Topic: Why would anyone go digital on the Wii U? And have you?

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Two of my three wiiu retail games are digital... And I only paid for one of them. But it was on discount.... The disk game was free too.

<realization: I have only bought one WiiU game and it was a discounted version of a game I already had on the 3DS>

Guess that means that, right now, 100% of the games I have bought are digital lol

Edited on by Meowpheel

Meowph, that's right!

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Oh! eShop Gurus.

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All computer games are digital, so the question is a bit of a non-sequitur, but I'll refrain from further pedantry to say that I happily have committed to download-only on the Wii U. Nintendo-published games rarely move much in price and they've done some rather nice promos like the recent discount on Wonderful 101 for buying Pikmin 3 at launch so money-wise I'm out a bit more, but a) I can afford it and b) I like the convenience of having all my games accessible on the system like I have my games on my Mac or on my iPad. I also like not having a proliferation of boxes on the shelf.

It also means I can happily ignore software that isn't in the eShop, which helps limit/focus my spend and means I can put off my daughter bugging me about Wii U Party, though I imagine it will eventually turn up there in Europe. The absence is something that strikes me as rather dumb on Nintendo's part and is likely a bone they're throwing to retailers, though at some point they'll likely go it alone on selling their kit and their software. Specialty media retailers are becoming a dying breed, so I see little point in keeping them on life support with a plastic stand bundle.

As far as the "people will always want to go to shops" I'd say that's true generally, but not for convenience media items that can be readily downloaded. Quite frankly I hope that someday people do have better things to do than window-shop for games, like playing them!

Edited on by Sean_Aaron

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8BitSamurai wrote:

Why do some people here think games will ever go all-digital? There's always going to be people who want to shop brick-and-mortar for a tangible copy. I guess I dunno what games will look like in 500 years, but as for the 21st century, I really cannot see physical ever stop being an option for retail releases.

Well games are like music and will go down the same route as it did. The difference being that games are (marginally) harder to pirate and there's less attachment to the boxes. You can also reproduce games at the exact same quality as the original physical release which, with minor exceptions, isn't the case with music. Games also have the unique feature of a thriving grey market that's virtually non-existent with movies and music. If anything games have more things pushing them towards digital purchases than music does. The fact is that the major barriers are dropping, storage is cheap enough now so the only barriers left are internet infrastructure and price.

The writing's on the wall, I honestly think that full digital distribution of games will happen (has happened?) and physical distribution will slowly fade away. It won't be some drastic move and it won't be a sudden thing with a new generation of consoles that suddenly all lack optical drives. It'll be with a few boxes that normalise it, a few boxes that prioritize it and eventually there'll be just this obscure little addon that you buy in the back of a game shop that allows you to use disks.

oh, and just as a disclaimer at the end here. I do buy the majority of my games physically and I also still buy movies as boxes with disks in them and when I come across music I like I'll buy the physical CD. I just see the trends and would be kidding myself if I claimed that this wasn't where things were going. With games in particular I don't see why I wouldn't get a game digitally if it was the cheapest option. I care much less about digital distribution of games than I do other media.

Edited on by skywake

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@Sean_Aaron Sorry to rub it in but the Aussies have had WiiU Party in the eShop for 2 weeks now... Unfortunately I am not interested in it



I wouldn't be surprised that if there comes a 9th generation of consoles, one of the big three will do away with disc drives completely and the games will be all sold digitally and stored on internal/external HDDs. As much as I like having a physical copy it is inevitable that they'll go away or fade into obscurity.

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I don't tend to buy digital unless there is a real incentive to do so. I like the idea of having all my games on my 3DS downloaded as I now have to many games in my carry case (and recently lost SM3DW), but on the other hand, my 3DS recently had to be repaired, and at the time, Nintendo couldn't tell me whether my data could be salvaged, which was a bit worrying.

As for Wii U, even with the sales they have, the games for me are still more expensive than what you can get them for on Amazon or Ebay. And I'm guessing that the reasoning for the prices being so much more for brand new games is that they don't want to upset retailers who are selling their consoles!

I still like owning physical copies of games for my home consoles, I don't really know why, maybe it's a collector thing.

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MadAussieBloke wrote:


Why would you pay for inferior physical discs that load slow, constantly glitch, produce low framerates and make me get up out of my perfectly worn a$$ groove to load another disc

So you actually own a tangible copy that has collectibility, resale value (I sell mine online and get back AT LEAST 60% of what I paid for them), the ability to lend it to a friend or trade it straight up for another game, if your system breaks, you still have the games, the games aren't tied to a stupid account system, external HD's can fail, eight years from now will you still have access to your digital downloads from Nintendo servers? etc....

