide over the summer but should rebound during the holidays, with "3DS and Vita software making up for lost sales on other systems."

Yeah, it's true that the casual gamer might probably opt for the digital choice; it's generally faster and easier, and they don't care about having a game library. But the hardcore do, and having a bunch of files on a video screen doesn't constitute a collection, as any collector will tell you.

Tags: physical media, video games, game discs, gaming industry

4/7/2012 10:30:26 AM Ben Dutka

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Comments (31 posts)

Temjin001
Saturday, April 07, 2012 @ 10:55:21 AM
Reply

I see the digital thing more of an overtime transition. Looking at the music industry leads me to believe in time the majority of gaming will be consumed via digital. Don't know how long that'll be. I just hate all of the strings attached to digital content... Something pretty different in comparison to music, where it doesnt have all of the DRM crap. Anyway, with the future consoles supposedly locking down even physical media and having day 1 digital distributed content I'm sure these statistics will have changed majorly some 5 years in on the next console cycle.

Ultimately, I don't feel strong either way. I'm not a collector, just don't care to become too attached to plastic ;) I'm cool with just having access to the experience when I want it. If digital can do that I'm game all the way.

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ekauq
Saturday, April 07, 2012 @ 1:59:55 PM

One big thing that helps with digital music is that an mp3 made 10 years ago is still playable on digital players today without repurchase. Games on the other hand are generally written for one platform. Even PC games from that time are difficult to play on current OSes.

I think this also goes a bit back to BC. If games were able to be developed independent of the platform, physical media wouldn't be as much of an issue.

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Soultaker
Saturday, April 07, 2012 @ 10:57:13 AM
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I agree with this and i love showing off my collector edition statues.

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Temjin001
Saturday, April 07, 2012 @ 11:14:43 AM

A good friend of mine bought me a Ryu figure.... Sometimes I play with him ;)

.... The Ryu figure that is =p

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Clamedeus
Saturday, April 07, 2012 @ 11:44:33 AM

Sure ;) xD Lol just kidding.

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fatelementality
Saturday, April 07, 2012 @ 11:01:09 AM
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Hey, who snuck in my room and took that picture??? Ok, so I don't even have half that many games. Don't guess that's your collection is it Ben? Frankly I am really starting to hate the entire direction that games are going now. All these games going digital, all of this pricey assed DLC, remakes of remakes of remakes, and so called sequels that basically have an extra coat of paint on them. It makes me sad to call myself a gamer anymore. Used to be able to game with friends and not have to worry about harsh name calling or temper tantrums. It was fun, ya know? 95% percent of my games are physical copies and I hope that it will continue to be that way. The ONLY way I will be content with having all digital titles will be if they are 40 bucks or less new. Guess it would help the environment and all that jazz to not have the plastic cases, the discs, and the booklets made. I also miss the giant hulking instruction manuals that games used to come with. Now instructions are all digital and all you get inside the case is a seizure warning leaflet. But yeah, trees, oxygen, and birds. Go birds!

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Temjin001
Saturday, April 07, 2012 @ 11:13:25 AM

Ben's collection probably can fill a basement or two or three =p
If I had that many games Id contemplate setting up a rental service


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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Saturday, April 07, 2012 @ 12:26:16 PM

I've been extremely selective over the years. My entire collection doesn't number more than 175 or 200 at the max.

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fatelementality
Sunday, April 08, 2012 @ 11:48:48 AM

Same here. Don't think I have even that many. Maybe 150 max. Only systems my girl and I have here are a PS2, a PS3, a 360, a regular Xbox, a SNES, and a Gamecube with a nonworking controller. Lol, I only have like 5 SNES games left. Mario All Stars, Super Scope 6, Star Fox, Donkey Kong, Batman Animated, & Death of Superman. Think she has an N64 and a PSone with a few games each at her parents' place as well. No Dreamcast anymore but I still have Soul Reaver, Soul Calibur, Tony Hawk, and Seaman for it. I miss Seaman..... :(

Last edited by fatelementality on 4/8/2012 11:49:39 AM

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Temjin001
Saturday, April 07, 2012 @ 11:23:11 AM
Reply

Anyone one who wants to add AC revelations to their collection for $20 can do so at GameStop today. It's $20 new. I hope they still have a copy once I'm off work. Actually, I hope they have two. I don't want there used copy that's sold as new ;)

Last edited by Temjin001 on 4/7/2012 11:23:45 AM

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TheAgingHipster
Saturday, April 07, 2012 @ 11:40:56 AM
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I dunno... I do love my physical collection of cartridges, floppy disks, CDs, DVDs, and Blu-Rays, but damn is it unwieldy. Every time I move, at least a dozen large are taken up by the huge collection of physical media with which I just can't bear to part. I have most of it backed up in digital format anyway (those that can be backed up, anyway), and I find the various ROMs and emulators much easier to deal with than the physical games.

