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Explain How This All-Digital Crap Is Preferable In Any Way

Most seem to agree that the future of the video game industry is digital. Sadly, I think the future of a great many things in this world lies in the cold and remote digital realm.

For the record, I am not against progression or advancement. I'm not against technology. What I'm against is the deification of enhanced technology that defies common sense and utilizes smoke and mirrors to create the illusion of progression.

The appeal of digital seems absolutely nonexistent to me. One can argue download speeds will get faster and despite the increasing size of games, all games will eventually be delivered digitally. All right. Say that works fine. Say it saves you a trip to the store. I understand the argument; it means you save on gas, save yourself the headache of (God forbid) having to go outside and interact with other humans for scant seconds, and saves you - ideally - time. So say you download the game you've been waiting for and you're all happy.

Explain to me the next day. Or the next year. Explain to me what happens when your hard drive shits the bed. Explain what happens when a file gets corrupted (yeah, it has been known to happen). Explain how uploading to the cloud, saving on a USB or backing up in some other way, is somehow supposed to make our lives easier, simpler, or faster. Explain how updates, patches, DRM, and downloadable content is more efficient or more practical. Explain to me how something as trivial as a power outage can royally screw your gaming hobby in the future, while decades ago, it just made me lose my place. It didn't mean I couldn't get my damn game from the store.

Twenty five years go - a full quarter-century - I put a game into a system, pressed a button and played.

Yes, everything is vastly more advanced today. I get that. But I'm really not convinced that even the best advancements we've got are worth the future headaches that I'm anticipating. We've already reached the point where playing on a console feels suspiciously like playing on a PC, what with the patches and constant "connected" incentives and requirements. Now you tell me delivering a game digitally is preferable or better? What if my connection just gives out halfway through? What if there's a flippin' power outage? What if I want to upgrade to a new system later on? How long will it take to transfer game files and game saves in my collection? What, do I black out a whole day on my calendar?

I fail to see how any of this is better, besides the obvious fact that this will allow the industry to save some money. The packaging and shipping aspect is very expensive, after all. But that should translate to cheaper costs, yes? If the physical copy of a game costs the same as the digital copy (and it often does right now), what's the point? Just so we can point at another video screen and go, "looky looky at what I'm doing now!" In foreseeing the potential problems involved, the sheer amount of irritation, frustration and yes, time lost on dealing with this digital crap is beyond ridiculous.

The worst part is that the seemingly mindless younger generations, who may already be partly robotic due to spending the majority of their lives staring at a video screen already, don't seem to get it. For those of us living in the real world, it's painfully obvious. This is all besides the fact that a tangible physical collection should be far, far more important to anyone who actually cares about this hobby. Oh, and I could spend a lot longer talking about the constant threat of identity theft completely invading this industry if everything goes digital; I don't know about you, but I'll miss a time when I could play a game without having to worry about who just stole my personal info. But I suppose nobody notices or cares.

Tags: gaming, gaming industry, video games, digital games, physical media, downloadable games

9/10/2012 8:53:21 PM Ben Dutka

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Comments (77 posts)

firesoul453
Monday, September 10, 2012 @ 9:31:13 PM
Reply

Kinda agree. Its just companies wanting to improve there bottom line.

Physical media is so disabled by DRM, its pretty much easier to just deal with a digital copy and younger people see digital as standard.

Its a shame really.

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xenris
Monday, September 10, 2012 @ 9:35:45 PM
Reply

I have a few major concerns of digital only. What if they just take the servers down and I can't redownload my game later on? I don't actually own the game I'm just getting it loaned to me for 60 bucks. With hackers being terrible human beings what if my account gets hacked and I lose my games or saves etc. What if the company who made the game goes bankrupt or just decides to yank the game off the servers, if I ever need to redownload I'm out of luck. These are the worries I have however I will list my suspicions with the model.

Is this just a method of DRM? I feel like companies think digital only would eliminate piracy and used game sales etc, when in fact it still happens on PC and actually a lot on the Xbox as well so this would do little to combat that.

The biggest thing for me though is that if say everything went digital you damn well better slash your games prices by close to half. If you only get 15-30% from a gamestop sale you should sell the digital version at 39.99 or 49.99 at the very least. Prove to me that there is an advantage to digital console games, otherwise I'll stick to my steam sales.

However EA has already proven with origin that they don't plan on giving people a discount for buying directly from them even though sales would probably go up.

I personally like having collections to some degree, and I don't think games will be all digital for a while.

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firesoul453
Monday, September 10, 2012 @ 9:48:46 PM

Yes, and people forget servers have gone down. It happened with music. Companies like buy.com and walmart, shut down music servers, without refunds. and don't forget about down time.

(atleast all music now is drm free, but still digital)

If they fix some of these problems by making them DRM free, then there is no reason not to offer a disk.

(and about hackers, don't forget there are good ones, and they keep large companies on there toes)

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Temjin001
Monday, September 10, 2012 @ 10:07:07 PM

You can backup your Steam game files by right clicking the game icon and selecting the action from the menu that pops up.
I was pretty impressed by Origin's customer service. I emailed them asking to convert my Bad Company 2 key from another, now defunct, distributor, to my Origin account. Within a couple hours they responded and "gladly" converted the game into my Origin library.

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xenris
Tuesday, September 11, 2012 @ 8:56:16 AM

This is why I didn't mention steam Temjin :) I know that you have the game files on your comp and if stuff gets really messy you can crack them...but shhhhh don't tell anyone its a secret ;)

I know that those concerns are mostly non issues and would be ironed out however I dunno I think having both options would be good.

