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My Two Rupees: The All Digital Era

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The All Digital Era

So many of us gamers have been hearing the rumors about the “Coming Switch to All digital games” also known to me as “the gaming apocalypse”. I’m sure many of you feel the same way, but today I’m going to talk about the pros and cons of the “future of game distribution”. And if I happen to miss any please feel free to comment.


As I’m sure most of you know Walmart (and to a lesser extent Target) has/have recently decided to jump on the used video game band wagon which is making a lot of people fear that it will push the all digital era to come sooner, I think different. Companies such as Target and Best Buy have been selling used games for years now and neither one of them is doing very well at it. Target has two set prices one for newer games and one for older games, and I’m not going to pay 13 for a game I could get at GameStop for 5 cause it’s a 7 year old game. Then there’s Best Buy they have an even worse system. I’m not joking when I say I’ve seen new games in there cheaper than there used game counterpart. Why you ask? well I asked the same question and apparently there system for used games is so bad that it doesn’t up date enough to always keep the used games cheaper. So with these other major retailers failing I’m guessing Walmart’s used game system won’t be a game changer for the industry. The only company the developers really have an issue with is GameStop. Considering these major retailers most likely pay the developers a % of the sale and GameStop doesn’t.

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I feel as though the all digital era is going to hurt the industry more than help it by far for many reasons. For one it requires internet and a credit card/bank card now I know that these are things that most people have but not EVERYONE has them. Second and on a personally note I would much rather walk around a store and have a game catch my eye then have to spend hours navigating a slow and poorly designed digital store and not even get to see everything cause some unknown game is buried so deep.

If you’re like me and have a massive game collection you’re going to need a massive hard drive and that can be pricey in the long run specially as games that are developed take more and more space. Such an example is that most next gen games on average take up about 40gb so 12 games and your 500gb hard drive is full.

Another major con for digital games are that they almost never go down in price, this applies more towards major developers but still great games will remain at higher prices than say their solid form in stores. For a moment lets completely forget about used games. I can go in to Target right now and pick up Far Cry 3 for 20 dollars brand new, or I can go on the playstation network and download it for 50 dollars… Now ask yourself: “hmm, which one should I  choose?”

Another thing, and this is more important to me and maybe not to you but I can let my friends barrow a physical copy should they ever want to play or try the game out before buying and again not everyone has internet so using the argument that they can just try the demo doesn’t apply here. If everything’s digital you’ll have to lend them your whole system/account which lends it self to potential problems.

Once again a con if you’re like me and you like to show off your massive game collection and have all the cases on full display. Have fun displaying digital games. While yes friends can see your number of games and what they are say via Steam but you can’t appreciate the “density” of the collection unless you see box upon box filled, or shelf upon shelf showcasing them all.

Another minor issue with digital games would be the wait more so if you have internet but not decent internet because not only do you have to wait for the install just like on a physical copy but you have to sit there and wait for the game to download and if its something you have to play that may make you pull your hair out a bit and forbid it that it may have an error while downloading and you have to start the download over again! I went to the midnight launch of Need for Speed Rivals while my friend just decided to download it at midnight. I stood in line got my game at 12:15 drove home installed it and called my friend as I was launching it for the first time and he was still downloading them game.

With digital games only then we’d all have to kiss collectors editions bye-bye because if there’s no disc based games there’s no collectors editions to go with them. They might put out a “collectors edition” online that has maybe a few extra costumes, or items and maybe even a digital PDF form of the strategy guide but gone would be the physical copy of the game (obviously), gone would be the physical copy of the guide, gone would be the trinkets for you to wear like a dog tag, or a t-shirt, and gone would the detailed resin models that often come with a collectors edition and that’s not including the case that’s great for showcasing that also may come with the physical collectors edition.

Ultimately while there are many cons in my opinion there’s an important pro and that’s when a person orders online a game, now if it’s a physical copy it may take many days before that game comes, and while the nuisance of waiting for the download and install may be annoying at least its not days.

Another pro would be not having to leave you house for the game, so again with good internet and power it is ultimately convenience, so even when its storming you can get a game and play it.  That is it, literally the only pros I can currently think of to the all “digital era”. So if I missed any pros please comment I’d love to hear how some of my readers feel.


So clearly all in all I hate the whole concept of digital games being the only kind of gaming media. I think game developers feel like switching over to an all digital system means they’ll get all the profit since there won’t be any used games, or costs of production and while that’s hard to argue against that’s not going to help because in that era people are going to be much less likely to buy a so-so/ slightly above average games by small developers because they’ll have to pay full price for less of what they use to have.

I’ve also heard people make the argument that the price of games will go down when they don’t have to waste money on discs, cases, and shipping but I call BS because currently it is no cheaper  and sometimes it’s the opposite and is more expensive as I pointed out earlier to buy a game digitally. Plus each disc and case cost them pennies compared to what they charge and shipping is just a drop in the bucket when they do so in bulk so I can honestly say without a doubt in my mind that the all digital era will not see a price drop for full price games….
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