I don't know which I like more, but ultimately, they both have a place in my collection. The industry can go either way in terms of format, and I won't be too upset.

Last edited by TheAgingHipster on 4/7/2012 11:41:38 AM

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Beamboom
Saturday, April 07, 2012 @ 2:32:21 PM

Sounds like you are where I was a few years ago with my music collection. I too loved my physical collection, especially of the vinyl records. Then I got to a stage where a lot of it became very old and never played anymore, and slowly they became more a burden than a joy. It just took up SO much space.

So, one day when I was short of storage space I finally decided on what had been in the back of my head for quite some time: Rip the essentials to digital format and sell the entire collection.
And I have never looked back.

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dmiitrie
Saturday, April 07, 2012 @ 1:16:16 PM
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While I can't say for certain without having access to the actual report, they seen to equate "digital games" with "mobile and social" games and don't account for full AAA titles that are sold digitally. I expect most core gamers to have preferred physical media if the report had accounted for real digital titles, but since they have not, it doesn't strike me as an extremely accurate report.

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BikerSaint
Saturday, April 07, 2012 @ 2:09:56 PM
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That sort of looks like my collection, but unfortunately, my 2,354 games are on numerous shelving units scattered all around my house due to lack of space.

And none of my units have those custom-built pull-out shelf trays like that monster of a unit in the pic.

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fatelementality
Sunday, April 08, 2012 @ 7:16:56 AM

Where do you even get a shelf like that anyway? The biggest ones I can find online are only half that size and are like 400 bucks. I'm sure it's custom built, but by who?

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BikerSaint
Sunday, April 08, 2012 @ 11:13:59 PM

fatelementality,

I would think that you'd either have to find a manufacturer who makes them for the commercial industry(think of doctor's office's in-wall file storage shelves that also have pull-out trays or insurance agencies....

Or.....have the cash to have a special kind of wooden-cabinet artisan to custom-make one to your specs..

And by the sheer humongous size of the one in the pic, that one had to be assembled right there where it's sitting

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Oyashiro
Saturday, April 07, 2012 @ 4:18:32 PM
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As a collector I am drooling at thous shelves.

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AcHiLLiA
Saturday, April 07, 2012 @ 4:40:45 PM
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I agree with the title, their's that full of joy when looking back at ur older games.

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Killa Tequilla
Saturday, April 07, 2012 @ 9:54:23 PM
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Sorry to be off topic, very sorry... But is there a way I can get my PS1 downloaded game to my PSVita?

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Fane1024
Sunday, April 08, 2012 @ 4:00:59 AM

I think it works as follows (using PS3 to download):

If you have already downloaded a copy before the launch of the Vita, it will no longer transfer to PSP or PSV. You have to redownload the new version from the PSN store, either from your download list or the item on the store shelves.

Do not then install it on your PS3; leave it as downloaded. Then use your PSV's content manager to grab it.

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frylock25
Saturday, April 07, 2012 @ 10:46:36 PM
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i have to say i am split on this. i have a lot of games in physical and will always buy the physical for full release games. but smaller games i have been buying in digital.

i got escape plan motorstorm rc and plants vs zombies on the vita. i have yet to buy bigger games for the vita but if i get something like uncharted im getting it physical.

i would much rather have the games on a shelf that i can keep and play forever. if i cant get patches for it any more then oh well. i still physically own the games.

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BikerSaint
Saturday, April 07, 2012 @ 11:07:34 PM
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I've already said it many times before & I'll say it once again now....

I'd rather see my disc games taking up way too much space on my shelves, than just some flash drives/memory cards all sitting in rows, looking more like a bunch of fugly ducklings.

BTW, and even at lowered prices, I'll only buy D/L games when unfortunately, there ISN'T a disc-based option(Escape Plan, I am Alive, etc).

Anyway, the way I see it....with all the disc games I have, I've been preserving a good chunk of gaming history.

Last edited by BikerSaint on 4/7/2012 11:11:25 PM

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Amnesiac
Saturday, April 07, 2012 @ 11:12:00 PM
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Awesome collection you have there. I especially like those heavy duty shelves too. Nice touch.

