Through Sony's Eyes, "Vast Majority" of Gamers Prefer GameStop Over Buying Online

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PhilGrocholl

I would prefer to have the physical copy. If on a PC, I decide to reformat the hard drive, it would be much faster to install from a disk than to download 2-3 GB or more from the Internet. Plus, if I buy from a service like steam, and a year later they go out of business, then I have no way to get it if I need to download it again. Unlikely but possible. I am willing to order the disk from an Internet store to have it shipped to me if it's not available in nearby stores. So many retail stores don't have a good selection of games anymore, so, that is usually what you have to do to get a game you want. This would apply especially to PC games, where you have a 5' rack of games, versus 20' for each type of console.

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someuid

Steam allows you backup and restore the installed games. You can either use the tool in the Steam client, or just copy the steamapps folder.

I did a reload of my drive and it took steam just a few minutes to see my restored games. I was up and gaming a lot faster vs reintalling the games from physical media and patching or downloading them again.

You don't even have to download steam again. You just copy the steam.exe file and run it on your newly installed workstation. It will redownload the rest of the code, set up your account, and 'see' your steamsapps folder and all the games installed. The longest part of the whole process is copying the steamapps folder from your external drive.

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The Mac

even better, you use a hardlink to a non-os drive: no copying required when re-installing your OS.

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jbitzer

Most physical copies require steam activation or origin, or Uplay, etc. You aren't saving yourself anything by buying them on disk. Also, you do a reinstall all you have to do is install steam, it will download all of your games automatically in the background at the same time without having to click through install screens and switch disks, so you are actually saving time.

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Camerone

Has anyone been to Walmart recently? They have more PC games in stock than Gamestop lol!

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CoryGott

Apparently you aren't aware of how easy it is to copy the steam folder to a backup drive or partition, and copy it back after the OS is reloaded, thereby saving you from re-downloading your games. Using that method you can reinstall 30 games in the time it takes to reinstall one off an optical disc.

Also, if Steam were to ever fail, I imagine they'd simply deactivate their online DRM system so that your games remained playable after it's demise. If not that, I think they would be legally bound to provide some kind of option.

I hated Steam with a passion when I first encountered it during my purchase of Half-Life 2. I was once like you; a disc-only, online-fearing troglodyte. But then I saw the light.

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dgrmouse

CoryGott said, "if Steam were to ever fail, I imagine they'd simply deactivate their online DRM system so that your games remained playable after it's demise. If not that, I think they would be legally bound to provide some kind of option."

They wouldn't be legally bound to provide such an option, because you waived that requirement by agreeing to their licensing terms. It's more likely that they'd be legally required to NOT remove their DRM.

I don't understand why everyone's so eager to give Valve a pass. All I can figure is that folks are so invested in the platform that they feel compelled to justify their investment and exhibit a bizarre bias.

CoryGott said, "I hated Steam with a passion when I first encountered it during my purchase of Half-Life 2. I was once like you; a disc-only, online-fearing troglodyte. But then I saw the light."

Or maybe you've just become a sheep.

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Renegade Knight

Thanks for the Steam Tip. I like steam. Not because I like digital (though I do like using them as my game storage locker) but because I like 75% off and getting my games cheap.

That's the light I saw. Consoles I don't see having those kinds of cheap games but I could be wrong. Still I have to see it first on the exclusives (since I'll get the PC version if it's not exclusive).

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maxeeemum

@CoryGott

Signed up to Max PC 5 minutes before posting comment.

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jbitzer

What are you, like the MAXPC signup archver? Who cares when they signed up, they could have been a reader for years without ever feeling the need to comment. Oh, do you feel that being a 2 year signerupper gives you an exclusive club membership?

Should we have to post a resume to satisfy king dragon-eye before he deigns our posts worthy?

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maxeeemum

What's your problem? If you were here yesterday ehhh ... YESTERDAY ... there was about 40 comments and some wacko mad about M$ caving on the Xbox One was sitting on the site posting insults to any comments posted as soon as they were posted. Then when he realized after 10 plus posts he was looking bad so he started signing up as different people doing the same. I was just pointing it out! It happens a lot on this site.

