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Sony: "The Vast Majority" Of Gamers Still Prefer Physical Media

Even though the switch to digital may be inevitable in the future, it's a fallacy to believe that everyone is looking forward to that transition.

It's also wrong to assume that most gamers are happy with a digital copy of a game, as opposed to the physical disc. In a recent GamesIndustry.biz interview with PlayStation marketing executive Guy Longworth, it's clear that Sony understands the ongoing love for physical media. Said Longworth:

"I think the reality is this: Our digital business is growing fast, and we have incredibly strong partnerships with our key retail partners as well. What we try to do is offer a relatively level playing field and let the gamers decide. We're not trying to advantage them, we believe in consumer choice.

It's clear that the vast majority of the people want to go down to GameStop or Best Buy, they don't want to buy it online right now," he added. "How that might change in the future is kind of hard to predict. People might be quite surprised, I think physical games will be around a lot longer than some people think."

Sony's new PlayStation 4 will fully embrace digital gaming, as all PS4 titles will be available as a digital download. Microsoft's Xbox One will adopt the same philosophy. However, it's nice to know that moving forward, Sony gets that the entire gaming populace isn't digital crazy. At least, not yet.

Tags: sony, digital games, online games, ps4, playstation 4

6/24/2013 1:16:58 PM Ben Dutka

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Comments (35 posts)

bigrailer19
Monday, June 24, 2013 @ 1:36:42 PM
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I will always stand up for hard copies over digital. My HDD space is limited as is.

Agree with this comment 11 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Jawknee
Monday, June 24, 2013 @ 1:38:36 PM
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Yuuuurp! Screw all digital all the time. I can't loan games to my dad that he wouldn't otherwise play. I loaned him Uncharted and he loved it so much he bought his own copy.

Last edited by Jawknee on 6/24/2013 1:38:52 PM

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EndZero
Monday, June 24, 2013 @ 2:34:29 PM
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As long as there's a physical copy i'll go for that. I like getting something for my money and it's cool having a box with artwork especially when there's a reversible cover or different art inside. It doesn't make sense that digital costs the same as physical when as a publisher you don't have to pay for manufacturing and shipping and as a gamer you don't have the option to lend or trade the game if it's not worth keeping.

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mk ultra
Monday, June 24, 2013 @ 2:38:43 PM
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I like having an actual collection. My friends and family give me crap all the time when they come over because I still have a huge CD and game collection. Saying disks take up too much space, get scratched etc. It's nice to know there are other people out there that feel the same.

Agree with this comment 7 up, 1 down Disagree with this comment

Jawknee
Monday, June 24, 2013 @ 3:45:04 PM

Still buy CD's when I can. Ripping them in the highest quality possible beats iTunes quality anyway.

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ZettaiSeigi
Monday, June 24, 2013 @ 2:40:30 PM
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If there's a game that I've been waiting for for a very long time, I want to be able to play it as soon as it's in the store shelves. I don't want to wait several more hours for it to complete downloading into my HDD. Oh, and I certainly do not want to bother deciding which ones to delete by the time my HD runs out of space. So yeah, physical media for me! I'm glad that Sony realizes that and will not be abandoning that format any time soon.

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godsdream
Monday, June 24, 2013 @ 3:03:05 PM
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I´ll always want my physical copy, my case, and my instruction book. Some studios embrace this by putting even metal cases in limited editions, or maps in standard editions. I wonder until which FF my physical collection will end... Oh wait, it already happened, I don´t have XIII-2 and I refuse to buy it. The only option is if someone gives it to me.

Last edited by godsdream on 6/24/2013 3:03:47 PM

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bldudas1
Monday, June 24, 2013 @ 3:19:03 PM
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I always prefer a physical copy to a digital one. I prefer the actual disk for a game just like a prefer film for photography. I know I own the game and will never be unable to play it as long as my console works. And I can display them.
Yes, I still use film.