In regards to the title piece..
I'm old fashioned I like my books to be physical, my music to be tangible and my games to be placed in alphabetical arrangement on my shelf. ---
I feel with this eminent front of "digital content only" really comes at an incredibly high price. Sure its space saving, everyone likes that but there is sacrifice that comes with that sort of convenience. If every game you own is digital, what exactly distinguishes your ownership of said product? Because you paid for it? Is that how the Phone Companies operate? What about the service you would contractually be obligated to sign up for in order to play said content? but what if you cancel this service?
The coming digital age [for me] isn't something I'm looking to terribly fond at because you'll never really own the things you buy, you will only possess them for a while.

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Lawless SXE
Saturday, April 07, 2012 @ 11:46:08 PM
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Maybe if the NBN gets rolled out here I'll embrace it (it'll be a damn sight easier than travelling roughly 200km to get a game at a reasonable price), but until such a time, I'm happy to grow my physical collection.

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Geobaldi
Sunday, April 08, 2012 @ 12:33:03 AM
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Other then certain Collector's Editions, and PS3 games seeing as emulators don't run them yet, most of my collection has turned digital. Six years ago I started the transition, and I doubt I'll ever go back to browsing shelves at stores ever again.

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Crabba
Sunday, April 08, 2012 @ 4:59:06 AM
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Yeah I will never consider buying digital format games at anywhere near full price. I want my physical disc, manual, case and artwork, and that's that.

If I buy anything digital, it's going to have to be really, really cheap for me to even consider it...

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___________
Sunday, April 08, 2012 @ 5:56:15 AM
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there looking at that wrong though there categorizing downloadable games as casual games.
ive said this all along once ISPs are fast enough and have unlimited usages as standard, and storage devices are large and cheap enough then the majority will go DD.
especially if its cheaper!
why spend 10,20,30,40,50 or so bucks on fuel going to the store and buying a game when you can save money on fuel, save money on wear and tear on the car, and save money on the game itself by downloading it?
however the day that that becomes practical is a long long way away!
id love to download my games if i could, especially if they were cheaper!
but until ISPs get better it wont happen.
hell there getting worse by the minute!
only telstra use to count uploads to your total limit, now every ISP does it!
which is just f*cking stupid because allot of places where your download speed is limited to what you upload speed.
so if you dont want to waste half of your download usage on uploads then you have to sit there and wait 17 months for your game to download!

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thj_1980
Sunday, April 08, 2012 @ 8:21:06 AM
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I prefer physical media over digital depending on what it is.

I mean Digital should be for mini games and physical for big games like uncharted and other games.

But they should always have both on the market physical when the game first comes out and digital if demand rises after the game has gotten older.

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Irievibes
Sunday, April 08, 2012 @ 11:25:02 AM
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count me as one of those "hardcore gamers"

(wich i am not any longer, real life has turned me into a "Casual" gamer due to lack of time, revelations and me3 still sit there unopened cuz i havent "caught up")

but count me among those gamers , because for me, there is something to be said about having the physical gamebox and manual , i like the art, and i like saving them for the future (i still have the original, not the greatest hits, the original day one copy of ff7 for ps1 and many others)

i was talking about this with my friend, it becomes a question of convenience, to this date, i havent bought a single mp3 off itunes, simply because i refuse to install that pos in my system, so i stick with ...downloads and amazon mp3 for my music , and for me , digital media its not always an option, i cannot download 20 gigs of data in a reasonable amount of time where i live , i will always always go and get a physical copy if i can rather than going digital download for that very same reason, not to mention that i want to play TODAY not tomorrow when the download finishes....

and what happens if i get home and my isp suffered from a failure, and now i have to wait 3 or 4 days to actually BUY a game? maybe this is not an issue for a lot of people, but it is for me, and the very same reason why i will probably stick to hard media instead of digital

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faraga
Sunday, April 08, 2012 @ 2:51:02 PM
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If I count the games in my collection, I look at the shelf where all my boxes are kept and disregard the games saved to my HDD, as they don't feel like "real" games to me, even although Burnout Paradise is one of the better games in my collection.

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Underdog15
Tuesday, April 10, 2012 @ 10:32:00 AM
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If they ever stopped making physical copies of games, I will buy empty cases and print my own inserts. lol

Hey, designing cases could be fun! Lots of people across the net already do it anyways.

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