Also thats impressive with the BF2 thing. I was more talking about prices but it is good that EA has customer service that is that...good :P

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Shatterday
Monday, September 10, 2012 @ 9:48:40 PM
Reply

I wouldn't consider myself a part of the 'younger' generation at 23, but I couldn't give 2 shits about my collection. Though, I will say that I like saying that I have original PS copies of Silent Hill, FFVII, FFIX, and Twisted Metal 2. There are more but I can't remember, they're stashed away in some dark corner of my basement.

I'm getting older and I only have time for the big ones, RE, FF, maybe COD just to stay "hip" with my little brother and for these new games I just don't care whether they're digital or not. Special edition trinkets are cool sometimes.

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ulsterscot
Monday, September 10, 2012 @ 10:04:06 PM
Reply

Im part of the older lazier generation - i just recently downloaded ps3 digital copies of blops,mw2 and mw (i still have the physical copies) because when i get bored with mw3 im just too damn lazy to get up and switch discs. Similarly on my xbox i downloaded bfbc2 and homefront so i can leave the bf3 disc in the machine.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Monday, September 10, 2012 @ 10:14:26 PM
Reply

It's true that there are some serious foreseeable problems with digital. It honestly is a pretty big headache. If I wanted to move my Skyrim game from one PS3 to another I had to use a USB drive because it takes 346 years to upload and download that big save to and from the cloud. The patches are a headache, once you buy a game and want to play it, you often don't even get to play it that night because of the updates and installs.

Today someone accidentally mailed me a mint copy of Ghouls n Ghosts for Genesis (I haven't had that console in ages) and I was like immediately transported back in time. Here was an actual CARTRIDGE!! Reminded me of the plug and play days.

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Monday, September 10, 2012 @ 10:32:37 PM

Yeah, holy shit...get a game, put it in, and play it. Ten seconds. I can't understand how slowing that process to a crawl is viewed as "advancement."

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telly
Tuesday, September 11, 2012 @ 10:44:34 AM

My friend who had a genesis that first Christmas got Ghouls n' Ghosts along with the system (which had Altered Beast as a pack-in, NICE.) I remember that game cartridge and package clear as day. We discovered the genesis stored away in the back of his mom's closet and played the hell out of both games while his poor single Mom was at work. We'd carefully put it back at the end of the day. She of course knew what we were doing. And maybe we "ruined" his Christmas morning surprise but damn if that wasn't the best December of my life.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Tuesday, September 11, 2012 @ 11:21:52 AM

I did the same thing with the N64 and Mario

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Ludicrous_Liam
Tuesday, September 11, 2012 @ 12:48:25 PM

LOL! I did the same thing when I got my PS1, finding it behind the sofa and starring at the case of 'Worms' when my mom walked in. We were crafty little devils :P

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CrusaderForever
Monday, September 10, 2012 @ 10:14:52 PM
Reply

Digital cuts down on clutter and gives the devs more dough. Also, it destroys leeches like Gamestop since we cannot sell our digital games back to them. Also, it cuts down on impulse buying. It rewards digital owners in the future when they want to go back and play that one game again and don't have to buy it again. I am completely digital with my Vita and think it's pretty cool. However with 2GB left on my 32GB card I am a little worried. I am hoping Vita PS+ comes out soon so I can get my saved games up on the cloud to make some space.

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Monday, September 10, 2012 @ 10:33:54 PM

Don't think for a second GameStop will go away. They've been exploring ways to deal with the digital shift for years and if you hadn't noticed, they're already selling digital stuff via cards you buy in the store.

And by the way, cutting down on "impulse buying" and completely eliminating any shopping around whatsoever is NEVER a good thing for business. Not ever.

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BikerSaint
Monday, September 10, 2012 @ 10:38:18 PM

CrusaderForever,

Actually, a few months ago, I had sent Ben an article that GameStop's working on a new program to re-sell downloadable games and DLC, but they wouldn't reveal too much more at the time. Stay tuned.

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Raze22
Monday, September 10, 2012 @ 10:46:38 PM

"cannot sell our digital games back to them"

This put a big smile on my face. You do realize that can change in a blink of an eye? Oh hold on... didn't it already happen in Europe.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Monday, September 10, 2012 @ 11:13:32 PM

Actually companies benefit from MORE impulse buying, all you have to do is get excited and press a button and bam that's a sale.

I've got a few downloads I wish I hadn't bought on impulse.

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Rogueagent01
Tuesday, September 11, 2012 @ 11:04:32 AM

I'm with you World I got several games I would have NEVER bought while at a store. Digital actually increases impulse buying it surely does not decrease it.

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CrusaderForever
Tuesday, September 11, 2012 @ 12:01:01 PM

I was only saying it cuts down on impulse buying because you don't have any old games to trade in. For instance, LBPVita comes out and all the sudden I am overwhelmed with a need to get it. I may look at my old physical library of games and run down to Gamestop to trade them in so I can get LBPVita. Without the physical media I won't be able to do this....currently.

As far as Gamestop goes, they may not go away but an all digital world will hurt them unless they can offer digital games at a discounted price compared to the PSN. Why would I drive/NET browse to Gamestop when I can download it from the PSN for the same price? I for one want Sony to get all that money, not Gamestop.

I know Gamestop has a plan to have trade in/resell used digital product but how? Seriously, how? Once I click on something in the PSN to buy it's always mine even if I don't download it. As long as it has the red Playstation symbol next to it. Gamestop would have to work with Sony to be able to remove said purchased digital title from my PSN account. That is the only way I can see Gamestop selling/allowing trade ins for used digital products.

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CrusaderForever
Tuesday, September 11, 2012 @ 12:18:27 PM

@ Rogueagent01 and World
For me digital shopping makes me way more vigilant! I know there is no going back once I purchase digital. I do more research, read reviews and look for demos. If it's something that has been out for a while I really enjoy reading the user reviews since they are more likely to be as honest as possible.

