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Will Your Digital Spending Increase In The Next Generation?

Like it or not, the industry is in a transitional period. Traditional physical media is being supplanted by digital media.

Digital sales are rising fast while sales of boxed products aren't doing so well, and all analysts and industry insiders are predicting the same thing. This is why every game for the PlayStation 4 and PlayStation Vita will be available digitally, but not all titles will be sold in physical form. Fortunately or unfortunately, depending on how you look at it, the days of actual, tangible game collections are going bye-bye.

The youngsters that are coming up behind us are just fine with that. They're growing up in a world where little to no value is placed on the physical, and they want everything to be digitally available. So they're already on board. But what about the older gamers out there who have been collectors their whole lives? And I'm not only referring to the crazy hardcore (like the dude who owns the collection in that pic). I'm just talking about people like me, who enjoy having a decent-sized collection of select titles, and simply aren't that keen on having a "collection" that's symbolized by files on a screen.

Do you see yourself spending more on digital offerings in the new generation? They're more convenient, right? And what if a lot of those games are cheaper than their physical counterparts? I think one of the things that's still holding digital back is that most times, digital versions aren't any cheaper than the boxed product. That makes zero sense to me, by the way. But do you see your digital spending increasing, simply because that's the way the industry is headed? Or will you continue your staunch effort to purchase, you know, actual things that are part of an actual collection? Yeah, I'm a tad bitter.

Tags: digital games, downloadable games, digital sales, next generation

4/18/2013 11:12:36 PM Ben Dutka

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Comments (51 posts)

firesoul453
Thursday, April 18, 2013 @ 11:41:42 PM
Reply

I will continue to avoid digital but it is an unfortunate reality.
but if ps+ counts, then yes I will have a lot of digital games.

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newchef
Friday, April 19, 2013 @ 12:37:10 AM
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i have never bought anything through digital means, nothing against it specifically, i just like having a physical copy of whatever i bought. That might change though with Farcry 3: Blood Dragon

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Yaz
Friday, April 19, 2013 @ 12:39:50 AM
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I'm still just a teenager, but I grew up with PS2 and XBox and all those disc copies of games. I really don't like how everything is going digital, though there really is no stopping it. It's nice to have both options open, but if at some point there's a great game that is unavailable physically, I'm going to punch something, or even someONE a few times. It's a digital age, but I still like my physical copies, thank you very much :)

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FatherSun
Saturday, April 20, 2013 @ 4:06:57 PM

And they say violence is not instigated by video games. Your statement is ABSOLUTE proof. It is time to BAN video games!!!

The above comment is in complete jest. But may be used by elected officials to prove a pointless point.

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AcHiLLiA
Friday, April 19, 2013 @ 12:53:34 AM
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If I have super fast internet connection, then yes, my digital spending will somewhat increase.

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dmiitrie
Friday, April 19, 2013 @ 1:02:36 AM
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I've probably bought my last physical game, so all of my future purchases will be digital. It's worked out well for me for my pc library so I don't foresee any problems with it.

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Cesar_ser_4
Friday, April 19, 2013 @ 1:10:52 AM
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The only way I'd go full digital is if digital games were to cost less than their physical counterparts. Or lets say if a new generation starts and the only way I could play last gen games was to buy the digital download of the game at a reasonable price then that would be another story. But for the most part, with physical media going on sale faster than digital I don't see myself changing my habit anytime soon.

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bigrailer19
Friday, April 19, 2013 @ 1:10:54 AM
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I will avoid buying digital when possible, at all times. I agree that digital media should be cheaper and thats one reason I dont support it now among a huge list of others including HDD space, online connections, and not physically having the game.

Last edited by bigrailer19 on 4/19/2013 1:11:40 AM

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Alejandro562
Friday, April 19, 2013 @ 2:05:01 AM
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Most likely, i have easily poured 2k atleast into this psn store,nkt bragging .

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Gabriel013
Friday, April 19, 2013 @ 2:25:21 AM
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I probably won't. Sony missed a great opportunity with the PSN on the PS4. If they'd announced that all currently purchased PSN content would function on the PS4 then this would have certainly boosted interest in digital content.

As it stands I know whilst ever I can get my PS3 repaired my physical games will be replayable.
At some point the PS3 PSN content will start to disappear and will therefore not be re-downloadable in future years.