Now today ehhh... TODAY ... there are 90 plus comments and things are all scattered because of the poor way the comments appear at MaxPC it is no longer apparent what was going on yesterday. So don't go shooting your mouth off about king crap when you don't know what you're talking about.

Did I mention what happen yesterday? LOL! I can't believe how f...............

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jbitzer

Yeah, no one cares, and your "joined 35 seconds ago" posts are just as annoying, off topic, and trollish.

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maxeeemum

LOL! So you're in charge now??? Don't get it I see! Have a nice day!

And no one cares jbitzer! Time for you to go change a diaper!

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jbitzer

Ohhh. Sick burn dog!

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Nixon

What's your opinion on all this?

I think Sony's right to a degree. But then again, there were a lot of people using the standard drive that came with the PS3 to begin with. They didn't care enough to figure out how to install a larger drive or to pay for one, so they just bought the game on disc.
Now with the 500GB drive that comes with the PS4, that might change things up. It still isn't enough room in my opinion, but a lot of these gamers also tend to have a very small library of games before trading / reselling it for some cash towards buying the latest Madden or Call of Duty.
If the digital stores have sales that rival those of Steams, then console gamers will probably just wind up going digital as well.

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Modroneman

C'mon.. Console sales will reflect Call of Duty Sales on Steam. Nein!

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silverblack

"For the most part, the transition is mostly complete on the PC side thanks to services like Steam,"

While Steam played a large part, you also have to factor in that few stores carry a selection of PC games anymore. I remember when my local GameStops went to a single rack of PC games, to in some cases no rack at all. I Remember trying to get a clerk to order me copy of a game that had just come out, like you would for an out of stock book at a bookstore. He said they didn't do that. I was pissed off enough to call the company to complain.

In terms of selection, it's just easier to go digital for PC games. Something console games don't have to deal with much on the retail side. Pile on the lack of extras in the packaging now a days, and for PC there's just so few reasons not to go digital.

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Renegade Knight

There is a lot of truth in your post. The console game selection is pretty good. The PC game selection sucks if you want to buy local.

Im' 90% digital with PC games and 100% physical with Console and handheld games. Still it was price that won me over on PC's. eBay and Amazon is my source for older games or the EA games you can't get on Steam. Those EA games I wait until new is 5 bucks. Just like Steam sales.

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Modroneman

Digital is the future. Whether it be on console or PC. Anyone arguing against it are thinking 'old'. And I don't mean Xbox 360 or ps3 old... I'm thinking more like Nintendo, rent a cartridge at the store old.

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silverblack

Not sure why this comment is in reply to mine. But if I can bring it back to my point, the future will happen at the pace which consumers are ready to move ahead. Different markets have many factors that play a role in this. And no single company can dictate to customers, "this is how it's going to be from now on." (Less so in the internet information age.) The company that is too eager is going to stumble for being ahead of their time.

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AntiJohnny

Digital media should be a lot cheaper than physical media, but it isn't. The advantages of physical media that is resellable is good enough reason to prefer it in most cases. The costs associated with digital distribution could be offset by making each console a torrent like client to distribute the games. if the cost was reduced, people would probably not mind it.
I use steam because it is cheap and most games require it or some other DRM. I would love to have a sub account for my kids that shared my library but kept the achievements and game saves seperate, and there is no reason they shouldn't be able to play one of the games i am not playing while i am playing another. I would love to loan a game to a friend with a time limit. Steam needs to loosen a little. If i could buy PC games that didnt require steam, origin or some other horrible drm, i would. Even if you buy discs you are forced into one of these systems.(i do buy indi games, i am referring to AAA games)

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Modroneman

Your vision is what the Xbox One could have been...

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Renegade Knight

That vision is what the Xbox one could still be. A lot of people are lamenting the loss of digital as if you can't get on the Xbox market and download a digital game now and have every advantage that digital offered. You can. There is nothing to lament by having both options.

