Survey: 64% of Gamers Prefer Discs over Downloads



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After upgrading to Win 7, I went to install Bejeweled 2. It wouldn't activate. Why, because Popcap deleted all my information. So being the ever humble honest dude that I am, I went and spent another $20 on a physical copy.



 if you have your e-reciept, Popcap will reactivate the game. They did that to me with Peggle Nights. I got the game re-activated no problem.


-= I don't want to be dead, I want to be alive! Or... a cowboy! =-



Digital distribution is great when prices reflect the reduced cost involved, but frequently digital copies of games are selling at or very near the same price of retail hardcopies.  I took advantage of Steam's sale prices last week, but really these should be the regular cost to consumers.  If I can walk into Best Buy and purchase a game for $50 or download it from Steam for $30, well I can live without the disc.

And before someone says that they have to pay for bandwidth just remember that I have to pay that same cost and at a higher rate!




I've pretty much switched to digital distribution for ease of use and fast transaction. However, if I could get the game on CD and know the key would work in Steam (or Impulse) as well, I go for the CD/DVD since there's download wait time.  Overall, I think digital distribution is the way to go.

My only concern is that if Steam ever goes bankrupt (you never know), all my games would be lost (you could back it up but you still need the Steam interface to get it to work.



I can see why for the time being having a disc is preferable. For one you don't have to spend time downloading the game (and then more time installing it). Most importantly (especially for console games) you have re-sell rights. When you do a digital download there are no re-sell rights of any kind so that money is completely and permanantly gone. On the other hand, when digital downloads are inexpensive enough, this is far less of an issue. The primary reason that the used game market is so big for consoles is because of the high price of the games in the first place. Digital downloads could eventually replace digital media, but there are many issues that still have to be worked out.



Digital distribution on consoles is terrible compared to what we have on PC (Steam, Impulse, etc).



I'm not a PC-gamer at all - if there's a game for both the PC and the Xbox-360, even if the Xbox-360 version costs $10-15 more, I'd rather get the Xbox-360 version. Like Bioshock for instance, I paid $15 more for the Xbox-360 version. With consoles, I don't have to worry about having to install the game, getting the latest drivers, worrying about whether my GFX card can put out decesnt FPS, etc. And with physical media, I always find it satisfying taking the disc out of the game case, and popping it in the console. The only thing I don't like about the physical media (atleast with the Xbox-360) is the loud whirring noise of the disc spinning.



 $10-$15 is on the low end of the scale. I've seen console versions of games that are DOUBLE that of their PC counterparts. Not to mention, we get a lot of DLC for free. I hope you enjoy paying for every single DLC for L4D2 (if you play L4D2), because Microsoft says you can't have free DLC. Not to mention I can pay $150 for a new video card, and keep on going with the rest of my exisiting hardware, where as if you wanted to play the newest XBox game, on the next console, you gotta fork over 3-4 times that price, while I'm happily chugging along with my PC that I only have to replace 1 or 2 parts every few years for a mere fraction of the cost you pay.

Not to mention keyboard and mouse trums dual-analog sticks (or motion control) any day!


-= I don't want to be dead, I want to be alive! Or... a cowboy! =-



While digital distro is slowly becoming more of the norm, I'm still actually buying games from the store simply because I still have dollar bills and loose change.  I don't mind paying $50 + tax (or just $50 if I get a coupon that pays for the tax) so I can have a physical copy of the game I can pop into my disc drive and install right away.  I use Steam for Mass Effect 2 and Left 4 Dead 2 (after I had bought a physical copy for $40) but I've had a couple issues with Steam in which one of them made me wish I had a physical copy of ME2 (Steam tanked my digital copy of ME2 as they were applying the new patch, forcing me to "re-download" the whole game).  So as long as there is a physical copy of the game in stores, I wouldn't mind having a hard copy for a little more than a digital copy.  At least I can actually download actual .exe files for a patch than having to have a digital service try to apply the updates for me.

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With PC, I like having discs. When you download it, you don't really feel like you own it as much as having a disc. But I prefer digital with my psp. It's much easier that UMD not to mention faster.



I prefer downloading from torrent. What can be more criminal? The wages in china is like shit compared to america. And we work harder than those fat ppl.



None of that makes sense. Try again please.