I don't want my ability to play something I've paid for to be available at the whim of the company I purchased it from.

As also mentioned in this comments section, there's also the price to consider. Digital releases have no reason to be more expensive than physical copies.

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Beamboom
Friday, April 19, 2013 @ 3:21:39 AM
Reply

I've for all practical terms already converted to digital distribution.
Over the last few months I've revived the PC gamer in me and in the PC sphere there's hardly any physical copies sold any more. And to be honest, it doesn't bother me one bit. It's just so convenient to have my purchases tied to my Steam account.

What does bother me though, is the day physical copies disappear completely. That means one less element of holding the prices down, one less source of good price deals, and I worry about those consequences.
And so far there's *no* sign of digital distribution being cheaper, so I don't see any reason to expect that.

The disadvantages of that can potentially be particularly severe on the consoles, since those eco systems are closed. There's only one provider. They can pretty much set the prices they want. On PC there at least is *some* competition to Steam.

But yeah, I've converted, and I actually feel perfectly fine about it.


Last edited by Beamboom on 4/19/2013 3:23:13 AM

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Friday, April 19, 2013 @ 11:20:27 AM

Actually, I can sort of see why it wouldn't matter much for PC gamers. I don't think it mattered much to them in the first place.

The games always came in those big clunky cardboard boxes, and they basically just had the jewel case and some cheap instruction manual in there. The boxes weren't even all that special, really. Nobody I knew really "collected" PC games; they may have had a lot of them, but where the hell are you going to put all those big-ass boxes? They usually just kept the CD cases, which weren't anything special, either.

I think it was always a little different for console gamers. They're the ones with the massive collections because...well, it's hard to pinpoint exactly, but I think it had to do with the box itself being a part of the experience in some fashion. I don't believe it was ever like that for PC gamers, and I've known several hardcore PCers in my time.

Last edited by Ben Dutka PSXE on 4/19/2013 11:20:45 AM

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Temjin001
Friday, April 19, 2013 @ 1:24:25 PM

I definitely remember the clunky boxes. Though, it seems over the last 7-8 years or so PC game's have long sense gone to DVD-sized cases, or thereabouts, at retail.



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Beamboom
Friday, April 19, 2013 @ 2:58:16 PM

Ah yeah I remember those clunky boxes too - but man those had *charm*! With a big fat manual in them, posters, stickers... When I think about it, back then *all* games released were "collectors editions".
But yeah that's many many years ago. Today they don't even come with a manual. Just a silver disc in a uniform casing, like all other games.

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Banky A
Friday, April 19, 2013 @ 3:37:34 AM
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hardly. digital barely has any specials or discounts that are as good as ones from retailers even though its meant to be cheaper to distribute

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Beamboom
Friday, April 19, 2013 @ 4:02:22 AM

Yup that's how it is.
It's cheaper to buy something that is transported across the globe in boats and planes, stocked up in warehouses, transported in lorrys along our roads, and handled by employees every step of the process, than it is to buy something directly from supplier and digitally transferred straight to your computer with no middle men.
In fact it's a perfect example of how pricing is not based on cost.


Last edited by Beamboom on 4/19/2013 4:04:32 AM

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Gordo
Friday, April 19, 2013 @ 3:48:47 AM
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Only have 16gb card for my Vita but will certainly consider digital if the size and price is alright. Started with Golf, Lumines, Unit 13, Sine Mora, Escape Plan, Ridge Racer and other downloads but have recently purchased Virtues Last Reward and Dead or Alive 5 plus.

The big meaty games fine such as Uncharted, Fifa, Assassins Creed and Little Big Planet. Physical is the way and you do get some money back trade in wise after you are finished with them. Digital you get convenience and permanence.

Have just pre-ordered Soul Sacrifice so that will be a physical purchase.

Looking at this list! Digital is definitely king with the Vita. Not sure I would do it with a PS3 or PS4. My broadband provider needs to join the 21st century!

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Cho_Quin
Saturday, April 20, 2013 @ 9:58:50 AM

In a handheld console digital media is the bomb! nobody wants to carry a lot of disks around, or being away from home and not having the game you want to play. That last one is the worst...