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Rogueagent01
Tuesday, September 11, 2012 @ 1:30:36 PM

Well then you are just what I would call a smart shopper, unfortunately most of the world is not like that, at all. Look at channels like QVC they have made billions upon billions of dollars because of impulse buyers who do not do their homework. Same goes for many internet sites and infommercials as well, they take advantage of people that are not smart consumers.

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CrusaderForever
Tuesday, September 11, 2012 @ 2:54:59 PM

HAHA! Thanks RogueAgent01 but I have made my share buying mistakes in my life. But when it comes to games I am pretty good at research. It's what I do all day long when I have a breather during work or at home.

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Knightzane
Monday, September 10, 2012 @ 10:25:43 PM
Reply

If it ever happens, i'll be visiting the shady guy in the dark alley selling digital games on disk. I like talking to people and just because i can purchase things off the interwebs doesn't mean its the only way i should be able to. I hope that digital and physical somehow co-exist.

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Rogueagent01
Tuesday, September 11, 2012 @ 11:12:02 AM

They absolutely will! I believe most people are completely misreading what a lot of these companies are saying. You will see very few companies go ALL digital. There is too much money involved and a worldwide infastructure built around physical media. Not to mention I think companies like selling a game from say $70 to over $300 with just adding a few little pieces of swag, there will be no way to charge the high end of that if they went all digital. Physical media will be around till we die I can guarantee that, though it most likely will become less obtainable.

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BikerSaint
Monday, September 10, 2012 @ 10:29:10 PM
Reply

ben,
I'm in a 1000% agreement with you.

And it seems to me more & more like some of this tech is destroying our enjoyment of gaming, rather that enhancing it.

And even more so for those of us who are also gaming collectors, as I fear the future of expanding our gaming collections are quickly nearing the end of existence as more & more games go the dreaded "D/L only" route.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Monday, September 10, 2012 @ 11:15:05 PM

Think of it this way Saint, in ten more years you can set your collection up in a space, call it a museum, and charge the kids for tours :)

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tes37
Monday, September 10, 2012 @ 11:20:14 PM

Don't forget to charge double for intergalactic a**wipes.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Monday, September 10, 2012 @ 11:26:28 PM

Intergalactic planetary, planetary intergalactic.

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tes37
Monday, September 10, 2012 @ 11:33:46 PM

I'm having one of those "?" moments. It's quite painful and I highly recommend it.

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BikerSaint
Tuesday, September 11, 2012 @ 12:09:26 AM

<<<<intergalactic a**wipes.>>>>

Yeah, you & World must mean those guys that came from the Planet URanus, LOL

(just like where my one down-vote stalker seems to have come from)

Last edited by BikerSaint on 9/11/2012 12:14:03 AM

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telly
Tuesday, September 11, 2012 @ 10:45:15 AM

Another dimension new ga-lax-ee

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Rogueagent01
Tuesday, September 11, 2012 @ 1:43:04 PM

Biker you having nothing to fear in that aspect. In fact you being a collector will actually have more monetary value if this trend continues. In no way shape or form will all companies go digital, they would lose out on billions of dollars in revenue. And if many of the companies do what they are claiming you will still have physical, but it will be better then the current form. You will see fewer copies printed of each game and many games will probably go out of print faster too, actually making a gaming collection a viable investment in the future. As it stands now most games are just about worthless, and we collect for the purpose of collecting. Down the road there will be real value to the collections as this younger generation just seems to like to rent everything, their loss will be our gain.

I feel bad for the kids and grandkids of some of the people from this younger generation as they will have next to nothing to leave them since they don't see any reason to own physical anything.

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tes37
Monday, September 10, 2012 @ 10:30:35 PM
Reply

Who needs nostalgia when the truth makes you long for the good ole days. I'm okay with technology until it comes to ultimatums. I won't be happy with being told all digital is all you get.

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Raze22
Monday, September 10, 2012 @ 10:54:08 PM
Reply

Ben if you think the start up time to play your game is a long wait. I can't wait to see how you react when they interrupt your gameplay with commercials/ads. You know, the ones similar on youtube, hulu plus, etc... To be quite honest, I'm already pissed.

Another thing, I can't believe they didn't make the god of war saga all physical. If people wanted digital then just make a more cheaper all digital and a more expensive all physical. Give consumers the options. You can buy music both physical and digital. They don't give you a weird mix bag unless you tried to do it yourself.

I understand infamous, yet it still would have been nice to make it all physical. If your going to milk god of war damn it then do it right! Hell, journey collection was all physical.

Last edited by Raze22 on 9/10/2012 10:56:11 PM

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Monday, September 10, 2012 @ 11:04:03 PM

Oh, I know it's coming. And I know I'm not happy about it.

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ZenChichiri
Monday, September 10, 2012 @ 11:53:00 PM

I just got a smart phone recently and decided to download a game only to have it filled with advertising! Gaming is what I do to escape the constant bombardment of the outside world!

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Mog
Tuesday, September 11, 2012 @ 1:09:23 AM

And then to get rid of those adds in the game you have to pay more money....

-_-

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Dancemachine55
Monday, September 10, 2012 @ 11:58:53 PM
Reply

Sorry Ben, but I disagree in some ways.

While I do agree that patches, on-disc DLC, incomplete games with DLC released to complete it are all horrible new practices created by big shot companies looking to nickel and dime every gamer out there, I believe digital delivery is actually quite a good system.

Sure, our digital games are a "permanent rental" so long as the digital service is still running and we remember our username and password AND use the service as per the terms and conditions.

Steam allows us to play our games offline so long as they are downloaded and single player games. As long as my computer works and I remember my username and password, my games are all there, ready to play.

