Physical Copy Games vs. Download Games

Digital or Physical

Download Vs. Physical

Round 1, FIGHT.

There is no doubt that the download world has come a long way in even a short period of time. With its ease of use, and the ‘I don’t even have to leave my living room’ ability, there’s no mistaking that the download world is vast and full of life. But at the end of the day, what is the download world costing you?

Let’s go through some of the pros and cons of downloads and physical copies from the outside looking in.

Downloads Pros

  1. Convenience
  2. Space Saving
  3. You can’t damage a download
  4. You can’t lose or have your copy stolen (unless it is on your unit and your unit is stolen)

Physical Pros

  1. Hold it in your hand
  2. Not completely restricted to storage space
  3. Physical games are greener read ‘the endless debate
  4. Play whenever you want! No need to wait for servers, downloading times, etc…
  5. Games depreciate in value, making them cheaper (unless you are a steam user)

It’s impossible to not look at both sides and say that one is better than the other at this point. They both have their benefits. But now let’s talk about the issues…

Download Cons

  1. Once you buy it, you can’t sell it
  2. Space Hog
  3. You will wait, much longer
  4. Games can be released earlier by developers. Please read our other article titled ‘why games studios need to take their time

Physical Cons

  1. Can be damaged, lost or stolen
  2. You have to travel to a location to get your game
  3. Developers make less money
  4. Limited to Quantity

Now it’s impossible to look at both sides and not see that they are without flaws.

The information written above is on a completely unbiased perspective and is factual.  With that being said, it is now time for UGA Games take on the subject.

We would like to start by saying that there will always be a market for the physical copy realm of the industry, and that the opinions expressed are not based off of the store potentially losing business because of the download world. Instead we merely are informing the community based off opinions and facts that we have dealt with first hand.

Several weeks ago, we had a customer come in with their Xbox 360, the unit had 500GB of storage space. This person had put some MAD hours into gaming, downloading all of the new titles as they came out, they were living the gaming DREAM. When offered the in-store credit for the system, he was hurt, because there was over 1000 dollars’ worth of games on the console. None of which reflected his in-store credit for the unit. Hurt, he left the store, hoping that someone will want to buy the machine with the games already on it.

Little does he know that it is actually illegal to sell his account with the games pre-loaded on it. Any game store that takes in the console will wipe the memory, deleting every dollar he spent on his games. This brings a whole new meaning to flushing money down the toilet. Every dollar spent, inevitably, is lost, download copies do not travel from person to person.

If this download fanatic would have purchased all of his games in physical form, he would be able to get some money back out of it. Instead he is on a wild goose chase that will end, if he obeys the law, the same way.

Downloads are convenient, but once the money is spent on the game, you will never get it back, you can’t trade it and you can’t sell it (once again, at least not legally). Physical copies for the commercial console world are cheaper in the long run, considering all of the pros and cons. This is why UGA Games will always be an advocate of the physical copy world!

The choice is yours! Now that you are armed with the knowledge, what will you do?


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Author: UGA View all posts by

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