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Vivi_Gamer
Friday, April 19, 2013 @ 5:08:00 AM
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I am not sure, if anything the only games I have downloaded are PS1 ports from the US which we never got here in the UK and a couple of HD re-releases like the Dreamcast Sonic Adventures. I don't have any digital PS3 games other than the ones I got free from when the network went down lie inFamous, which I honestly don't feel like I own. I do browse the sales on the PS Store and sometimes see some good ones like the Hitman HD collection going for only £10 but then I get put off that it is digital...

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Clamedeus
Friday, April 19, 2013 @ 6:42:03 AM
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I do prefer physical copies, but if it's a lot cheaper then I don't see why not, big name games still cost a good amount on digital. At least in my eyes.

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Huey
Friday, April 19, 2013 @ 7:32:25 AM
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I do digital, but it is limited to minis or games that are older that I have not gotten to play. Some are the freebies from PSN.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Friday, April 19, 2013 @ 8:33:25 AM
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i reckon so, im getting used to it and am out of shelf space, but for special games I really do want that hard copy.

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Beamboom
Friday, April 19, 2013 @ 3:00:08 PM

That's exactly where you find me too. For those special games I want a physical copy. Like Fallout 4. That baby shall be ordered in collectors edition.

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Sir Dan
Friday, April 19, 2013 @ 8:34:21 AM
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I love digital. I like having it there on the PS3 ready to go all the time. I usually go through what's on the machine first when thinking of what to play rather than getting up and looking through my physically collection. I mean.. getting up? Walking over near the TV? That's crazy!

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Cho_Quin
Saturday, April 20, 2013 @ 10:00:49 AM

Said loud! I'm lazy and I'm proud!

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___________
Friday, April 19, 2013 @ 9:30:54 AM
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nope.
firstly i dont have a high enough bandwidth to be downloading 50GB+ for every game i want to play!
not to mention digital is always more expensive, even though its suppose to be the cheapest, thats the WHOLE point of digital!
not to mention trade in values, rent to friends values, and the countless sales stores are always having.
hell EA are still charging 90 bucks on origin for the PC version of NFS MW!
EB are selling it for 35!
almost a third of what EA want!
retail is not only cheaper than digital, its almost THREE times cheaper!

than you only have the PSN games left, the mini games.
thats the problem, ive never seen PSN games as big AAA best of the best games.
simply because there not, no matter how good they are they always feel incomplete and feel like they could of been so much better given the freedom and budget retail releases enjoy.
i am alive for instance, a great game, but put that puppy on a full fledged budget, and a talented developer, and it could of been SOOOOOOOO much better!
digital, PSN, arcade, games are always fun little mini games but thats the problem.
in this league of AAA exclusives, where we have big name titles releasing literally every week, and a backlog of big name games the height of here to the moon, you kinda dont have time nor money for anything less than the best!

so in short nope, if anything ill be spending less on digital games in future.
simply because as the years go on my backlog gets larger, and theres more and more AAA games releasing, which both take a far higher priority, than "digital" bite size releases.

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Reaper_505
Friday, April 19, 2013 @ 9:38:42 AM
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Nope. I much prefer to have a physical copy. Also, most games would take days on my current Internet connection. I live in a very rural area, and I am stuck with a 1Mbps connection. If I had a much faster connection, then my digital spending might increase slightly.

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gumbi
Friday, April 19, 2013 @ 9:50:14 AM
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I love my physical game collection. But I'm slowly embracing the digital revolution, and ultimately I think it is the better way to go.

I've already made the digital transition with my books. I love that my wife and I have bought and read dozens of books in the past year and it hasn't taken up 1 inch of shelf space or harmed a single tree. Looking at my game collection I see the same benefit from going digital. That's a lot of shelf space and a lot of plastic I could save.

So yes, I'm on board and my digital spending will surely increase with this next generation.

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PC_Max
Friday, April 19, 2013 @ 9:59:22 AM
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I have only purchased digital of indie/psn exclusive games as well as dlc for disc based games. Only way to play them ... unfortunately.