There's no discs to scratch, no physical thing to lose or let friends borrow who don't give it back and then forget about it. If I lose my computer (which has happened when updating many parts) I just reinstall Steam, log in and re-download all my games in order of what I want to play most.

The only downside in terms of all digital is the fact that I can't trade my games once I'm done with them. It's kinda why I buy games on console first, and if I love it, buy it on Steam and trade the console game. Plus, Steam sales have games so cheap that being tied to an online service to play them is not an issue to me.

Also Ben, don't mistake forced multiplayer and always-on DRM with the downside of getting games digitally.

Many digital games can be played offline. Instead of inserting a disc or cartridge, you're just botting the game up from a menu, and that's what I love so much about Steam. Not only that, but like I said, you lose your computer or the game on your HDD and you can just redownload it as many times as you want!!! Why? Cos it's already been labelled as purchased on your account, so it will always be there for you to get again and again.

I do not know a single brick and mortar store that would let you do that. If you lose the game disc, no store will let you come in with the receipt and let you take another copy of the same game free of charge. THAT is the beauty of digital.

Let me just say I hate what big name companies are doing with multiplayer and DRM. Game cases stuffed with codes. Always-on online DRM like Diablo III required to play the single player story!!! Capcom selling additional characters as DLC when they are already on the disc!!! Activision selling map packs for $25 in Australia!! Mass Effect 3 requiring an Origin account just to play the game's story!!! Heck, I even hated the Orange Box forcing me to use Steam when it was still in its infancy and terrible!!

The only two deciding factors for me between getting the game physically or digitally is now a matter of the game's size and the price. Steam wins with games smaller than 15GB and less than $20. The advantages of digital distribution far outweigh the disadvantages. In terms of price, Steam has everyone else beat!! Gears of War on 360 costs $12 at my local EB, or it's $25 on Xbox Live, digitally. THAT'S where digital fails. Steam offers games at a third or a quarter of the price of brick and mortar stores, and that's why it wins in my book.

Summary:
Digital distribution = good
DRM = Bad
On-disc DLC = bad
Overpriced digital games = bad

The only people who love physical games are those with the shelf space for it. I'd rather keep that shelf space free for books and photos.

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Killa Tequilla
Tuesday, September 11, 2012 @ 12:46:12 AM

That's not the point.

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Temjin001
Tuesday, September 11, 2012 @ 1:45:39 AM

I agree with much of your post, Dance. I do think that sale price differences between used games at stores like Gamestop and digital deals goes back to the basics of retail economics. GameStop has to be concerned over inventory and shelf space and so on. I'm sure when I got Gears 1 and Gears 2 for about $10 a piece it had near everything to do with the fact they had way too much inventory of those two skus and they wanted to circumvent inventory overload.

This is never an issue with digital distributors and I'd imagine they determine sales in consideration of other factors, and not over having an influx of inventory.

Last edited by Temjin001 on 9/11/2012 1:46:13 AM

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Vivi_Gamer
Tuesday, September 11, 2012 @ 2:43:09 AM

Have you scratched a Blu-ray disc, I haven't. When I first heard they'd be far more scratch resistant than previous discs, I didn't believe it - But they are! Even when I buy game pre-owned they'll only have an odd scratch or finger print, this is one of the advances which really impressed me this gen.

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Temjin001
Tuesday, September 11, 2012 @ 10:17:08 AM

BD's are supposed to be good like that. Hey, I think I remember reading about how BD's were originally very scratch prone, and just before BD's went to market, 3M (or someone) just had made a superior scratch resistant seal. BD's got the seal and they went from being MORE scratch prone than a DVD to less. Awesome sauce, eh?

Don't quote me on this story. But I'm pretty sure this is what I read/heard

Last edited by Temjin001 on 9/11/2012 10:17:40 AM

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Rogueagent01
Tuesday, September 11, 2012 @ 11:31:39 AM

I see your point and agree with much of it, however what are you going to do if say Anonymous decides they don't like Steam and decides to hack it and erase everyones data. And please don't tell me that can't happen. Or what is going to hapen to your Steam collection if/when they go out of business, again that can happen.

The nice thing about physical copies of anything is the fact that you outright own them(even though it is technically a rental). Look at the case with Bruce Willis right now, he is sueing Apple because he wants to leave his iTunes library to his kids and Apple said no, you are renting that property. If digital would be treated the same as physical I would be much more willing to back it, but the big companies know they have you by the balls with it and can do whatever they want, and eventually greed will rear its ugly head.

Physical will always be better in my opinion...don't get me wrong either, I have bought some games digitally, mainly the ones I could care less about. One of the other reasons I like some companies going primarily digital is it will increase the value of the physical copies, making collectors like me really happy. Games will have fewer physical copies made and will most likely go out of print faster making them great investments in the future.

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CheddarClyde
Tuesday, September 11, 2012 @ 12:32:35 AM
Reply

Every time I hear an analyst/developer/journalist scream about how game distribution has to go exclusively digital to survive, I just want to drag them kicking and screaming out of their little bubbles and drop them into a poorer part of the country where broadband connectivity and large hard drives are forbidden luxuries. To me it seems like those affiliated with PC gaming are the ones pushing this agenda since this is the norm with them.

I can understand why they would want that system since it would save them all kinds of money on packaging, shipping and warehousing. The problem is it would cost us as gamers a lot more money in an already expensive hobby. Plan on buying one large external hard drive? Nope, get two. Redundant backups is critical with anything digital. Thinking about storing your games on the cloud? Sure if you don't mind waiting for all 50GB of Metal Gear Solid 4 to download whenever you want to play it. Then there's the risk of game data becoming infected with viruses and other malware.