For a PC I would rather have an actual disc becuase you only have to enter one serial number, and your done. But with an Xbox I would rather have digital copies because I absolutely hate getting up to switch the game disc when I want to play a different game. If they were all digital then I would not have to get up off my fat butt to change anything.


Peanut Fox

I own some 20+ games on Steam, some of them I have even redownloaded.  None of them have required me to enter a serial number.  Not even once.  They all show up, and I can see them.  I just don't have to care that they exist.



Of course people prefer physical disc, digital copies of console games are only available months after the game has been in store.

I have probably the same amount of digital licenses than I have physical discs, a couple dozens of each.

I prefer to own a digital, downloadable version of a game that can be wiped off to free space than a shelf hugger. You know how much space 60 game boxes occupy? that's a lot, and I don like the idea of selling them.

Then again, I like the commodity of browsing the 5$ bin box at GameStop, there's always something there I didn't get to play 2-3 years ago and that I wouldn't mind now.  



Ziggyinc is right!  With Steam, the wifey doesn't see a game box laying around, therefore, she will not complain that I spend all of the money on video games.  This is a HUGE reason to love digital distribution! 


Mark Hanchey

I can't say I miss disc for games one bit. With Steam I have all my games stored there and I don't need to worry about disc, key codes or anything else. I can just re-download when I need them. I guess if steam were going out of business it might be a problem, but even then you can backup the games locally and I presume if something did happen they would release a patch to remove the online requirements. 


The one thing I do hate though is programs that place help and documentation online only. I hate opening help on a program to be sent to a website to read the help .




 If I can have the OPTION of downloading a burning the disk, I usually don't. But I have had 2 $50 or more "downloads" that I paid for that are no longer online. That is the big threat!

MS in their Technet subscription goes all the way back to Windows 3.11 (no Windows 95 though). Now THAT is impressive!



Ok back in the day, (like the 90's) yes I had a large disc collection, and it is now safely stored in rubbermaid containers in my garage. However, I remember with negative nostalgia hunting for a disc, inserting said piece of golden gaming goodness and the drive cannot read it because it is scratched, sticky from soda or what not. With cheap HD prices these days ($99 for 2TB) I have all my digital downloads safely archived and just a click away. I do not miss having a hard copy at all. plus its a lot easier to hide a 4gb download from the wife, not so a new game box with more often than not a scantily clad female on the cover.


Mighty BOB!

Pre-used market be damned.  I've never sold a game.  (Okay I've bought a few pre-used games from eBay since they weren't available in stores anymore, so the market isn't entirely useless to me.)

I only have two digital games.  One is Mass Effect 1, and that's only because the Steam version didn't have DRM (well, you know, aside from Steam itself, which is unobtrusive), the other is Star Trek Online, and, well that's an MMO so that's the only reason why.



Not everyone lives in area where they have access to high speed internet. Or even have high speed internet for that matter. it's still not as affordable as it should be. I personally have the fastest comcast speed but I prefer discs for a few reasons. One being what if my internet service is down or something of the sort and i need to reinstall windows or just the game itself. either way you're stuck with a sticky situation. Two, I like not eating all of my bandwidth.  Games are getting extremely large in size. Nothing like having a disc on hand. Truthfully there are many reasons to keep discs around. The two largest factors are security. If you buy a digital download version, then you will have access to the game whenever you like. No worrying about damaged and broken discs. Discs on the other hand fall into what I mentioned above. Not even half of the U.S. has high speed internet yet. I don't see physical media dying off anytime soon. Just my thoughts



I've already been burned by digital-only games.


There was an HD remake of Double Dragon on Xbox Live Arcade, but the publisher went out of business, which means it's no longer available for sale. I wanted it, but I hadn't bought it yet because I don't have a 360 yet, and now I'll never be able to play it. This can happen to any XBLA game, and will probably happen to them all at some point in the near future when they stop supporting XBLA as we know it.


The idea of a game become completely unobtainable, even second-hand,
makes me very uncomfortable.



That actually does surprise me.  I lost interest in 'collecting' games
when they went down the route of those tiny boxes with next to no
manual.  There just didn't seem to be any point in holding onto them like the old days.  I've still got my Ultima VI box with it's good quality cloth map, (unlike the poor quality later ones), and moonstone.  I tried to switch to the collectors editions that come out these days, but the price here in Australia was hard to justify.