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Beamboom
Monday, June 24, 2013 @ 3:42:37 PM
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Excellent. It's an important tool to keep prices down.

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wambo
Monday, June 24, 2013 @ 3:58:12 PM
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I have to admit I download some games, I downloaded TLOU from the ps store, I do prefer my games on disk tho

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Simcoe
Monday, June 24, 2013 @ 11:43:17 PM

The only games I have that I've downloaded (and are available on disc) are those that I get at no cost through PS+ and their "instant game collection". So glad that Uncharted 3 is in the IGC, but at 40 GB, I'll be downloading it over two months so I don't exceed my ISP's monthly data cap (with all my other data use).

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Hand_of_Sorrow
Monday, June 24, 2013 @ 5:06:31 PM
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i'm all for physical copies,

i downloaded Red Dead Redemtion, the lasso is broke
in the digital version. i found out that its goes back to
the 1.06 patch for RDR.

long story short, theres no way to update the digital version of RDR.

so, i'll strongly support physical copy.

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Snaaaake
Monday, June 24, 2013 @ 6:09:09 PM

Wait, you're saying digital version of a game can't be patched???
That's absurd!!

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Kokushi
Monday, June 24, 2013 @ 5:48:34 PM
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I love the smell of physical games in the morning.

Last edited by Kokushi on 6/24/2013 5:49:29 PM

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Indestructible
Monday, June 24, 2013 @ 6:15:22 PM
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I only buy digital when I can't find a physical copy.

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Crabba
Monday, June 24, 2013 @ 6:39:42 PM
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I will always prefer physical disc games over digital, and I really don't see any benefit for US, the CONSUMER, to go digital.

Why take hours and hours of download time (and energy usage since you have to keep your PS3 active downloading) to download 40GB games when you can get it directly on disc, and you don't have to worry about running out of space on your HD, and you can resell and trade your disc anytime you want.

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tes37
Monday, June 24, 2013 @ 6:42:14 PM
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I made it a point to buy more physical copies of games than digital for the PS3. I plan on doing the same for the PS4.

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AcHiLLiA
Monday, June 24, 2013 @ 7:02:02 PM
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It just makes perfect sense. The whole world doesn't have access to the fastest internet and if people do the cost is expensive. Anyways, a lot of good reasons it's good to still have physical media around.

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dmiitrie
Monday, June 24, 2013 @ 7:26:01 PM
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Although I greatly prefer digital, I don't want physical versions to go away any time soon. I just hope that the PS4 will have Day 1 digital releases for all titles. It'll be severely disappointing if people like myself will continue to be unable to get games in our preferred format at the same time that everyone else can.

Agree with this comment 2 up, 1 down Disagree with this comment

Akuma07
Monday, June 24, 2013 @ 7:57:16 PM
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I agree with the final statement, I also think that physical will be around for a lot longer than analysts predict.

Game industry analysts are stupid anyway.

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txgamer
Monday, June 24, 2013 @ 9:00:01 PM
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I like physical because of collector editions. You can't get those digital.

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Kryten1029a
Monday, June 24, 2013 @ 11:03:51 PM
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Unless broadband speeds pick up tremendously across the board, it'll still be smarter to buy on disk than spend hours downloading full games.

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Kryten1029a
Monday, June 24, 2013 @ 11:03:51 PM
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Unless broadband speeds pick up tremendously across the board, it'll still be smarter to buy on disk than spend hours downloading full games.

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Simcoe
Monday, June 24, 2013 @ 11:44:40 PM

Nice to see a new pick of your buddy on your avatar!

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___________
Tuesday, June 25, 2013 @ 5:37:41 AM
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of course they will, and always will!
if you buy a game digitally how do you trade it in?
how do you lend it to a friend?
having to waste 50%+ of your monthly quota just to get one game!
having to wait 12 days for the game to download.
having to keep your ps3 on all week making so much noise its constantly waking you up.
having to keep your ps3 on all week constantly worrying that its going to overheat.
not to mention getting less both in content, and also in convenience, but still paying the same price or more is just stupid!
no thanks, ill stick to the good old brick and mortar / physical medium than you very much!