As someone who had a collection of close to a thousand movies on DVD and BlueRay, I don't mind buying hard copies of my games. If I did go completely digital my 70+ games would have filled up a terabyte hard drive by now... and if it failed/were stolen???

Last edited by CheddarClyde on 9/11/2012 12:33:27 AM

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ethird1
Tuesday, September 11, 2012 @ 2:00:32 AM
Reply

I like pie.

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Temjin001
Tuesday, September 11, 2012 @ 2:11:13 AM

pecan pie is my favorite =p

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bentl78
Tuesday, September 11, 2012 @ 2:01:04 AM
Reply

I can give a good reason, i am not against going digital at all..
like steam, psn store is pretty awesome i think.
i used collect and collect.. tons of dvds, ps1, ps2 games.. and cds.. i am sure my cd and dvd collection is 1000+ back when i used to live in the US, when I lived w/ parents, in a big 4000 sqaurefoot house with a room for entertainment.. and garage, and 2-3 storages through the house.. and just in my room, i have a huge shelf and huge closets to store all my games...

i live in HK now, ranked top in the top 5 in rent/property prices in the world..

i dont buy many blu-rays or dvds anymore.. i still buy my ps3 games..
but i buy most of my movies and tv shows on itunes.. and all my vita games on psn.

why? u ask? what about your collection? .... problem is..
1 sqft of my apartment cost more than 1000 US dollars.. u do the math.
my flat is only 600 sqft... i have no place to store my collection.
the last time i moved.. i threw all the stuff away, or gave it all away.
it hurt.. but space is to valuable where i live.
so apple tv.. psn is perfect.
if my hard disk breaks, i can redownload it w/ my account.
if i run of of space i delete it.. until i want to watch it again.
that is the perfect solution for me.

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JohnnyGold
Tuesday, September 11, 2012 @ 5:47:18 AM

This is exactly how i feel. I'm in the process of getting rid of most of my books and putting them on my kindle. already got rid of tons of dvds and downloaded digital copies. now im ps+ member, and i've started uploading my saves to the cloud at 4am. everytime a free game rolls around (borderlands, infamouse 2, lbp,) i d/l that and sell back my retail version. it's great not having so much CRAP in my living space.

2 things: just setting the ps3 to upload all the game saves to the cloud at 2am and d/l patches is a huge time saver. and if you ever dont want to d/l a patch, you just cancel out of the operation, and set it to d/l before you have to go to the grocery store or something. very sick of people complaining about this - like their lives are so precious they don't have *gasp* 10 minutes to waste downloading a patch for a new game. seriously? you don't have 10 minutes to change the input from hdmi to channel 570 and watch espn while a patch downloads, because you would have been too busy sitting on the couch and playing skyrim? first world problems.

secondly: every conceivable problem that people mention with this stuff can be solved by a *friendly* call to customer service, if something were to go wrong. it's not the monopoly man on the other end of the line. if something happens to your digital collection, they DO have records of what you bought, theyll be happy to refund your PSN wallet every dollar you've spent to get it all back.

idk man, one lesson i've learned in life... if the majority of a fanbase starts embracing something enthusiastically (like a kindle,) there is usually some merit to it. i used to be a "im never going to download games, physical media only!" guy, but now it just seems silly. download your game, sell the hard copy if you still have one, get your 5$ and move on with your life.

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Tuesday, September 11, 2012 @ 9:11:16 AM

JohnnyGold: You really think that because the majority embraces something, it automatically has merit?

Odd. The older I get, the more I realize that whenever the masses embrace ANYTHING, it's probably outrageously stupid.

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JohnnyGold
Tuesday, September 11, 2012 @ 4:21:17 PM

Interesting. Did you play ff7 the day it was released in North America? Or did you play it because of the marketing, hype, and word of mouth exposure that was sweeping the country, thus exposing you to one of the best games ever made?

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Underdog15
Wednesday, September 12, 2012 @ 8:29:06 AM

I played it because I liked the snes ff's. and liking a game isn't the same as accepting a social practice.

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Temjin001
Tuesday, September 11, 2012 @ 2:06:40 AM
Reply

It's funny sorta. When I was at Walmart today I saw BF3 PC for $20 and I thought, "Oh, good deal, but eww, it's physical." =p

I can't get upset over this stuff but I'd like to see the option exist going forward for as long as possible. PC side, I prefer everything digital. Having a 2TB HDD means I can load it with as much games as I could reasonably want. I have access to those files on up to 5 machines at one time. It's nice having cloud saves too with these clients. All free, too ;) And as Dancemachine points out, I can re-download my games whenever I want, pretty sure I can do the same with PSN or Live.. I'd hope anyway.
But that's mostly PC talk. I suspect the future for consoles will look something like the clients PC's have with Steam and Origin etc. Including pre-loading games before release dates etc. As for security reasons or losing my games. I'm just not concerned about that. As Homer Simpson would say, I could slip on a bar of soap in the shower and die tommorow. Added to that, my home could burn down, a tornado or natural disaster could come, burglary etc., I just can't worry about that stuff. If I some how lost my games. Crappy day. I'd live. I'll just try and play it smart and safe and hope for the best.
As for physical collections, I just don't care. I can't care. Every time I try I look at the discs and think, it's plastic stamped out from a facility and shipped to a retail store and marketed on a shelf with pretty graphics with an intent to increase a corporations bottom line... must be the scientific side of my mind. I don't feel the snuggly blanket feel anymore, I guess =p I'm just not a "collector" of material items really. I have nothing against those who are. I want the experience, save the shelf space, and be happy. That's not to say I don't have any interest in a few novelty items now and again. It just so happens I like a lot of games. A LOT. To pack rat all of those with me just isn't my thing.

