During the last console generation we saw a leap in the prominence of online connectivity in games; one of the major things to emerge from this shift was the rise of digital games and storefronts. It became easier than ever for Indies to reach larger audiences as the barriers to console development were significantly lowered, while games could be expanded and improved after release with DLC and patches. Stock shortages effectively became a thing of the past as a conceivably unlimited number of copies of a game could be pulled off the servers. The advancement of online technology has certainly made things more convenient, but it would be wise to remember that this convenience comes with certain implicit costs.
Let's take a minute to observe a recent example that took place on the PS4. A short, free demo named P.T. was released in August last year to promote the then upcoming new instalment in the Silent Hill franchise, called Silent Hills. Although it was only a couple of hours long and based around a simple concept; P.T. made massive waves throughout the industry and was seen by many as a big innovator and game changer for the stagnating horror genre. Hype around Silent Hills was at an all time high, and then suddenly the unthinkable happened: Silent Hills was cancelled.
While the cancellation of Silent Hills was an unfortunate circumstance, it ultimately was something that had little to do with P.T. Even though it was meant as a proof of concept to precede another work, P.T. had gone on to become something more, something that could stand alone as its own experience. Yet after Silent Hills' cancellation, P.T. practically vanished. First, Konami took it down from the PlayStation Store. Then, the user licences were revoked, meaning that any of the over one million people that originally downloaded it would no longer be able to do so if they were to delete it. Then, Shareplay support - a feature that had previously worked, even after P.T. was taken down - was removed. All of this happened in the span of roughly two weeks, and there was absolutely nothing that players that owned the game could do about it - aside from keep it on their hard drives if they'd had the foresight to do so.
While the case of P.T. may have been relatively minor event in the big picture, it serves as a harsh illustration of a bigger question: how much control and ownership do we actually have over our games, even if P.T. was a free game? The real answer is: not much. Here's what Nintendo's End User License Agreement for the Wii U has to say on consumer ownership of software:
"The Software is licensed, not sold, to you solely for your personal, noncommercial use on your Wii U. You may not publish, copy, modify, reverse engineer, lease, rent, decompile, or disassemble any portion of the Software..."
The 3DS agreement is nearly identical and it's all stated right there, clear as crystal: consumers own only a licence to play the game, not the game itself. This has also been the case in past generations, though most people just weren't aware of it.
The reason why this lack of ownership has become more of a problem in recent times is because, in an age where consoles are nearly always connected to the internet, companies have more direct control over how their products are used. While this manifests in good things such as DLC, patches, and digital copies, there's also another side to the coin. Think about problems such as Season Passes that must be bought to obtain day one DLC, and games disappearing from a digital storefront with minimal or no explanation. Download games are more susceptible to the whim of the companies that make them than ever before.
While Nintendo has proven that this heightened sense of control isn't always a bad thing, it's still guilty of some unsavoury practices that other companies have fallen into. Let's not forget how the Donkey Kong Country trilogy was removed from the Wii Virtual Console for a lengthy period of time without any prior notification - likely due to licensing issues - or how Commodore 64 games were removed indefinitely from the service. Valve was guilty of recently trying to implement paid mods; not only forcing creators to charge for the content they made, but refusing to pay them the profits until a certain milestone was passed and even then only paying them thirty percent of those profits. This policy may have been revoked quickly after massive consumer backlash, but it demonstrated an obvious lack of respect for the community. Sure, the ultimate goal of a company is to turn the biggest profit it can, but there comes a point where it crosses into unethical territory.
Increased control over products isn't just a problem in the game industry, either. When it comes to eBooks, Amazon is well-known for taking down books from the storefront without any prior notice, then taking it a step further and actually deleting those books from customers' Kindle devices. Or, in the other direction, there's the rather strange case of when Apple added U2's latest album to every single iTunes account around the world, regardless of whether or not the customer actually wanted it. Nintendo is also known to push out games, demos and other content over SpotPass occasionally, but at least the user is given the option to opt out.
Another problem to consider is the preservation of user licenses when it comes to digital media. Simply put, the future is unwritten and subject to change, and this could have worrying consequences on the futures of today's digital game libraries. The Wii Shop examples we cite above only saw the products taken off the store, not away from existing owners, but we're only a small step from these issues affecting our leases.
Think about it like this: for those of you that still have a retro system, you can still insert and play games that you bought thirty years ago. However, it's a different story with download games. What if the company goes under in ten years and the servers are shut down? What if you lose access to the account the licences are tied to? Digital games may be subject to the same agreement between company and consumer, but the licence being leased out is much more vulnerable and subject to jeopardy.
Unfortunately, there really doesn't seem to be any sort of solution to this issue of companies holding more control than the consumer; internet connectivity will likely only increase with future generations. However, that's not to say that we should all don tinfoil hats and shy away from embracing all that the gaming industry has to offer. Rather, a shift in perception is needed and a cautionary pause is advised. Gamers need to stop seeing buying download games as actually buying games and view it more as something akin to a relatively low risk investment. Let's be real, in most cases the current structure works smoothly, offering gamers a hassle-free, convenient experience. However, every time a new game is bought from the eShop, perhaps it'd be wise to bear in mind and make peace with the fact that we live in a time where nearly any game can be altered or revoked at just about any time, and for any reason.
At present companies limit their meddling to patches and improvements due to fears of consumer reactions, and that balance may hold for many years to come.
As always, we'd like to hear what you think. Have you been pleased with Nintendo's DRM policies so far? What do you think of other companies' treatment of consumers? How would you go about fixing these issues of download game ownership?
I always go back to my retro games. That's why I've always been hesitant to go digital. I know some day I may come back to my Wii U in the same way I go back to my GameCube or SNES. It's why I'm not in love with DLC and digital updates, if you miss the distribution period, unlike SNES and GC, it's impossible to acquire the "complete" game. I know it's paranoid and an unfounded fear, but I like having control over my stuff. And I like actuslly having stuff.
My biggest fear is that thr NX or big video game companies go purely digital, essentially what microsoft almost did with its prelaunch DRM policy. I will always prefer physical as long as DRM practices exist.
I imagine at some point a lawsuit will force the courts to specify what ownership of digital goods means. It seems obvious to me that if copyright should apply to digital goods so should consumer protections.
It is 2015 and all physical media formats other than books and vinyl are useless.
Digital is a double edged sword; most times it's cheaper to get physical over a digital copy when looking for an older game. I will still get a physical copy when I can.
I prefer physical copies for the Wii U so I can easily re-sell or take the game somewhere, but I prefer digital on my 3DS because I typically play that on the go and it negates the need to haul around a bunch of cartridges.
I don't recall Valve forcing anyone to charge for mods, only that it was an option (a dumb option; a donation button would've been more appropriate). You may want to check your sources. I know the page explaining it on Steam described it as optional.
That said, this is a real fear I have with my 360 and PS3 with my digital games/ DLC. No (proper) backwards compatability on the One or PS4. So, what happens if they pull the plug? Suddenly my lease is up. And no, streaming is NOT a proper substitute. That allows for even less ownership then digital.