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Bucket_Monster

I still buy physical copies for console games, but certainly not at Gamestop. I still buy them "online" from Amazon and other places when they have good deals. I can't remember the last time I walked into a brick and mortar store to buy a game. PC games I buy are about 99% digital distribution now. With Steam, Gamefly, etc have good sales there's really no reason at all to buy a boxed copy, especially when most games are tied to some sort of online account anyway.

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Modroneman

I agreed with you until you said, "..there's really no reason at all to buy a boxed copy, especially when most games are tied to some sort of online account anyway." You just admitted to buying boxed copies for console games. What difference does it make if you are buying for a console or a PC? You're logic doesn't make sense! It's like you got amnesia halfway between your thoughts.

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jbitzer

Because a console experience is completely different, and console gamers are of a different mindset than PC gamers. PC gamers want to sit at their computer and not have to get up to do anything, you're right in front of the screen, the CPU is right there etc. Console people treat it more like an appliance, you get up to put the new disk in, turn it on etc. PCs have offered ways to shop from the screen for far longer than consoles even when ordering a boxed copy from bestbuy.com or whatever, whereas online shops for consoles are still only about 5-7 years old, so people just aren't in that mindset yet.

Also, a lot of people who console game are kids, and get gifted physical boxed games and such from grandma, you ask most people to just buy you a steam card and they'll look at you weird.

It's about changing the perceptions of the users, the same kind of aversion was experienced when Steam released on HalfLife 2, but it was only the one game, and it was just an online play hub at that point, then it gradually evolved into what it is today.

Another big console people are going to have to get over before the online drm thing will take off is that mindset of limited portability of the console. People don't consider the console a PC, so they feel they should be able to take it places there isn't internet, and use it. Until there is internet everywhere all the time, you will have a hard time making that jump.

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Neufeldt2002

I have to agree with you about asking people for a Steam Card. Although, to make it simple for my family, ie.kids, my wife will just have them make one for me for Xmas, as they are two young yet to have jobs. They smile from ear to ear when I open it.

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limitbreaker

Somebody please ban this troll....

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Modroneman

^This guy! Did I upset you? Sorry that I have an opinion.

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jayhernandez7

I have both a PS3 and Gaming PC. I do agree that going digital is a lot cheaper sometimes, especially on Steam, which is where I buy most of my recent games now. I do however, have a ton of old PC games, still in their original boxes, manuals, etc. I never did mind looking at some of the artwork/screenshots from the books/box. However in this day and age, big companies don't want to pay to make those boxes/plastics, etc. so they go digital, which makes sense because then they save all that money. For console, I don't mind either, but to be totally honest, I've never seen a REAL "sale" in the PSN Store, and I don't mean old, old games(those don't count). I mean recent(1-2 years old)games. Steam is almost ALWAYS having a sale. It's like they know when I get my paycheck sometimes, but totally worth every penny in savings, although the disadvantages are, you can't share it with your friend's computer, as opposed to a console's physical media, they can borrow it and not worry about performance issues or "this product key has already been used." I'm not really too excited about the future of gaming, outside of PC Gaming, nothing that Sony or (ESPECIALLY) Microsoft has done has actually "WoW'd" me....we'll see if that changes.

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kixofmyg0t

Uncharted 3 is 40GB...Metal Gear Solid 4 was 50GB. Yeah I don't want to do digital only just yet.

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goodtime

Am I the only one concerned with the time it would take to download 50gb instead of the hdd space?

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severnia

no, your not. Nor are you the only one who might have to be concerned with monthly bandwidth caps to contend with.

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Modroneman

You realize that the HDD are upgradable. If I could smack myself any harder in my forhead, I might kill myself. Your logic does not make sense.

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kixofmyg0t

Yes I realize that numbnuts. I've upgraded my PS3's HDD twice. I'm already eying a bigger HDD for my PS4 when I get it.