PHYSICAL VS. DIGITAL
As for the physical vs. digital... I would rather have a physical for the easy access and install. Its a backup of a single product. Its dumb to just have a digital version and rely on it. I would now need a backup drive for my computer, for my movies, for my games. Its nuts. And if I put all of them in one drive and that drive fails.... I have to download all of them over time again which could potentially take days if not weeks and there goes all my bandwidth... unless you have unlimited which if you don't forces you to pay out more money to get it. And how fast are your downloads... ugh. Unless you are okay and patience... I know I try to be.

To top it off I can only download to 2 machines, unless they put restrictions period as to how many times I can download at all. I am on my second PS3 unlike some I know who burn through them because it quite literally is their sole source of entertainment for games, tv shows and movies.

With a disc.... I can install/play it on as many machines as I want as much as I want. Why? Because I bought it and I guess licensed to use it. I think thats great, but digital restricts me.

PRICE THE SAME
I agree, whats the benefit? I pay the exact price for both version. If thats the case then give me the physical. I remember this issue back in the 90's when publishers/devs said games cost $60 because of the packaging costs. Okay, whats the excuse now? Oh its takes many people hours, months if not a few years to dev these games so the packaging is now free so therefore does not reflect the price anymore. Ugh!

ITS A BUSINESS
Yes, its s business. This issue is not restricted to games. I am a designer and use graphic software from Adobe, and they are and have moved in this direction in various phases.

Thus far I have not seen any benefit to the consumer, but again its a business and as long as large number are okay with it... we will continues to pay premium prices.

Cloud sounds great... but I have tried and used it... its not as great as they say, but it does have a few bonuses. For me not enough, but its going to be the new norm.

IN THE END
As long as they continue to have sales or bargain prices in a few years after game launch... thats where I am going. Not buying day one. Whether the dev will suffer from this who knows.

Comes down to choice, something I always have said is the number one feature when dealing with a design in a game. Its also the number one feature in a business model. So they had better give us choice, and it better not be the choice of whether to buy it or not and thats it.

Whew....<<stepping off soap box... ugh.. steps on banana skin >>

Keep Playing!


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Sir Dan
Friday, April 19, 2013 @ 11:04:18 AM

If the digital copy craps out yuo just download it again from the store. Your account still registers as owning it.

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Rogueagent01
Friday, April 19, 2013 @ 6:42:25 PM

As far as the PS3/Sony goes you can only download it 5 times before having to repurchase it. In a world where systems never fail I would be fine with that, but as it stands now in the real world failure rates are still high enough to keep me from the digital realm. Though I have not had a system fail on me yet I do own 3 of them.

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dmiitrie
Friday, April 19, 2013 @ 9:43:49 PM

@Rogue - do they make any distinctions between downloading games to different systems and redownloading stuff to the same system? The former would be bad enough, but the latter would be just inexcusable. As much as I love buying things digitally, I have to admit that, outside of PS+ freebies, consoles have really lagged behind pc in terms of an enjoyable digital experience. I really hope that Sony will look more closely at Steam for the PS4 and model the new PSN off that.

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Cho_Quin
Saturday, April 20, 2013 @ 10:08:14 AM

I don't care if digital is becoming big on consoles. Just as long as they give you the choice! There is a debate between digital and physical, as long as the debate exist, everybody can be happy.
And Rouge, they have changed that, its not 5 anymore, now it's just 2 copies of the digital game in 2 different PS3

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Rogueagent01
Saturday, April 20, 2013 @ 1:17:14 PM

@dmiitrie

I am not entirely sure how that works as I have not had really come to that line yet. The only game I have had to repurchase was Pyotama(sp?) which was on its sixth download. And when I think about it it was the total downloads that made it its sixth, so yeah I don't think there is a distinction between the two.

@Cho_Quin

The 5 downloads is still the same, what they changed was how many active systems said game can be on. It used to be 5 now it is only 2, however you still get the 5 downloads as far as I am aware. And I actually know this for a fact as my newest sytem came after the change and I did not have to repurchase any of those games(except for the game mentioned above).

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dmiitrie
Saturday, April 20, 2013 @ 4:51:27 PM

@rogue - that's extremely unfortunate. The closed nature of consoles will always mean that they lag behind pc in areas like this, but I'd hope that Sony can close the gap just a little bit more by the time the PS4 comes out. Buying of games digitally is a pleasant and convenient experience (at least it is with Steam) and there's absolutely no reason why it can't be on consoles.