Thankfully I still buy retail on consoles when it's an option, but if a game is digital only, I'm OK with getting it. But I am wary.
Besides, agreement or no, there will be backlash when/ if the plug is ever pulled. Unless they make it so we can always access our games, regardless over whether we upgrade or not, people will fight for this. Because money.
I used to be cool with the idea of DD games because I thought Id actually get to own them forever. I thought that as future consoles came out I would still get to play these games on those new consoles. I thought that I could back the games up on external devices that I could get them from again if the servers ever went down.
In the last few years I have learned it is not the case and now I only buy DD games if I get a super cheap price on them.
Nintendo's way of doing it is terrible.
We need account systems which allow use of purchases at any logged in location.
As it is, you can lose everything if your system breaks.
Honestly, I agree with what you're saying, but I'm still gonna buy digital. I still think its more convenient than carrying around a bag of cartidges with me every where go.
I'm not concerned, to be honest there's plenty of Wii U games which I'd assume are virtually unplayable without the digital version like Xenoblade X.
I too prefer physical, but over the years I've given in more and more on buying digital games, largely due to big sales on offer on PSN/XboxLive/NintendoESHOP. I mean, I wanted a physical copy of Asura's Wrath for my Xbox 360 after having rented it and enjoying it. But the cheapest copy I could find at the time was $30. I was about to breakdown and buy it when Xbox Marketplace ran a special: the digital version for $9. I've ran into this and now own quite a few digital games. Not to mention the limited ownership free games I get from PS Plus and Xbox Live Gold. I have access to them so long as I keep my subscriptions up. I'm rambling. The point I was getting to is this: many of us long time life long gamers who remember how things used to work may be the only thing holding back the eventual conversion of most entertainment going all digital. We are the few hold outs. I look at the future, my nieces and nephews for example, all but one of them could care less about physical media. The rest of them have no interest in buying CDs and Blurays. They download or stream most of their entertainment. To them, that is normal. So in the end, we are the last hold outs. Companies are probably just waiting for our numbers to thin out before flipping the the lights out on physical media. Makes me sad, and makes me feel really old. Lol
I usually buy digital now because of space constraints, but I didn't realize it was essentially a licensing agreement to download. Should've assumed that gaming companies didn't want people to actually own what they get digitally. Then again, we're in no power position because we're consumers. We always get the short end of the stick.
I still prefer physical. Its nice that I can still play my GBC games almost ten years later, while I don't know if that will be the case with the games from the eshop.
I'll go digital when I have to or for cheap games, but with physical usually you can get something back when you're done. While I have some games I'd never get rid of, honestly how many people keep the majority of games they buy? Digital or physical, they're usually transitory. The thing is physically, the choice is always in your hands. You also don't have to worry about if you have account issues, save/game corruption (as much), etc. to have access to your game. Though you're also more likely to delete digital games as you're done to make room for more.
Digital only is the future. There's pros and cons to that obviously.
On a side note, I think a good idea for a talking point article would be about the Smash Fighter Ballot. It really is one of the most intricate and amazing advertising campaigns I've seen in a long time, and not just for Smash either. It lets others promote their characters and it gets fans to advertise many games at once. On the other hand, it's brought out the worst in many of the Smash community.
I believe Games for Gold games on 360 are kept for good, even if your sub runs out.
@IceClimbers " On the other hand, it's brought out the worst in many of the Smash community."
You say that like it isn't really easy to do so...
@IceClimbers Shrek is love, Shrek is life? That kind of bringing out the worst in the Smash community?
@DarthNocturnal Could be true. Games for Gold came out long after PSPlus started offering free games, but I never checked into their terms. I just assumed they were similar.
Edit: Did some looking, seems Games for Gold on 360 allows you to keep them/play them (offline) if your Gold sub runs out (though there are many on the net complaining that this isn't true, once they let their sub run out, they could not play those games without resubscribing.)
But for Xbox One, the terms state that a Gold Subscription is required to access these 'free' games.
That is what I learned with a bit of looking anyway.
@May_Nyan You can do that already, so what's your point? You just have to log in with your Wii U account and then download the purchased games from the eShop.
Nintendo's way of doing it is actually great. Not only did the Wii and Wii U have full backwards compatibility (to the previous system), but you could also transfer your purchased games and data from the Wii to the Wii U (which I didn't do).
Honestly, I don't get it. Yeah, we don't own the games anymore and that's a bad thing, I'd also prefer downloading and then owning the game like you did with physical copies. But really, is there any difference? A copy on a disc is the same as a copy on a hard drive. And you can always make a backup, at least in Germany that's more or less legal (depends).
But if you don't want to lose download titles - just disconnect your console from the internet! Anyone who wants to preserve P.T. (I wouldn't know why, it was a nice demo, nothing more), just can cut-off their console from the internet. You just have to decide what's more important to you: Being online or not.
You people forget that nowadays physical video games are stored on a optical mediums, which aren't really good for preserving stuff. Many Old CD's and DVD's already are unplayable, just because optical media age pretty fast (in comparison to any other medium). So if you really want to preserve a game, you have to do it on a flash or harddisk drive.
I was always longing to buy games digital, because optical media are a waste of material and space. Besides it's really annoying to change them all the time. I only have ONE Wii U game on an optical medium and that's Smash Bros. (because it only cost 39€ with an Amiibo), all the other games I bought from the eShop and have them running on the internal memory + a 64GB USB stick. I'll never buy a physical Wii U game again because the DVD slot is already full. Changing the game in the disk drive is sooo 90's! I'm really happy that nuisance is gone.
And I don't have a problem with only licensing games digitally instead of buying them physically. Because I only buy on platforms that will exist for my lifespan (Steam, Amazon) and those games I downloaded on my Wii U? Well I have no reason to delete them, so when the Wii U is discontinued in the far future, I'll still have all of my games right on the console. That's so much better than having to store and move all of my 22 Wii U games.
Also, it's better for mobility. The Wii U (and its predecessor) is so compact, I can take it anywhere with me. Now Imagine if I had to take 22 DVD boxes with me, too! That would be unacceptable.
So to get back to the title of the article @MitchVogel wrote: There's nothing fragile about digital games if one knows what one's doing. Of course, if one's an uninformed fool, everything is fragile but then that's your fault for not caring enough about it to be informed enough before it's too late. You only have to blame yourself, especially because no video game company would've done this if nobody would buy their games.
As long as you can play your downloaded game offline, then your good.
If you just turn your internet off and never connect to it ever again then you can't be touched.
Nintendo does digital right because you can play downloaded games with NO internet connection. Not so with Xbox.
I'm a download only kind of gamer and I'm loving it. Great article though, but I'm not worried because of simple market dynamics.
I always buy physical, and worries about this are part of the reason. Even games that I downloaded before I was aware of a physical release - Duck Tales Remastered and New Super Luigi U come to mind - I tend to buy again physically. I'm planning to do that with Mighty Number 9.
@HAL9000 That is not true, PS4 is the only console in which that's the case.