That picture up there at the top of this article makes me cringe. No really, that's just hideous Haha



Last edited by Temjin001 on 9/11/2012 2:07:36 AM

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ethird1
Tuesday, September 11, 2012 @ 5:31:35 AM

Temjin001, we are PIE BROS!!! My favorite pie is pecan pie too! WoooooOO!!!

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Temjin001
Tuesday, September 11, 2012 @ 10:14:08 AM

I asked for a Pecan Pie for my birthday earlier this year (instead of cake). I freaking love it!

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Lawless SXE
Tuesday, September 11, 2012 @ 2:23:06 AM
Reply

Good points but let me add one: those of us living in areas that can't get ADSL. I'd be well boned simply for that fact. I may have to travel like 150km if I want a game for a proper price, but I can time that with other things that I want/need to do when I visit the cities. It's just a bona fide bad idea if you ask me.

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jugheadjones
Tuesday, September 11, 2012 @ 4:56:59 AM
Reply

I agree with what a lot of others are saying. When it's digital, you are only borrowing it. How many times have you lost all the stuff you had saved on your computer when it died and you had to buy a new one? The same thing will happen when a company goes out of business, gets sold, or just changes format. There are services that software companies close out because they aren't making enough money for their marketing reports and you lose everything you purchased, or they change the format and it is no longer available. How many movies did you have on VHS that you bought on DVD, after VHS was no longer available, only to buy digitally because you knew that DVDs would be gone at some point? Even physical isn't forever, but at least, you can control the longevity of it a little. Not to mention the fact that digital isn't the most reliable of formats.

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Beamboom
Tuesday, September 11, 2012 @ 5:32:54 AM
Reply

In the bigger picture the answer is simple: There are no real advantages for us as consumers.
It opens up for monopolistic market arenas, price cooperation and control, and limits the user options. This is no small deal.

But there are advantages too. And that leads me to your question, Ben:
"Explain to me what happens when your hard drive shits the bed. Explain what happens when a file gets corrupted (yeah, it has been known to happen)."

These two are the main arguments for digital distributions, as far as I am concerned. With the traditional, physical storage you are screwed if the disc is broken. With digital distribution you can just download the game again should your drive get broken or replaced.

This is a major advantage. it's like with your mobile phone: When you get a new phone you can just download the apps to that new phone again. No need to keep any licence numbers or discs or anything as proof of ownership. It's tied to your account.


Last edited by Beamboom on 9/11/2012 5:33:28 AM

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Tuesday, September 11, 2012 @ 11:03:16 AM

Honestly Beamboom, real gamers with real collections don't care. Why? Because we don't break our stuff. We don't lose our stuff.

In 28 years of gaming, neither has ever happened to me. It hasn't happened to anyone I know, either. We take CARE of our collections because that's what people USED to do.

And you know what else? Tied to your account or not, it still has to fit in a digital space. I know physical media takes up real space, and part of the argument for digital media is that you don't have to store actual things. But all I ever had to do was find a spot on my shelf. Not temporarily throw it out the window to make room for a new game (which is akin to being forced to delete something off a hard drive, as far as I'm concerned). And then when I want to play it again, I have to re-download and re-install?

Give me a break. Smoke and mirrors. Nothing more.

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Beamboom
Tuesday, September 11, 2012 @ 1:50:27 PM

hehe - whether or not *you* have never experienced a broken disc is really quite irrelevant. Discs can break or get lost, that's just an obvious fact.

A hot sun, an uncareful child, a neighbor that never returned a borrowed disc, an inconsiderate spouse, a disc that were accidentally stepped on, a party that went a bit over the top, accidents of all sorts; disks break. Disks get lost.
To quote yourself, "yeah, it has been known to happen".

But why ask the question in the first place, if you are not willing to accept an explanation? Fact of the matter is, that with digital distribution you get something that can be called the equivalent of a "lifetime disc replacement guarantee". It must be allowed to accept that, and still be against digital distribution.
... Like I am, too.

Last edited by Beamboom on 9/11/2012 1:57:42 PM

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Tuesday, September 11, 2012 @ 3:10:52 PM

No, you're just turning a blind eye to the countless problems that could arise. You're assuming the process will work smoothly while I'M completely positive that it won't be even remotely smooth. There are a ton of what-ifs that the tech lovers always, inevitably ignore. And when they're scrambling to deal with the sudden issues, they somehow pretend it's still a superior system.

I never said broken or lost games didn't happen. What I said was for people who care, it's exceedingly rare. You may not understand that but every real collector does. And by the way, all those real collectors will not ever accept that a file on a flippin' screen counts as ANYTHING.

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Beamboom
Tuesday, September 11, 2012 @ 3:50:26 PM

Jesus man, I don't turn a blind eye to anything. *All* I state is that discs can get broken just like you state that hard drives can get broken. Difference being, with the drive broken you don't lose any games. With a disc broken or lost it's gone and you have to re-buy it. Just that.

Most "real collectors" understand that games are not only sold to collectors. And why separate between collectors and the rest? Do you really not think a broken disc matter for a regular consumer?

Did vinyl records get scratches? Did they lose fidelity after repeated playbacks? Not for "real collectors" with their expensive record players and storage facilities, but to say therefore it was no issue is just absurd.

And to say "you may not understand it's rare but every real collector does"... I mean, come on. Are you this patronizing in real life too?

*All* I say, is that a digitally distributed system offer a kind of insurance that physical media does not. That is just a fact. If your file corruption occurs your game is not lost. The feelings of "real collectors" have no relevance to that fact, nor do what they think about files on a screen. Why do you even bring that up?

And hear me out: I am also against digital distribution. We are on the same side here. But there are far, far better arguments against digital distribution than that the discs won't break for "those who care". Thing is that this "insurance" is probably the best argument *for* digital distribution, from a consumers point of view.