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Beamboom
Sunday, April 21, 2013 @ 7:26:47 AM

It's a *scandal* if you can't DL more than 5 times. No excuses.

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slugga_status
Friday, April 19, 2013 @ 11:05:54 AM
Reply

Like most I'll always prefer disc. It's just what I've been accustomed to since I was kid. Most titles I've purchased digital are simply the ones that are digital only at the time(High Velocity Bowling, High Stakes Poker, inFamous FOB, etc.).

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amonte64
Friday, April 19, 2013 @ 12:35:17 PM
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It's that accept-everything attitude that bring so many negative things. All this digital take over, physical doing bad is all lies and propaganda done by companies who want physical to be no more and for it to be only digital and/or cloud. Why is that? because it is better for them, but how is it for consumers? it's worse for us.

WAKE UP and realize the truths! These companies don't care about us, they just care about themselves. How can anyone say it is inevitable that physical will go away and digital will be the only option when WE decide that, not the companies, not anyone else. If we want there to be physical than it will be. You know how? by buying physical instead of digital. If we don't buy digital, it can never be made the only option or main option because the companies will not make any money, so they would have to release physical. That's how things work. If companies try releasing only digital, don't accept it by buying it, don't buy it and then the companies no matter what, even if they try to deny it, will release their games in physical form because they want you to buy it.

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amonte64
Friday, April 19, 2013 @ 6:19:32 PM

Of course I got thumbs down. I'm so sick of the sheep and pathetic corporate fanboys and slaves!

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FatherSun
Saturday, April 20, 2013 @ 4:49:29 PM

I see your point but to rally consumers in this present generation and onward is what will decide the fate of physical media. In the future physical media may be extremely niche and possibly extremely expensive. Why would a company mass produce physical copies of any media and pay for manufacturing, distribution and other related costs when they can either use that money for advertising (to convince people that they "NEED" their product) or just rake it all in.

I am pro physical by the way.

Last edited by FatherSun on 4/20/2013 4:51:30 PM

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Temjin001
Friday, April 19, 2013 @ 1:31:20 PM
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On the console side of things I still preference physical over digital. I like my fighters digital for their accessibility but that's about it.
For PC's it's different because the environment is so different. Games from past and present are still very viable and playable today on modern Windows PC's. Sites like Good Old Games have old-school, like hit 90's, games. My collection of games don't feel like they'll go away with changing platforms as it does on consoles. Where one has to look at the hardware and the software as one in the same. Another great perk about the PC side, is that all of your games get instant "HD" makeovers with newer hardware without the need to repurchase a game.

Also, HDD space comes extremely cheap on PC side. You can load up your HDD with tons of games without a worry on capacity.

So as it stands, I think my purchasing habits will stay the same for the foreseeable future. I'm hesitant on consoles for digital because of their closed nature, and I'm open arms with PC's digital because of it's open nature.

Last edited by Temjin001 on 4/19/2013 1:32:14 PM

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Kiryu
Friday, April 19, 2013 @ 2:09:22 PM
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Yes ,play while downloading

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Bio
Friday, April 19, 2013 @ 2:19:03 PM
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I don't think it will be possible for my digital spending to increase since right now 99% of all my purchases are digital. The only physical copy of a game I purchased in the past year was Far Cry 3, and only because it was on sale for super cheap at the local store.

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Kryten1029a
Friday, April 19, 2013 @ 3:54:32 PM
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I can't see myself really increasing my spending on digital content next gen. I buy DLC and other bits and bobs that catch my interest, but I can't get past my reservations over handing over real money on something that I can't hold in my hand. I'm looking forward to The Last of Us and I'll be able to pop the disk in twenty years from now and play it but if it's downloaded and the console dies then what are my options then?
I'm also not too thrilled about the amount of data that's being transferred. I can deal with a 10-20 minute install for a PS3 game but downloading 25-30GB of data is an entirely different matter. Not only that but you're limited by storage constraints. A 1TB drive might seem like a lot of space-and it is-but when every game that you play is on there then you'll run out of room fast. Background downloads while you play will help but only on more linear titles. A game like Skyrim or Saint's Row where you can go anywhere on the map right away won't work under those circumstances without a lot of buffering.
Last but not least we have the consideration of bandwith. No matter how fat a pipe you're pulling data through, it's still going to take hours to download an entire game's worth of content and depending on who your ISP is you might run up against data caps. EA didn't allow anyone to preload Simcity and I think we all remember how that turned out! What happens when Call of Duty or GTA is released and you have a million people bumrushing the servers at once?
I see an awful lot of problems ahead with precious few benefits to the end user. If piracy is an issue of service rather than money as Gabe Newell believes then publishers might even do more harm than good to themselves as well Yeah: I'll buy my games on disk for as long as I can, thanks!