@Grumblevolcano Sort of. You'd think that people would be open minded and would look up characters that are rising in popularity on the Ballot and would discover new franchises they would have otherwise overlooked, but that's not what's happening.
Instead, people are tunnel visioned on the character they voted for, and have a "if it's not who I voted for, I don't give a damn" mindset. This mindset really became apparent over the past week following Matt Bozon's tweet. That tweet got Smashboards to do an article and Etika to do a video on the "rumor" of Shantae being in Smash. Let's just say that a lot of the comments on those were rather toxic.
The DK Country Trilogy being removed from the Virtual Console is totally different from license revocation. People couldn't buy the DKC games, but people who had already bought them could re-download them anytime, as is the case with every game that gets removed from Nintendo's various digital stores. As for Nintendo's licensing policy, that almost certainly applies to hard copy games too. You're never allowed to rent, alter, copy, or distribute games you buy without permission (except possibly in the case of back-ups, but very few people make those).
I'm pretty conflicted about digital games. Aside from the usual limitations of going digital (you can't take the game with you to play somewhere else, or sell the game), there's the always-present fear that the games could be unplayable or unobtainable in the future, due to a policy change, a server shutdown, or a company going out of business. Because of that nagging fear, I usually buy Nintendo's games as hard copies, so that I'll always be able to play them. Unfortunately, that won't apply to updates and DLC.
@HAL9000 This is true regarding the XB ONE. However, digital games on the 360 can be accessed without a Internet connection. It's been that way for awhile now.
Well said, this article lays out most of the issues I have with digital content.
@Superryanworld It's not true regarding the Xbox One.
When I first read the "Nintendo's way of doing things is great" bit, I was about to dismiss the whole post, but upon reading more, this person makes very good points. Back in the day people were given the impression CD formats were "forever", but as a video game collector I can tell you this isn't the case. Even if you take very good care of your games, sooner or later the CD is going to develop a scratch just from being used. If you don't use it, there's a thing called disc rot that can set in after a certain amount of time.
Cartridges also suffer because the contacts get corroded or damaged over time. That isn't to say I discourage buying physical, rather, I still encourage it, but it has downfalls. Digital games have downfalls as well. In the case of the wii u, if something happens to the system, your games go bye-bye.
For me, it comes down to price. Digital games are more convenient and often cheaper when they go on sale, but you are basically buying a license that has no value. Physical games have physical (and later down the line, some value as collectors items) value, but also can screw up and break, get lost, damaged, etc..
There is no perfect gaming medium, and in the long run it all comes down to preference. Some prefer physical, some prefer digital. I don't have much preference either way, but I'd choose physical if I had to pick one. That said, my library on PS3, Xbox 360, Wii U, 3DS, etc is crammed with digital games.
I definitely prefer to have a physical product. Nintendo is devoted to backwards compatibility with at least the generation before, but what happens when you can no longer transfer old downloads to a new console? This has been the case with both Sony and Microsoft consoles (who admittedly don't even offer backwards compatibility with discs) and I would be sceptical about going download only for this reason.
A very informative article. Ive purchased so much content on my wii,360, and PS3. It makes me cringe to think one day I'll loose all of it. Still, I've had so much fun revisiting countless classic's that I don't regret the money I spent on games I don't actually own.
I don't buy physical games anymore, because they can now easily brake with the slightest scratch. I litteraly only got SSB4 in December, and now it doesn't work anymore, and the disc looks perfectly fine. If you buy Digital, they can't brake. If Nintendo chooses not to allow digital games from the Wii U on the NX, i'd just keep my SD card on the Wii U.
Well either way, you'd still need the old console to play them. So would it even really matter?
Good article it's a bit like windows 10 it's going to force users to have Candy Crush Sage.
@Grumblevolcano I didn't know that. I have to wonder how facts get confused when it comes to things like this.
Digital game download is way better. Digital game streaming on the other hand is the worst (DRM) since you'll always need an internet connection to play.
What I hate about Steam is the updates, it forces me to download updates for games I don't have and hate, like The Sims.
I wish there were consoles and games that were GPL (or even similar licenses)...
While cartridges can last 30 years and more I wouldn't be so sure about optical mediums. Therefore buying physical games might be more dangerous than buying digital these days.
DKC trilogy was not removed without any prior notification. I remember that, because I bought them when I read the notification.
I always get physical copies unless I'm getting a download code for free or something like that. Or if a game is download-only. Because I like to be able to know the game is mine, not some BS about a license or whatever.
@Superryanworld The key thing about consoles are initial impressions once they're revealed for the first time. Like there's bound to be many people out there who still think the Wii U is an addon to the Wii and not a successor. The Xbox One sadly had the initial impressions based on Don Mattrick's horrible "online only" logic and so that's where the confusion arises.
Had Phil Spencer been in charge since the beginning of the Xbox One instead of Don Mattrick, we would've seen the PS4 issues that PT caused 2 years earlier.
So if I understood the article, even games that I have purchased on the eshop and downloaded onto my Wii U can be deleted at any time???
@MikeW I think the setup is that the games can be removed from the store but you can still play them if you own them.
My post was actually more about 3ds than Wii U (I don't actually have a Wii U so I don't know.)
It applies to my Wii also though, which has a lot of content downloaded onto it.
Don`t buy digital = solution
@Grumblevolcano I see... I was worried there for a second!
I was all digital on Wii U until stuff like the P.T thing happened and now I buy physical copies again, on all my consoles.
Digital downloads are, to a great extent, end runs around an established copyright doctrine known as the First Sale Doctrine. Microsoft and Borland began the legal challenges that would shape contract law, and facilitate the emergence of a new way of selling software: the license.
Prior to that, an author's copyright interest in a work was extinguished after the first sale of a work. Imagine having to keep track of every transaction of every copy of a book, and then having to reconcile payments to the current copyright holder! So, we have the first sale doctrine. This doctrine is what makes secondary markets for video games possible.
And before some dimwit smugly suggests that this is a new era, this battle has been fought many, many times before. Over books. Over magazines, movies, music, and art. What is different now, is the view of property rights with regard to software. Microsoft and Borland (among others) were successful in advancing a new way of thinking: that software should be subject to (shrink wrap) licensing at the consumer level.
Publishers can now exert total control over the secondary market, insure that production costs are kept to a minimum, and retain absolute authority over how, when, and to whom licensed content is distributed.
As it stands now, content which is licensed to a consumer and digitally distributed deprives the consumer of any ownership right whatsoever.
On the other hand, you own a retail copy--free and clear.
Europe got a warning but North America did not.
@LilC The Wii U doesn't even use SD cards to save games.
And fine, physical games do break or get lost, but in the next 10-15 years, all your digital Wii U/3DS games will be unplayable.
@MikeW Yes, every digital game you have purchased on the Wii U can be deleted and revoked from you at any time by nintendo, in fact in the future when nintendo lets the Wii U's servers die out, all your digital games will be rendered unplayable, digital games are pretty much just a rental system.
@WinterIceFox @Grumblevolcano !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I was always under the impression that a game that was purchased and downloaded from the Virtual Console (Ex: Super Mario World) would be kept on my Wii U hard drive!!!