Paying for a "digital" $60+ console video game is absurd. $5-15 on Steam is my limit.

Edited on by MikeLove



cookiex wrote:

I wouldn't be surprised that if there comes a 9th generation of consoles, one of the big three will do away with disc drives completely and the games will be all sold digitally and stored on internal/external HDDs. As much as I like having a physical copy it is inevitable that they'll go away or fade into obscurity.

In the "home console" space Valve is trying to make that play already, Android is having somewhat of a go and Sony has already done it and failed with the PSPGo. NVidia is looking like they might push it through Tegra although right now it's more of a niche solution. Sony is pushing the PSVitaTV which could end up being the first step towards the integration of consoles into their TVs. Then there's OnLive, regardless of what people think of that it does exist.

Of course PC gaming is there already, all of the consoles are capable of being digital only and even Nintendo are handing out download codes with bundles. Nobody is complaining about any of that. Infact Nintendo cites download numbers of around 20% of retail sales for 3DS which isn't that bad really. I would assume it's higher still for Animal Crossing if I could be bothered looking up that stat

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Physical only for me....

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Digital only? Not acceptable.

I like to own something i buy, if i want to rent games, i rent them. If the game is only available in digital form & it intrests me, i'll think about it.

The day when we go all digital, is the day people stop p(l)aying & go pirate the games they wanna play.

Edited on by Marre35



If more console makers open up their online stores more to be like PC gaming than it would be worth it. It might not be that far off.

Amazon will be selling PSN content.


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MadAussieBloke wrote:

@Sean_Aaron Sorry to rub it in but the Aussies have had WiiU Party in the eShop for 2 weeks now... Unfortunately I am not interested in it

Yeah that's why I'm assuming it will come to Europe soon.

As far as trade-in and perceived value goes, I tend to be a lot choosier about big-ticket releases. The only full-price title (read "disc software" - seriously we need a new name for these) I've taken a chance on and not liked is Lego Batman 2. Other people in my household might enjoy it so it's not a complete waste, but it's pretty rare that I pay over a tenner for a game I don't enjoy. I tended to trade in disc releases oddly enough because I didn't perceive them to have any value myself. Making the purchase and knowing I'll be "stuck" with the game makes me more likely to research a game before purchasing it. It's just a different perspective is all: I'll take a chance on something for five quid, but if you want a lot more than that you'd better market it!

Edited on by Sean_Aaron

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I bought retail until I got my external drive, now I doubt I'll be buying anything but digital. I love just selecting a game and running it. I prefer to use the optical reader on the Wii U as little as possible. Which for all systems, cut's down on heat, wear and tear, and thereby break downs. Two thousand gigs should last me a crazy long time, and when it does fill up, I'll just buy another external.

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PC retail is a joke. Steam essentially gives away games for cheap under cutting the console versions. Wii U e shop is wonderful and a number of games are cheaper retail. They have to maintain a physical retail presence. I'm all digital on my Wii U for one reason. Last year my girlfriend stopped by a gamespot and saw a line of little kids waiting for call of duty barking about how to kill each other. And that was it for me visiting a retail store ever again. Fine with me.



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Well there will still be a market for physical games for at least one more generation

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I've been buying digital for a good while already. I have like 20 full retail games on both the Xbox 360 and PS3, with some small titles here and there. Then there's VC on Wii and now retail games on Wii U.

I think the only difference is that digital was alot more common on PC vs. home consoles. Now that's starting to change, somewhat. You can buy Sims 3 on disc or online. I know Spore on PC let you install the game on as many PCs as you want. It's no question that digital could be better than it is, but why compare to PC when the situation isn't the same?


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I love me some digital. I don't want the clutter of discs and cases, and when a game comes out, I will either buy it the day of, or never because I don't want it. So pricing is irrelevant for me.

I'm sure you will be able to purchase games physically in some capacity for a loooong time, just because many gamers still have zero internet, or terrible internet that makes downloading impossible. And yes, they will inevitably get better internet, sure. but by then will games be even larger? Aren't PS4 and Xbone games huuuuge?



There is no special reason for going digital except it's convenient way of starting, closing, sorting games I don't like boxes (except for cover art) cause they take space, it's tiresome to change games and Wii U does not Install Disk data which is crazy -> that means Disc reading will be at max every time you play disc game.

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