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shiroxkatsuya
Wednesday, June 26, 2013 @ 5:58:14 PM
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unless there is alot more unlimited internet providers in the future, physical media needs to stick around, because i do not want to download one game and then already be near my monthly limit.

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phade2blaq
Thursday, June 27, 2013 @ 3:54:52 PM

I agree ! Currently, my isp provider charges extra when you exceed your monthly limit and I'm not going to pay extra just to download some games and /or some dlc ! I'd rather have the physical disc as opposed to the digital version !

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ricksterj
Thursday, June 27, 2013 @ 12:19:23 PM
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When you pay DAMN GOOD $$$ for something, you want (and should expect) something tangible.

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gamer4lifexxx
Thursday, June 27, 2013 @ 1:47:13 PM
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Media, whether it's music CDs, DVDs/ Blu Rays or games.. i will always buy mostly physical versions and prefer them over digital. right now probably %95 percent of my media is physical and i'm perfectly happy to stay that way

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RobN
Thursday, June 27, 2013 @ 2:26:37 PM
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Physical advantages:

* Less disk space (shelf space cheaper than disk space)
* Sharing/selling is an option
* Physical manual and artwork (becoming less common)
* More sales competition = more, faster, and greater discounts
* Fewer bandwidth costs/restrictions

Digital advantages:
* No need to swap disks in order to switch games
* Less risk of theft or damage to physical media (Blu-Ray disks are NOT indestructible, I've had two develop cracks in the hub that rendered the disk and game useless)
* Re-download at any time
* No reason why sales could not exceed sales of physical media (see Steam) - they just generally haven't yet
* Demo may be instantly unlockable to full version (typically smaller titles)

Given that list, I have to come down in favor of physical media almost every time. My opinion may change if sales start being more common and greater in the digital realm, but so far they often fall short of physical media sales (even for new copies, never mind the used market), and even with HD prices dropping, storage still isn't free.

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phade2blaq
Thursday, June 27, 2013 @ 3:56:39 PM

The one big drawback for some would be there ISP provider ! I currently pay extra when I exceed my monthly download allowance so for me, digital is not a good thing if I have to buy all my games online and wait for the long download ! I'd rather stop gaming !

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gruvsf
Thursday, June 27, 2013 @ 2:56:59 PM
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As a PC gamer who uses Steam, I hate when a game is released and then I have to wait another few hours to preload or download the game before I can play it.
When I pre-order and buy a PS3 game on disc, I can pick it up right away that day, bring it home and pop it into my PS3 and be ready to play in a matter of minutes. Until everyone has 100Mbps fiber into their own home, digital gaming will always take much longer than physical disc gaming to get up and running

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phade2blaq
Thursday, June 27, 2013 @ 3:53:36 PM

The waiting sucks ! I agree with you which is why tying consoles to internet connections is a bad idea !

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phade2blaq
Thursday, June 27, 2013 @ 3:51:36 PM
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I personally prefer having physical discs as opposed to having games I've bought sitting on a server waiting for me to access them !

There also may come a time that one may not have internet access and if your games and/or console are tied to having a internet connection, that to me spells trouble !

The last thing I'll add is the wait for content to download ! I had an update I needed to download recently for Heavy Rain and it took 3 and a half hours ! By the time it finished, I didn't want to play the game anymore !



Last edited by phade2blaq on 6/27/2013 3:53:02 PM

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SonyPuppy
Saturday, June 29, 2013 @ 7:16:33 AM
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At present I tend to buy a physical copy first (collector's edition if I really want the game) then I've finished the main part, trade it in and if it was good enough (and I don't want to swap discs as much) I'll get a digital version to replace it. If the game is good enough, i don't see any reason not to show the devs some extra love.

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