But I don't get it... If I download Super Mario World (software) onto the hard drive, how would Nintendo have access to it and be able to delete it?
And since the Super Mario World software is a self contained game that does not require online connectivity, why would a server dying out automatically delete the game on my console?
@outburst @maneauleau you dont need to be connected to the internet to play digital games, however, you DO NEED to connect to the internet every once in a while for games to work/be playable, if you bought a digital game on wii u, then disconnect your wii u from the internet for, lets say 10 years, after that time has passed, your game will vanish, the console wont let you play it, why? because digital games have to pass a check up on the internet every once in a while, and when nintendo's online servers are taken down in the future, all those digital games will be unplayable due to the console not being able to check if the games are legit on nintendo's online servers
Why would they be unplayable when the eShop shuts down? You couldn't redownload them, but since the Wii U doesn't require an internet connection to play games you downloaded I don't see why you think they would be unplayable.
@brooks83 Yeah, I live in the U.S. and I was super mad when I went to download DKC3 (the only one I was missing) and the title wasn't available anymore!
Had to wait about 2 years to purchase it on the Wii U Virtual Console :/
This is the first I have heard of an "online check up" for the eShop. Do you have a link or source for this info?
"P.T. was released around the time of E3 last year..."
I mean, if two months later is "around the time," then I guess so.
Yeah same here! I downloaded them as soon as they came back, didn't want to miss them again!
@MikeW nintendo has the right to delete your digital games if they please to do so, they can delete them anytime and it's legal, it's their "right" but they don't do it cause its stupid and it would infuriate their clients.
And yes Super Mario World is an offline games, however a console (Wii U) needs to connect to the internet every once in a while to make a "check" on nintendo's servers, this "check" lets your digital games be played, and if theres no internet, after some loooong while (like 10 years) the Wii U won't be able to "check" on the internet, therefore the games would get into a "unplayable" mode, unless the console connects to the internet to make the check up, but in a distant future there might be no online for the wii u=no playable digital games
I only have digital with free Vita games on PSN Plus other than that, physical is for me
@brooks83 im trying to find the source, but these "online checks" are real, Sony, Microsoft and even Valve apply those digital checks, after a certain amount of time if the check is not made, the game simply wont be playable.
@MikeW In theory. I don't believe they have the power to actually delete the games from your drive, but they can remove it from the store and deny you the option of redownloading it. They can also theoretically put out a "performance patch" that could make the game literally unplayable, which is just as bad as deleting it from your drive. The point is, these companies have near absolute control over their games.
@WinterIceFox I'm not sure about other games bought on PSN, but I know that any PS+ games I have are under a day counter. Before I renewed my subscription last year, I'd receive a message that said I had to connect to the internet and confirm my licenses when I tried to access one of the games, even offline.
@brooks83 i think i remember now, remember digital games are just a "license" to play? these licenses run out eventually, and they are renewed with these online checks.
@MitchVogel Wow... thats just bad news :/
And I've spent a lot of money on these VC titles. Hopefully Nintendo keeps the WII U servers up for a long time. Thankfully I've bought all my Wii U titles in physical format.
Price and control means physical still wins. And besides, does any one have any dvds (not including home-burnt) that don't play anymore due to age only? I can't remember when I bought my first dvd, but I've never come across any that don't work unless they've been scratched. And I know for sure I've got CDs from the mid-90s that still play fine.
Lots of scare mongering in this article. Digital isn't perfect and you need understand what it gives you but Nintendo are not going to delete or prevent you accessing games already downloaded.
Well, I used to go physical only, but eventually I put up with the idea I'm actually renting my games for several years. Modern gaming has a really bad foundation for collecting in a more or less long run: the quality of consoles decreases, they literally tend to fall apart after 3-4 years of CAREFUL usage, proprietary batteries are hard to find after the maker support is finished, and even physical copies are not complete without patches and DLC. So I got used to the idea I buy a video game player (called 3DS, WiiU, Xbox One or whatever), and it only gives me 4 or so years to enjoy the games I can digitally rent for it. After that, they're all gone and only live in my memories. That's why I never get collector's editions. Rather sad, but well, it's clear as day we are rapidly going to the streaming-only feature, where a console is a tiny set-top box (or even an application in a SmartTV, smartphone or whatever), and the content is delivered through the Net. Once servers are shut down, it's useless.
"I don't recall Valve forcing anyone to charge for mods, only that it was an option (a dumb option; a donation button would've been more appropriate). You may want to check your sources. I know the page explaining it on Steam described it as optional."
Sorry but you missed the whole thing I think. Steam had it so you had to pay for some mods for Skyrim and they had said it was "starting with Skyrim" meaning that there was going to be more added. However with that announcement and the paid mods showing up, the community exploded, petitions started and forms spammed like no tomorrow. Over a few days of that, they retracted the paid mods and talked about a donation thing which I have yet to see. But paid mods were done and they failed and probably only a matter of time before they come back.
@ibis_87 So true... what a shame
It's worth noting that P.T. was a free and unadvertised demo, so it's no surprise they'd reserve the right to change or remove it.
All visual/audio/intellectual property is merely licensed, because ownership would imply that you have manipulative rights to the work (make money off of it, show publicly, etc.)
Comparatively, Sony does an incredible job on digital purchases. The P.T. deal doesn't worry me, I'll still have it on my HDD forever and have a huge list of games to easily put on another system if mine disappears.
Nintendo, on the other hand, seems harder for me to trust surprisingly.
I buy mostly digital because I enjoy to travel without a best buy living in my luggage.
I only buy digital when I can get a significant discount. I feel if the publisher is saving on distribution costs, then I should receive some of that savings as well. I try to keep any digital games I get downloaded on my hard drive to avoid issues like what happened with P.T. or the number of other games that have been removed from the digital shops. However, the large file sizes with newer games makes this more and more difficult. Also, the licensing reality may even make this ineffective since I often have to log in online to play many games now a days. Too often it seems like companies feel as if I as a consumer should be greatful to give them my money no matter what. That's why I appreciate the companies that actually value their customers.
@MikeW Yes, but there's nothing to be done. Reminds me of my first smartphone I bought in 2010. There were no cheap smartphone-oriented data plans here in Russia at that time, I had like 50 Mb a month and tried my best not to overuse them. And I had no Wi-Fi at home either. Well, thу phone was still usable, even the "smart" functions, but it was a real pain you know where. Thу same's with the "I want to be completely autonomous with my consoles" approch today. Technically possible, but uncomfortable.
I have an iPod Nano somewhere with 1000+ of my favorite songs. It died. The computer the songs were backed up on died. They're gone. Meanwhile, I have every CD I ever bought. So yeah, physical copies for me, please.
I do think it is possible for even physical games to be "pulled" by an update kill-pill. But can't see that ever happening....
@Dakt I doubt it since you earn very little money because game stores take huge cuts.