Ever think about how long it would take to download that? Not everyone has Google fiber jackass. I could drive to the next state wait for Best Buy to open up, buy it, drive back home, goto work the next day, come home and play through the whole game before it would have downloaded. "Just get faster internet". Yeah I don't feel like paying for the next faster tier, which would be $99 a month just for internet alone.

Ever think about how LONG that would take to backup over the USB 2.0 that I'm sure the PS4 has? No of course not. You're too fricken stupid and short sighted to even possibly think of something like that.

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severnia

while the HDD might be upgradeable, i'm betting its a 2.5" sized drive so you are limited to about doubling it for right now. I still want the physical copies of all my games, but i do like the ability to register/etc and be able to download the game in the future should something happen to the disk. I live in rural America and while i do have decent cable internet(50mbps down, average latency of 35ms, and usually an 'A' rating on pingtest.net), but i have a shitty 100GB/mo bandwidth cap that a 20-50GB would be unbearable to have to download. I use my internet for streaming media mostly (the majority of my monthly bandwidth) and gaming online (not incredibly bandwidth intensive). While i do have a great steam library, the majority of my triple A titles i also have the disk for, but i am content downloading small indie/B-list type games so long as the file size isnt ridiculous.

The point is, while digital distribution is nice, and for many people quite sufficient, there are a large number of us still that want/need the game to be physical for various reasons.

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Bucket_Monster

Exactly. When I heard the next gen consoles have 500gb I thought that was laughably small. I realize larger capacity would have driven the cost up, but still. At least Sony lets you put in an after market hard drive of your own choosing.

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Sorian

Steam still allows you to play your downloaded games in offline mode, something Microsoft was not wanting to consider till they got back-handed by the gaming community.

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Modroneman

How offline is it really though? Have you ever tried to play a Steam game when your internet is actually down? I didn't think so. You can't go offline unless your are online to go offline? Sound confusing? It's because you have never tried to play your steam games offline!

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captainjack

Yeah I just tested it. I can log in just fine without an internet connection and then move to offline mode to play my games.

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Neufeldt2002

I had Steam installed on a PC at the lake that I go to where there is no Internet access. I installed them at home, played each one once for the verification process, then went offline. I had never had a game complain of lack of Internet access except for multiplayer and MMO's. Ran it like that for about two years, then decommissioned the PC. That was about a year ago, things may have changed since then depending on the game, but for the most part it worked as advertised.

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tetris42

I've had it mysteriously change its mind about being offline after having it in offline a few weeks. I could have been an exception though.

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John Pombrio

One of the things that may play a factor is that MS is now giving away two free A games a month on gold subscription. They will be digital downloads ONLY. I just downloaded my 1st A game (Fable 3) on the 360, over 5 GB in size. Took about 20 minutes and is now residing on the hard drive.
Once folks get used to these free digital downloads of very large games, they will less hesitant to do the same with paid for games. Make sense?

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jbitzer

Fable 3 was crap though. PS+ gives relatively new games, they put out XCom this month, and it just came out. Fable 3 is forever old. THey need to step up their game.

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The Mac

Fable 3 was pretty bad. Particularly on the PC.

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Modroneman

A sentiment that Steam gamers have been enjoying for the past 6 years... Let's admit, the first few years of steam weren't that great.

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Cregan89

I thought that's what was so great about Microsoft's "old" method. It's a physical/digital hybrid.

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Modroneman

It's the new method now because of "OLD" thinking people like you!

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wolfing

To me it's all about $. Steam is not the only way to buy software digitally, but it's the cheapest (Summer sales, etc.). I don't care about achievements or online playing, but price is king.

On the console world it's not like that. Once in a while I visit the PS3 store, and almost never do I see normal games (i.e. not mini-games) under $20 (and these would be really old games, newer ones are always $40+). If Sony's store started selling games at the prices Steam does, I would buy it all online. But probably they can't since they would piss off retail stores, which Steam has no problems doing.

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Modroneman

Then get rid of your PS3! Stick with steam for everything? ...No? Then stop complaining about your pathetic wallet. If you were really mad about the digital game sales, then why havn't you sold your PS3.

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