Last edited by Beamboom on 9/11/2012 4:09:32 PM

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Underdog15
Wednesday, September 12, 2012 @ 8:35:06 AM

I've never lost a game before either. I'm not even sure how I could even manage that. I did have a worms Armageddon disk break in my pc's CD ROM drive while spinning. Totally random, and I've still never had it happen since or heard if it happening. It literally shattered into like 10 different pieces. But aside from that fluke, i've never had any game break before.

Unless you count corrupted files. I've had that type of thing happen numerous times.

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___________
Tuesday, September 11, 2012 @ 5:43:01 AM
Reply

clutter and wear and tare are great advantages!
its nice being able to pack something away and take it with you instead of having to pack all your games as well.
not to mention you dont have to switch disks every time you want to play another game.
not to mention the removal of the optical drive one of the most expensive and most unreliable parts of any system!
also helps cut down on heat and noise.
so the systems smaller, cheaper, more reliable, runs cooler, ect, ect.

in fact if it was not for ridiculously expensive ISP accounts and stupid limitations id say its the other way around, whats the benefit of physical over digital?
obviously you have nothing to trade in or lend to a friend, but is that really such a inconvenience?
only thing stopping DD from becoming the norm is ISPs!
oh and publishers, download games are suppose to be CHEAPER not more expensive than their retail counterparts!
EG skyrim cheapest ive found PC 40 bucks.
steam 80!
WTF!?
so not only is digital MORE expensive than retail, its TWICE the price!
but besides ISPs and ridiculous costs theres really no reason to keep physical!

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dillonthebunny
Tuesday, September 11, 2012 @ 7:18:49 AM
Reply

I like digital ..I never used to, I was sternly apposed to non physical media, but I am more comfortable with it than ever before, and im at an age that saw the birth of Gaming as we know it today... yes, im old.

think of it like a Swiss army knife, I personally enjoy having hundreds of games on my PS3's HDD, I had over 7,000 games on my DSXL at one point, I had over 100 on my PSPGPO.. I have four on my Vita (working on getting a bigger mem stick, lol)..my point is I like to have everything there. I like not relying on physical media, I enjoy having everything to hands ASAP.. when ever I want it, im lazy i probably have mild OCD (like most of us..) and im trying so very hard to embrace the future.

having two handhelds that relied on non physical media (I only ever played Pokemon on my DS, so that doesnt count)taught me that its actually ok, and in some ways much better.

dont get me wrong, I would never want to see the end of dics, the art work and whatever.. but lets face it, these days youre lucky to get an in depth game manual, I remember when people got pssed off when they didnt get one in colour! lol times have changed, nothing we can do about it. so I say lets look at the benefits it brings and concentrate on them. yes it does have negatives, and the positives aren't being exploited by production houses as of yet, but its early days.

technology is getting better an better, I realise that not everyone has super fast BB,but there are ways around that. for instance when I am downloading a Vita game on my PS3 takes a lot longer than downloading it on my Vita.. and I like that. its all opinions at the end of the day, and this is mine :)

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zard
Tuesday, September 11, 2012 @ 7:58:54 AM
Reply

I agree! I agree 100% on all of your points! And that makes us old farts. I'm a teacher and it drives me nuts when students don't know how to use physical media. They've never had to insert a disc into a computer let alone know how to burn a cd. They thought I meant set it on fire. All of their music is on their phone and for me, if I can't touch it, I don't own it. They have no problem with it at all!

What kids do now, is when its paid for, downloaded and played. They just delete it! My problem is, I paid for that. I paid 60, 40, however much and its mine. I didn't pay for an experience I paid for a product. But I guess that is all behind us. Because when this new digital generation reaches buying age within the next 5 to 10 years. We can say goodbye to our disc drives and our cartridges. I can see it coming, our game stores are already bracing themselves. Gamestop is selling tablets and iPods and phones. My guess is it is only going to get worse.

You can buy a download code from Gamestop. An entire game, is a code on your receipt. Its coming, and soon. And I'm afraid. Because of all of the things you just wrote about.

We. Are Old Farts.

"And don't criticize what you can't understand...please get out of the new world if you can't lend your hand for the times they are a changing" - Bob dylan

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duomaxwell007
Tuesday, September 11, 2012 @ 8:52:22 AM
Reply

thats an easy question to answer Ben.. its because a clean room/house looks a LOT better than that picture shown in the article lol.

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BikerSaint
Tuesday, September 11, 2012 @ 7:49:11 PM

Actually, As a gaming collector myself, all that pic keeps telling me is that it is NOT from any gamers real collection.

And that's it's most probably just pre-sales staged picture for somebody who's either looking to sell off part of their over-stocked warehouse's gaming stock, or else a gaming store that's going out of biz & trying to sell off all of it's remaining stock.

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ProfPlayStation
Tuesday, September 11, 2012 @ 10:31:46 AM
Reply

The last game I bought was Lunar 2: Eternal Blue Complete for PS1. Full box, all the discs, including the Making Of, from a brick-and-mortar store playing FF8 music in the background.

I was like the PSP Squirrels: "Heeelllllzz YEAH!"


Clicking a "buy" button that triggers a progress bar does not compare.

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telly
Tuesday, September 11, 2012 @ 10:54:40 AM
Reply

It isn't so different from the debates about film vs. digital, records vs. digital, etc. Sure, it's more convenient and it costs less for the distributors, and some of those savings are passed on to consumers, so it's just inevitable it's going to be adopted. But do movies actually look better now than 50 years ago? Nope. In the off chance you can see a classic film real being shown via analog film prints on a giant screen in a classic movie house, it's incomparably better than the digital experience of today. You think MP3s sound pretty good these days? Do yourself a favor and listen to some classic rock or jazz records on a good stereo with kickass speakers (or REAL headphones, not stupid ear buds!) and a clean needle on the turntable. You will not believe your ears.