I personally buy physical copies of everything available as physical carts (That physical copies of games are almost always cheaper than download-versions is a plus, too), but i don't avoid download-only games, i still play 25-year-old games on my old SNES, and dread what will happen in the future when more download services shut down or drop support for old games, remember: download services are still new and few have actually shut down, but this is almost certain to change as the years pass...
@DarthNocturnal Almost nobody donates.
I have almost entirely digital library for my Wii U. I love it--everything runs smoother. The games i have on disc, I experience laggy frame issues from time to time. In five/ten years I guarantee you that all gaming devices will be digital without disc drives. I don't worry about losing the games I've already purchased because I don't intend to get rid of my wiiu, also in the future I expect an account based service where my games will carry over anyway.
I used to feel that way about vinyl until I got into high def digital music. Go to HDtracks online and download Paul McCartney's 'band on the run' unlimited (uncompressed) and get it in 24 bit 96khz it is unbelievable, you don't get the surface noise of a vinyl and all you hear is every nuance of the master tape. The future is awesome.
I honestly don't see why people are so worried about games being deleted from systems if a company and/or their servers go down it's just not going to happen. The only thing is that you make sure that you back up all copies of your games when Nintendo eventually takes down the eShop, and those games will become unavailable.
Once servers are down, the games will remain on your system or where ever you've stored them, they'll remain playable, albeit without online capabilities.
The only way Nintendo or 3rd parties will ever step in is if you're found to be illegally copying, distributing, or modifying the game.
And where physsical copies are concerned, you still don't own the game in it's entirety, you only own the media it's printed on, the developers own the game code. Even then, I'm pretty sure you're not legally allowed to rent or lend out your games,.
Honestly, digital, overall, just makes more sense. Yes, you may be able to plug in your old system and it will still run those cartridges. But physical copies of games have the downside of being a physical object that over time will degrade. Save batteries die. Discs degrade and stop working. I love having my copy of Super Mario RPG on the SNES - I rented it from the video store for years before they finally sold all of their SNES games and the copy I had played for so long was now mine.
But now the save battery is dead. I still have the cartridge because it has incredible sentimental value. But I also have Super Mario RPG on the virtual console, because if I actually want to play the game that is my only option. Meanwhile trying to buy a new cartridge for that game is going to run me a lot of money. Far more than the $8 on the eShop.
Of course, there IS always a concern that a company will go under and digital games will be lost. Nintendo, Steam... I have literally hundreds of digital games that I DO have backed up, but it would suck if those services went under and there was a risk of me losing that data. I really do suspect, though, that won't be a problem. While gaming has had a rocky history when it comes to the stability of companies, I think overall the industry is going so strong that we won't have to worry.
And even if those companies DO go under, I'm pretty confident someone will have a solution for us. Though I SHOULD note, that I am saying this as a gamer, and not a collector. I don't really care for collecting things, so really in the end I just want to be able to find a way to play the games I love, and I'm pretty confident there will always be a way for me to do that. For a collector, I could see there being some cause for concern over the fragility of not JUST digital games, but physical ones as well.
They all stop working eventually. And that's a hard pill to swallow.
Nintendo are the worst here, a download attached to a specific console, I will not buy anything else from them digitally until they implement a better system.
I spend a lot on PSN as it has great sales, and at least I know as long as the service is there, I can download my games on a few activated consoles, even those subsequently delisted.
I collect retro games as physical releases, mainly the Saturn and other SEGA consoles.
Yah the article couldn't even mention that out of traders than digital goods Nintendo is the worse.... other traders at least allow you to restore your software on a different system without having to beg a customer service person for it
The likelihood of actual paid for games being deleted from a console are very slim. And if the company actually deleted the games from every console, no doubt they'd also have some patch to refuse play for the physical games.
Amazon did pull 1984 from peoples devices, which was scary enough and very ironic, and I can't recall if refunds were given(or maybe that was a free book?). I remember the issue was that they didn't actually have permission to sell the book, so nobody should have been able to get it in the first place.
I think the timed checks others mention for Xbox and PlayStation are to make sure the paid subscription is still in tact, but I don't think applies to the 360 since the free games for that are kept regardless of subscription level.
I wouldn't worry too much about companies deleting paid for games without some form of refund, otherwise they could possibly face a big backlash. Most of that stuff is likely in the EULA to protect them from lawsuits for more minor offences, like removing free demos, software that wasn't legally able to be sold or deleting DLC that infringes on someone else's copyright.
That said, I still prefer physical but have considered digital more lately as I start seeing some benefits to not having to change discs, just to go "hmm, maybe not actually in the mood for this after all"
@iBazly You do realize that with a security bit and a soldering iron, you can replace the internal batteries? I aquired SMRPG a few years back and in 2011 I replaced the internal battery with a low-profile battery holder. In 15-20 years, I can replace the save battery again if I want.
There's a flipside, though. Two months ago Iost my 3DS on a bus. It never showed up. The physical game that was in it was lost forever but when I reported it to Nintendo, they logged me out of the lost 3DS and when I signed into the replacement I bought, I was able to redownload EVERYTHING I had bought and all my ambassador freebies. Oddly, the downloads have longer lives with me as I always end up selling off physical games when I am short of money.
Physical is always cheaper here in AUS. An example Puzzle & Dragons Z on the EShop was 49.95 and I paid $33 for the physical. Same with Kirby and the rainbow paintbrush it is 59.95 on the Eshop and I paid $48 for the physical copy. The difference on those 2 games alone is almost half the cost of another game.
When I bought my Wii U, I also purchased a 2TB external hdd. Up to that point I never intended to support digital purchases, me being old school and liking the ability to drop a disc in at any time.
This time, however, I decided to step out of my comfort zone and make my Wii U as digital-only as possible, mainly because I don't trade games in anyway and Nintendo titles typically don't go on sale to the degree that others do. Now, I just add $10-20 per paycheck to my eshop account, and when something comes out, I buy it. If my hdd fails i can re-download all my titles after speaking with Nintendo's customer service.
It's the future, I don't want 50+ cases of games in my house take dust, I'm not a collector, I just want to play the games, I buy both Physical and digital mostly of the times i choose between them just because of the price.
@WinterIceFox Yup. PSN has an issue where if one of the license checks fails, they all fail, which locks you out of all of your digital purchases. This happened to some people as a result of PT being pulled from the PSN servers
This is why I buy physical whenever possible. I only download digital copies if they are on sale for half off or something like that. I won't pay full price just for a bit of data without a physical copy to own. I like to put them on my bookshelf, as well. Looks awesome.
I think both physical and digital have their benefits but the day physical releases are no longer being supported is the day I stop buying new games. I know digital is the way of the future and from a business standpoint I also know its the route that makes the most sense but as a consumer it makes me unhappy. Years from now I'll be able to play my favorite retro games since ikk own the cartridge/CD and no those formats are not perfect but as long as you take care of then they should last you a lifetime or longer. As for digital you're completely at the mercy of the developer whether or not that game will be available to you years from now.
This is why I always buy physical copies when possible. Digital has absolutely no benefits over physical (let's be brutally honest, digital has no benefits at all). You lose all of your consumer rights. Companies can take it away, you can't trade it in, you can't loan it to a friend. I've been saying this for years and it's sad that a crappy demo being pulled from PSN is what it took to get other people to finally catch on.