 These days it's steam and impulse for me.






What do people with very fast boxes do, like almost ALL THE TIME?

Can you say "crash it"?? I knew you could.

Out of all the boxes here my gaming PC is torn down and put back together more often than all the other PCs I live with combined.

So why would actual MEDIA be important to a Gamer? (the 1st three guesses don't count)

So they can quickly reload it.

More often than not the video, motherboard, CPU, memory, hard drive and OS is changing at least monthly if not weekly or daily (when there are OS/Driver version logistics to work out).

Remember those silly MS "activation timeouts"?? Better wipe the partition and start over intime for the7PM battle of worlds/creatures/whatever.

Portability. I loaded it on "box a" and tore it apart but want to play, so I'll install it on "box b" while I'm trying to work out the video card driver issues on "box c" and maybe will take it with me while visiting friends so combined with their licenses, we can all play on the boxes at their home.

I've never 'resold' a game. Once I get bored with it the box, documentation and media is so trashed from being tossed in a mix of other disks, hardware and 'gamer droppings' if there was any serious gamer that does not already own and are at least 1/4 the way through, the stuff is not worth selling.

-- Technologist at large



"Out of all the boxes here my gaming PC is torn down and put back
together more often than all the other PCs I live with combined.

What are you doing to that poor machine if you're having to rebuild it constantly? A properly built computer shouldn't have to be tinkered with, constatly. WHen the machine is first built, you tinker and tweak with timings, and OC settings, and once everything is nice and stable,  you leave it alone. The only time you should be ripping apart your PC and rebuilding, is if you're doing a major overhaul. Like motherboard/CPU replacement/upgrade, or if you're installing water cooling.

 "More often than not the video, motherboard, CPU, memory, hard drive and
OS is changing at least monthly if not weekly or daily (when there are
OS/Driver version logistics to work out).

 Unless you're fully loaded, and can afford new equipment weekly or daily (or completely fuck up your OS install and are rebuilding on a daily basis), not even the most hardcore gamer does any of this. I rebuild my PC once a year. Usually at the end of the year. I replace my video cards once every 3 or 4 years. CPU around the same timeframe.

-= I don't want to be dead, I want to be alive! Or... a cowboy! =-



...but I support eight gaming systems and several servers at my house.  I put the newer gear in my main box and roll the older stuff down to the other systems.  It's a lot of fun, but does sometimes cause more work than I like.  Getting systems stable can be a chore at times.  Dealing with drivers, DirectX and having a dozen different games being able to function is sometimes a second job.  A fun job, but work nonetheless.

So, I don't rebuild my main box very often.  It is still a Skulltrail with quad-4870s.  The next board should be the EVGA Classified SR-2.  Then the Skulltrail will roll to the gameserver, the gameserver board will roll to the fileserver, that board will be the next DC, etc, etc....I need a junior admin.

Oh, and I like discs.  Digital content is too tenuous for my tastes.  Mother, may I please play a game?  No thanks.




I prefer disks because it just feels better, more real, if I walk out of a store with a disk, instead of waiting a couple hours for it to download. And it's easier to show off a large physical collection than a digital one.


What spam filter?



i am with you, what better way to show
off the fact that you have a great collection then with a book shelf
full of game boxes, but i wish that steam would allow all games to be
activated on there service, i love steam i love what they have done for pc
gaming, but i just wish they would go that extra mile



 "i love steam i love what they have done for pc gaming, but i just wish they would go that extra mile"

 You and me both. So far UT3 is the only game I've been able to transfer from physical to Steam. It should be, any game that is avail. on Steam and has a valid SN can be transfered to your Steam library.

-= I don't want to be dead, I want to be alive! Or... a cowboy! =-


zaphodbeeblebrox 42

 i kind of wish they had homeworld 2 in steam just so i dont have to worry about breaking it like my last one. i was going to try and upload it to steam but it is not on windows right now because i had to reinstall windows and i cant install hw2 because a friend of mine is borrowing it which is something u cant do with steam. least i dont think u can

"there"s a hack for that"



 Archive disc images of all your physical media. Thats what I do. Most games I can run with the disc image, or I find a crack somewhere.


-= I don't want to be dead, I want to be alive! Or... a cowboy! =-

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