Last edited by Kryten1029a on 4/19/2013 3:55:30 PM

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FatherSun
Saturday, April 20, 2013 @ 4:31:17 PM

Sony has the answer to all your questions and concerns.

Exhibit A: INTERNET SPEED:
http://www.telepresenceoptions.com/2013/04/worlds_fastest_home_internet_o/

Exhibit B: STORAGE MEDIA:

http://www.mobilemag.com/2009/08/06/sony-pushes-memory-stick-to-two-terabytes-of-storage/

The Terra byte memory link is from 2009 but have no doubt, if Sony was experimenting with this 4 years ago income what we will see 4 years from now.

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Rogueagent01
Friday, April 19, 2013 @ 6:51:20 PM
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I will always prefer physical in almost all cases where I have the option. However I am not going to miss out on great games because of some antiquated notion that digital is evil. If a game is released and there are no plans on it having a physical counterpart then I just do my homework and make sure it is a game that is worth playing, otherwise I pass on it.

So in short if the digital games in the future are really good games then yes my digital purchases will increase, but if there is any option of it being on a physical medium I will wait for that.

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JROD0823
Friday, April 19, 2013 @ 8:18:29 PM
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My digital spending habits will be about the same on PS4 as they have been on PS3.

I'll let Plus be my primary digital content provider, but if something really jumps out at me, I'll still throw money at it.

Last edited by JROD0823 on 4/19/2013 8:20:37 PM

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Raze22
Friday, April 19, 2013 @ 9:05:24 PM
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If ps+ counts then yes and I have increased my digital spending when it comes to handhelds, but not that much at all. Physical copies still dominate my domain especially if it suppose to be a collectors edition. I love god of war, but that saga collection was a joke.

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FatherSun
Saturday, April 20, 2013 @ 4:16:59 PM
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Digital longevity will be at the complete discretion of the publisher. If it is decided that such a service can be discontinued it will. Unless there is express indication that said discontinuation will allow the "OWNER/PURCHASER" the option to transfer said media to a physical manifestation if and when such a decision occurs.

"I have seen the future and it will be" I have no issue with digital. I have accepted the fact that it is inevitable. But, given a choice I will take my physical copy Thank You! I usually buy AAA games on physical media and the small timekillers digitally. This is all a Sign Of The Times. We are on the cusp of a new Technological Age.

Last edited by FatherSun on 4/20/2013 4:19:37 PM

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gamer4lifexxx
Sunday, April 21, 2013 @ 4:07:23 PM
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MY digital spending will probably decrease if anything... I like physical discs for games..( as well as movies/tv shows) far more then digitally downloaded games. For one they take up a lot more harddrive space for digital games, and i'm just not a big fan. I even still buy music cds and read paper back books, ( remember those people? you know before the stupid digital book reader devices)... I try to buy digitally downloaded games as little as possible.. only for the occasional PS1 and PS2 classics games and that's about it.

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Caanimal
Monday, April 22, 2013 @ 11:40:45 PM
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Most likely, no I will not be buying, excuse me RENTING digital games, since you know that's actually all it is, they let you RENT the game for as long as certain terms are met. Ten years from now I will be able to pop my physical copy into the appropriate console and play it(like I do w/ Playstation and PS2 games still from time to time), will that happen w/ a game that is digital only and the game company that made it goes belly up or Steam does? Going digital only will be the end of quite a few peoples(several friends agree w/ me on this) gaming life sadly.

What is truly sad is that some of my fav and the most fun games are smaller titles from smaller companies with smaller pocket books and those will probably be the games that go digital only first. I already spend the extra money and buy quite a few collector's editions of games(when I deem the PHYSICAL items that come w/ a game worthy) so I'm not worried about the extra cost, it will be the digital ONLY that ends gaming for me.

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