Never buy digital if a physical alternative exists. They can take your digital games right off your systems without you even knowing it, but if they come to your home to try and take your physical copies away, that's called burglary (as it d*** well should!).
The article states that Valve FORCED modders to attach a price tag to their works. But it was purely optional. I didn't miss anything. I even visited the Skyrim Steam forums during the whole ordeal.
@DarthNocturnal valve made mods become paid only, a change from optional..There was negative backlash so they reverted back.
The games on your PS3 will sit on your hard drive for the rest of your hard drives life, unlike steam you don't need to be online to access it.
@iBazly "Honestly, digital, overall, just makes more sense."
Keep drinking that kool-aid like the game publishers want you to. All because you don't know how to change a battery in an SNES cartridge. That's a riot.
@Farpun No, @DarthNocturnal is correct, paid mods were optional. And if you had an existing mod you wanted to start charging for, you had to put in some kind of update to make it a new version, you couldn't just start charging for the same mod that had been free previously.
Anyone who actually followed the Skyrim Paid Mods ordeal can tell you that it was not forced, that not every mod was suddenly thrown behind a paywall.
@dizzy_boy " Even then, I'm pretty sure you're not legally allowed to rent or lend out your games"
First Sale Doctrine, look it up. I bought the game disc, I can do what I d*** well please with it.
I don't own the CODE of the game, I don't acquire the right to DUPLICATE the game, but the physical disc or cartridge? That is my property. I own that copy of the game. I can sell it, I can loan it to a friend, I can light it on fire and post pictures of it burning on social media if I want to. That physical item is my property and the game publisher gets absolutely no say in what I do with it.
I mean really, do you think services like Blockbuster, GameFly, RedBox, eBay, GameStop, Amazon, and so on would previously have allowed or do allow the renting or reselling of games for years and years and years if it was illegal? Come on man, think.
@StarDust4Ever I do realize that you can replace the save battery - but I don't really see buying and replacing the save batteries as being a better option than just having a digital copy that works. But like I said, it's just my preference, and I'm not worried about one day not being able to play any of my games, because I am confident there will always be a way for me to play them.
@Pahvi True. If you lose the patch, you lose new features and bug fixes for your physical copy.
However, I'd rather be stuck with a physical copy that can't get its updates anymore than no copy at all. I may not be able to play Mario Kart 8 in 200CC with the new tracks, but I can still play Mario Kart 8 in Mirror Mode with the original tracks. I may not be able to find 8-bit Toad in Captain Toad (not that I can right now anyway because Nintendo didn't make enough Toad amiibo and I can't find one outside of eBay), but I can still play the regular Captain Toad game. What can people who bought a digital copy of Mario Kart 8 and Captain Toad play in the same situation? Oh yeah, nothing.
@mjc0961 you're right but in that case why were people up in arms? If you don't like it don't pay.
Very interesting article, personally I like digital media since I don't re-sell games and I don't copy physical media for various grey zones of emulation etc. And actually i'm to nice of a guy so I lost a lot of games over the years by lending them out, now I don't have that problem with Digital games. lol
I definitely prefer physical over digital, unless of course it's a really older rare title that's too expensive or unless Steam has a sale on.
I'm always going to prefer the pleasure of having game cases on my shelf, it's the novelty of seeing what I own in one spot that I love about it. Same with most other media, DVDs, Blu-Rays, books, comics, especially books and comics because they're just not as good when it's on a phone, tablet or computer, it's more genuine when it's real.
But I am going to have to buy Yooka-Laylee as digital only but I'm fine with that seen as I have no other option.
@DarthNocturnal ok, I missed the part where Valve forced modders to charge but yes, I know that is wrong because modders had a choice.
@mjc0961 Actually, that is not true, I had a mod on my skyrim game that went to paid and it messed up my game a bit because it basically removed it during it's update and I was in an area where the mod was needed.
I prefer purchasing a physical copy.
I like having the ability to move my cartirage/disc between multiple consoles or bring over to a friend/relatives house without having to lug my entire console around. Not to mention, I'd rather lose one game.. than an SD card full of games should it be stolen or taken out for whatever reason.
However what really caught my eyes in this article, is the idea that anything I purchase or download, can be completely removed from my system at the push of a button without any notice.. something that cannot happen to physical software. It was never something I really took into consideration, but it is certainly food for thought.
I guess the only real benefit of going digitual, is the proof of purchase.. if somebody goes and deletes everything you have, you can redownload it no cost.. whereas you're having to buy the game itself again if it's physical.
This is why I buy retail games on Cartridge and then buy the throw always I'm interested in from the Eshop. I think you gotta be some kind of crazy to download retail games. I would also like to know the real reason why a game in the android market is .99 cents and in the Eshop will run 7.99 or higher. It doesn't seem fair. I will rarely buy games with that price difference but I have before. Its rare though
I avoid download only games as much as I can. I haven't had a problem with Nintendo. There's really only 2 things that bother me from the Nintendo perspective:
I know the official FAQ page said you needed to create a new (separate) version of a mod in order to add a cost to it (if you wanted to). Or at least, that was what was intended. Maybe there was a loophole. Considering how half-baked the whole idea was, that's not too surprising. And Valve is no stranger to releasing things somewhat unfinished.
I greatly dislike digital downloads, I try to buy physical copies whenever possible. On a side note, I'd love to see consoles go back to cartridges (new tech inside of course), but DVDs just don't cut it.
This article is why I buy physical copies of games and not digital. I go back to my retro consoles ALOT and like the fact I can play a game whenever I want, digital games are convient, but on nintendo systems if you delete the game, you can't just simply download it again, you gotta pay for it again. Really if I want a retro game, I just buy the original copy of the game for the original system
I will go with physical 100% if available, but as I missed a lot of the snes and n64 era, I'll pick up the vc releases that I want, and I have sunk a lot of money into that from looking at my backlog.
I think the digital download age is still too new to worry about how things will pan out in 10+ years. Haven't read all of the comments but these sort of "controversies" pop up from time to time, the most recent I recall was GTA V having some music tracks removed that caused some outrage.
Simplest solution is to push lawmakers to enact legislation that states when you revoke digital rights you refund the money, but good luck getting anywhere with that.
One of the bigger issues I see today in gaming is the massive day 1 patches and wondering just how many new releases are even playable right off the disc anymore.
@mjc0961 you are ignoring the benefits that digital brings. I personally buy physical gift the most part, but I downloaded ssb4 wii u because I wanted it immediatly. A company can't just pull the plug on games without getting huge consumer backlash, and the consumers always win in these situations. If they did, most people would go crazy and force r to go back online. And in 10 years I will still bed ale to play ssb4 wii u since it is saved on my hard drive. A disk can be lost or stolen and will stop working eventually.
@Onion: Yeah that was my whole point, most people tend to forget (or simply don't know) that optical drives and even cartridges (completely forgot those in my argument ^^) aren't THAT reliable when you think in decades. Of course as a collector you know that. And I'm not even a collector.