You still think all-digital gaming is really going to improve things?

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Beamboom
Tuesday, September 11, 2012 @ 2:44:24 PM

The problem with your reasoning is the fact that gaming already *is* all-digital. They always have been.

The data is bit-by-bit identical if distributed via physical media or via a network.

Last edited by Beamboom on 9/11/2012 2:48:51 PM

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Rogueagent01
Tuesday, September 11, 2012 @ 12:03:04 PM
Reply

To the person that said they live in Hong Kong, I can absolutely understand why digital would be your preference, and I would never say anything against what you posted. There are a number of people that really almost have to go digital to be able to experience a large amount of gaming, music, movies, ect...But the rest cannot use that excuse.

To those that actually had the nerve to say, what is the benefits of physical? Here is one huge benefit use seem too not get, when I go to retire I have collections of all kinds that I can either sell or give to my kids/grandkids, what will use have??? Some email receipts that said you bought this or that, good luck on that front. I hope these younger people realize the monetary potential of physical media or physical anything for that matter. Because if your relying on say a 401k or Social Security, your in for a rude awakening.

Not just that but I hope you digital pushers realize that hackers are sitting in their dungeons laughing maniacally saying, "yes, go all digital...yessss that's it". They are going to eventually have a field day with use and that is the day we'll probably see use complaining about digital only, and I'll be sitting here laughing.

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Neo_Aeon666
Tuesday, September 11, 2012 @ 7:52:46 PM

Yeah but I bet at some point... The evil corporate will cross the line and force physical copies to maintain an internet connection to play. Just watch them. Some digital are doing it. Worse is that it's not even stopping hackers. It's just pissing consumers off.

When this day comes... We need to unite and erase them. Because now whatever happens... Collecting will become meaningless and even if you buy physical you won't be able to play it after 1-2 generations of systems.

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dillonthebunny
Tuesday, September 11, 2012 @ 3:22:40 PM
Reply

we are talking about three types of people here.. collectors, gamers and gamers who collect.

I used to be a gamer who collected, but I met my wife who wasn't too happy with 400+ PS2 games, and you know.. she was right. I still have the ones that matter to me, like the original Ico/ SOTC box sets,JP GT4 box, Demons Souls.. hell I even have the promo 3D box to Wipeout on the PS2, only 9 in existence... but that's it.

I have a friend who has every console made, he is old skool.. he doesn't think twice about spending and getting rare, but he plays them all.. every single one. then I have a friend who collects box sets, but doesn't play them, if he does he will buy two. and lastly I have another mate who only wants to play games and as soon as its over he trades or sells it for another.

is it so hard for people here to understand that we are all different?

from my point of view I understand why people collect, I do it myself but there's a limit... I am a gamer first and a collector second.

for me theres value in the thought that if I step on a disc its broke, I cant play that any more. someone steals it or my house burns down.. OMG Cthulhu just ate my collection.

however I could say that I have these on download pretty much forever. if my hardware corrupts, its there. if my house burns to the floor with everything in it, the games are still there. someone steals my PS3.. my games are still there. I game first, that's my type of personality, seems that we are all different, but im not alone.

there is a point to digital media apart from trying to piss off collectors, lol.

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xnonsuchx
Tuesday, September 11, 2012 @ 4:21:32 PM
Reply

Count me in on digital-only sucking (except for things like the small PSN games). It's also kinda dumb to consider until ALL consumers have fast, affordable, uncapped broadband access, which could take another 10-20 years.

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PSTan
Tuesday, September 11, 2012 @ 5:17:42 PM
Reply

I don't know about going all-digital, but that seems way too far away. People have pointed out the need for stronger broadband access, etc., so there's no need to reiterate anything.

What I would really want to see is the large-scale adaptation of 3D printing. Imagine being able to buy a game online, and while securing a digital copy, you can have your 3D printer print out a physical copy for you at the same time.

^Now that seems even further away than all-digital, but I would totally back that kind of system.

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homura
Tuesday, September 11, 2012 @ 7:36:49 PM
Reply

Another advantage of physical cope which I will miss greatly is that I'm not forced to get an internet connection and pay a fee just to play my games. F*uck you digital piece of crap. See what you have done to the music industry. Oh by the way, some parts of the world already seeing having physical copy is cool. There's a place in japan, smells of the cd, cover art books. etc. physical copy will again rule.

Last edited by homura on 9/11/2012 7:40:54 PM

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Neo_Aeon666
Tuesday, September 11, 2012 @ 7:40:39 PM
Reply

If at least the digital world was handled correctly and aimed towards customer satisfaction.

At the moment some companies are just being a plain pain in the butt.

Ex: I bought ME1 on my Xbox through digital downloads... Downloaded np. Then while playing my ISP went down. Guess what happened? The game gave me 10mins to relog online to my account or it was going to shut down forcefully!!! WTF

If that is the way they are going then I agree that they need to be killed.

But if digital purchase is treated correctly (download the content and play even without connection) Then I am all for it. I also like the virtual library kind of thing. Sometimes I end up with a physical AND digital copy of game LOL the digital because that way I can boot up the game anytime withouth getting the CD lolll XD

Also, to me it feels much safer to backup data on many devices and have my files on cloud storage than a crappy plastic cartridge that offers no safety measures. (Replying to the hatred towards clouds and usb keys lol) Chances I kill my usb keys are in no way higher than the chances i'd have to kill one of my nintendo cartridges lol but at least the usb key makes it possible to copy and backup my save.

Last edited by Neo_Aeon666 on 9/11/2012 7:43:14 PM

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