The thing that in my opinion (or for my preferences, to put it this way) makes digital games better is the convenience, as you said.
@May_Nyan Ah ok, I didn't realize that. I always thought the eshop is the same for 3DS and Wii U (I don't have a 3DS)? Yeah the Wii was lightyears behind regarding this things. I'm really happy that I can one day download all the games I need before Nintendo shuts down the Wii U servers and play those games forever (as long as there's a power supply ^^).
Of course if one day after the server shutdown my Wii U should stop working I would be fucked, but from my experience Nintendo consoles last pretty long, even if you don't handle them like a raw egg. 1,5 years ago, my Xbox 360 instantly damaged my GTA V DVD when I moved the console, while you can move the Wii and Wii U any way and as much you want while a game is played, it never causes a problem (true story)! Also the 360 was really loud, heavy and big. But enough of that.
"the user licences were revoked, meaning that any of the over one million people that originally downloaded it would no longer be able to do so if they were to delete it."
Don't delete it then. I had the DKC trilogy, and the removal from the eShop had no effect at all. I''d no more suggest deleting a game than throwing away an old cartridge.
with the next gen nintendo and every other consoles they should make only physical games.
This put a little fear in me. Anyway, I prefer physical copies to a game over digital and the only digital games I have downloaded (with one exception) I was able to download without directly purchasing because of Club Nintendo deals. The only game I have purchased digitally was Metroid Prime Trilogy. I did see the recent (3 month old) PokeGen hack for XY/ORAS games gets stopped through a patch through the 3DS and game update. There is that.
I think the concern about servers shutting down is a tiny bit misguided. Realistically the cost of running a download server is trivially small compared to the number of users they serve. Especially if we take into account the rate storage is getting cheaper. In ten years time you should be able to store the entire catalogue of Wii U games... on a single $100 drive. With enough room to spare to also hold every Wii, Gamecube, DS and 3DS game.
So I wouldn't put my money on download servers going offline. The cost to simply keep them available is trivially small when compared to the extra revenue it can generate. Especially if you take into account the bad PR such a move would generate. Even in the examples cited where licences were revoked, those mostly impacted NEW downloads. People still freaked out.
What is concerning however is that games which really on a online mode? That can and will be taken away. Even if they keep the servers up a lot of those games are dead before then. You have to worry with a game like Splatoon for example whether it'd still be worth playing if that mode was taken away. And that's something that'll impact physical and digital purchases equally.
ANOTHER reason dl'd games are less than optimal (suck) is because you lose them all when Nintendo bans your a$$ from Miiverse. Or was that even mentioned already?
I actually expressed my fear of downloaded games' longevity about five years ago, and everyone I talked to didn't understand why it was such a big deal and considered me an idiot. As a retro gamer myself, I expressed fear of losing my entire catalog of PC games or, later still, my PS3 and small 3DS and Wii U libraries with something as simple as a dead drive in as little time as five-ten years into the future, while my 30+ year-old copy of Super Mario bros./Duck Hunt will still work every time, granted I wipe down the connections once in awhile.
I'm glad others are starting to wake up and see that a downloaded game is a lease on a license, and not a merit of ownership, which I think was helped along with some of the servers on the Wii being removed, and other events mentioned in the article. I can see the benefit, with unlimited stock and instant access to games and content all in the comfort of your own home, but as long as physical media is around, I will always try to own my games instead of lease them.
It's the reason I am about to spend almost $60 for Ocarina of Time 3D for a beat up eBay physical cart instead of $40 for a download version. I figure about 30 years from now, pirates will be the only way many of us will be able to get these games anymore.
The loss of old games has been a problem for a while now. For example, my C-64 games no longer work because of the floppies demagnetizing and my Intellivision II has no way to be easily connected to a modern television. It is just a fact of life. It is just that with digital media that death has been accelerated and a new issue has come up, archiving. It is not possible for a game to evaporate into the either never to be found again because accounts are closed and systems with it installed will eventually suffer failure.
Honestly, I am not too bothered by this. It is rare that a game ages well, either from a gameplay standpoint or a graphical standpoint. The best of every generation will always return in some form. I applaud companies like Nintendo, Sega, and others for at least trying to preserve the past. I just wish they didn't rob my bank account everytime.
@iBazly Digital sucks youre paying for nothing you can download roms from the internet for fee
Wow. I cannot believe that there are so many die-hard physical media fanatics here.
You may think you own the physical copy, but you don't. You only own the media it's printed on. Just like I own my hard drive. All the other laws in the EULA are the same. You cannot publish, copy, rent, reverse engineer, etc. with the physical media just as you can't with the digital copy. You have never owned the software, but since you are only getting the software with a digital download they need to specify that it's just a license. I need to buy my own physical media to store it on... the HDD. If you owned the software you should be able to do whatever you want to it, regardless of what media it's bits are stored on, but you can't.
I had NEVER experienced not being able to play while my internet was out. I have only played on PC (steam) and Nintendo consoles, so I can't speak for the other companies, but only if the game is an online mp game will you not be able to play. ...but the same is true of a physical copy.
If I lose my games due to HDD failure, I just call Nintendo and they fix me right up. If I scratch the disc, I have to buy the game again.
I even saw someone comment on how Nintendo should go back to cartridge based games. You must be heavily medicated. Cartridges are way too expensive to make and don't hold very much data, which is part of the reason 3rd parties left Nintendo during the N64 days.
In the article they even mentioned that if you delete your game that isn't being sold anymore, it's gone forever. No kidding. If you destroy your super rare Nintendo World Championship cartridge, guess what... You can't just go to the store and pick up another one. You gotta take care not to lose your copy, no matter what format the information is stored on.
Anyway, I'm going to leave it there as it's probably sounding hostile, which was not my intent. Just trying to clear up some misconceptions people have not just about digital games, but physical ones as well.
i actually really like buying digital. It's convenient to buy a game from home ,especially on a big launch day,n not worrying about finding a copy.or waiting in line. Plus too for people like myself ,who live in a small town,there's not much for game shops.n our local wal mart sucks ! at getting new releases on time. But I'm also a huge retro fan,so I can see both sides..my only complaint would be that buying a digital copy of a game should be about 5 $ less than buying the physical copy..as your not getting the box ,or any extra packaging ..
I see a lot of misconception here. First, let me state the obvious: nothing lasts forever. You guys aren't going to live forever either. Good luck finding a way to play your old cartridges then. Consoles are going to break, games are going to stop working. All we can hope is being able to enjoy video games while we're at it.
After being skeptical about digital for a while, I finally gave in. Physical space to keep all those discs has become an issue to me, specially when I'm constantly moving because of my job.
So yeah, I decided to go all-out with digital on my consoles. And I can tell you digital can be done right, as is the case with Valve and Sony. Both Steam and PSN keep track of all your purchases, even those games that have been removed from their respective stores can be redownloaded if you own a license.
Even with the PS4, Sony isn't just creating a new store front. All your PS4 downloads go the same "list" that your PS3 downloads do. It's unlikely they will "turn off the switch" on the PS3 store. It's all about building trust with the consumer, who is already skeptical about going digital, as we can see with all those comments here.
Even if they wanted to, companies couldn't just render your games unplayable. You payed for them, and have the legal right to keep playing. They can't just "revoke your license" and take all of your money. That's a huge misconception.
Anyway, it's always good to give people a choice. Just remember that you can't go 100% physical with patches and DLC. Oh, and you can't carry those physical games to your grave either.
Thanks to the 2 who posted above me...that's something I wanted to point out too, how some people were making it sound how if a certain server goes down for good,you won't be able to play yr game? ...Like you guys pointed out,thats a huge misconception ! ,unless it's a game designed completly to be played online.. Sory don't mean to be redundant ,but it is something to make clear
@skywake um knowing Nintendo. At some point in the next year or two I would be willing to bet they shut down the Wii download servers using the excuse that the licenses had been expired or revoked on most or all the games. It hasn't happened yet so there is no telling. I just think Nintendo will get tired of maintaining it. Everyone will have this oh well those people should have moved on attitude. Right now its the best place to get VC games since Nintendo isn't doing VC like they did on Wii anyway.
@Rex28 as much as I would like to see Physical copies only too. I think at some point its going to be just the opposite and be download only. It saves them so much money to go download only. The problem is this.....they will not pass on that savings to the consumer by going all digital. They already do it. The retail digital download games are ridiculously high in price. They should be at least 15 dollars cheaper than retail with no box, no manual, and no manufacturers cost to put them on cartridge or DVD/CD. Then their lame excuse for that pricing is that they have to do it that way to give retailers a chance to sell their retail copies. Bolonie! Bologna! Whatever!
Even when the "licences expired" for DKC the games were still available to re-download if you had purchased them. I don't know about the C64 titles but I assume it was the same story. Really, the costs involved in simply keeping the games available are trivially small. I see no reason why they'd want to shut down the servers especially given the bad PR it would generate. Hell, people freak out when a free demo is removed.....
I can still boot up the Wii Shop channel and download any of the titles I purchased on there. I can download titles on Steam that I got before the Wii launched. Yes Nintendo WFC has been taken down but I don't think they're at all equivalent. As you said yourself, they make money from keeping the shops open. Why would they shut them down?
Nothing lasts forever. I've had Sega Saturn game discs give me read errors. Optical media is not the best long term solution when you're talking multiple decades.
I'm not put off from the convenience of digital by the limited server life or potentialy limited license of my games. I'll enjoy what I can as long as I can in the manner that appeals most to me without a drop of worry about expiration of this and that.
I'd love for all games to be handled with preservation in mind by companies but that's sadly not a primary business priority. It can be a tertiary priority for some companies and I'm grateful for those few projects that get that support, but by and large the license business is a ticking clock.
@skywake To be fair, the Xbox Live servers eventually went down for the original Xbox. I don't know if that included the servers that digital purchases were kept on for license renewals though. Then again, those digital purchases might not have worked the same way they do now on Xbox 360, Xbox One, and basically any other platform.
Also, that free demo caused issues. Thing is, PSN is set up to where if one of the checks fails when the system goes to renew the software licenses, the whole process fails and people are locked out of their digital purchases on that platform. This happened to a couple people apparently when the system went to renew their software license for PT - since PT doesn't exist on the PSN servers due to Konami having it removed, the process failed and those people were locked out of their digital purchases. Why people didn't largely criticize Sony for this massive flaw in PSN, I'll never know. They should be criticized heavily for this, and if Xbox Live and Nintendo Network have the same flaw, then Microsoft and Nintendo deserve the same criticism.
@DreamOn This is my thinking. I care more about getting to experience the game than I do about being able to repeat the experience. It's never the same the second time around anyway.
@MitchVogel your article is so inaccurate and fear mongering that you have literally made me lose respect for Nintendo Life in general. First of all when games are removed from the Wii Shop and eShop you can still redownload them afterwards from your past purchases. Secondly you can play the games with no internet. Please stop spreading unfounded internet rumors and strive to post accurate articles. Rukiafan signing out.
@Neko_Rukiafan Yes, when games are removed from the eShop they can still be redownloaded by those who have purchased them. However, if Nintendo or whatever company owns said game wants, they can remove it from Nintendo Network completely, preventing you from redownloading it. The PT demo cannot be redownloaded by PS4 owners because Konami had it removed from PSN completely, not just from PS Store.
His article was accurate.
They [the companies] can take away other rights.
Any privilege granted can be revoked. That's because it's a privilege, and not a right. A great example is Miiverse.
Physical all the way.
@Neko_Rukiafan Fair enough, man, you're just as entitled to your opinion as the rest of us. Hope you enjoyed reading!
And....another article about the do's and dont's of the e-shop. This site is really inspired at the moment!!
Don't get me wrong, I do think that there is room for them to screw us over. They could theoretically do all of the things people are worried about. They could pull all the games, burn all their fanbase and make all of your purchases invalid. I just don't see why they would. The costs are tiny for what is essentially the ability to keep games in-print indefinitely. Ontop of that it'd be a PR nightmare. If you think that they'll "shut it down" after a period? Well don't forget that selling 20+ year old games is what the VC service is.
There's also the fact that digital purchases aren't really tied to a specific platform. It's not "code on a disk", it's something more along the lines of the "rights to play this game". Even Nintendo is moving towards something more like that. When I got a new PC I took for granted the fact that I could still play Portal if I wanted. The PC I first played that game on is literally in parts but with just a click I could download it again on Windows, OSX or Linux. If Valve released a cloud based service or some sort of portable? Odds are I'd still be able to play Portal. It's just assumed that's how it'd work.
But if Nintendo were to release a portable Twilight Princess? Of course that'd be at full price again. Their digital shop would have no idea I got the game on the disk, stores will never trade it in for the portable release. There's no way it'd ever work. Physical releases are restrictive in that sense. It's not as simple as saying physical is better because of all the reasons. There are serious limitations to physical media.
@HnD Wow seriously?! That was uncalled for.
@HnD Can they, yes, will Nintendo? Probably not. Nintendo seems to have a little more honor than the other companies in that regard. Could that change down the road? Of course, but as things stand right now it's unlikely.
@Neko_Rukiafan Nintendo and honor is a relatively new concept. They've only started being honorable from time to time since the 3DS.
I also prefer physical even though I'm only buying digital nowadays. Problem here is: I have a story with every single game I buy - story that is saved on their save files as well as in my memory. As far as I'm concerned, if I don't hold onto my total story with the game - the experience, the save file and the actual game it means nothing for me to own a physical copy, because I never want to sell the thing. It will never lose value. Plus, anything can happen and my physical copy can be robbed or broken down, so at the end of the day we are facing risks all the same.
I've purchased a handful of titles on sale from EShop - primarily Indie releases.
I find most of the content not on sale a complete rip off. Particularly Nintendo and big 3rd party IP.
And this is my main gripe with digital only releases especially when there's a physical version in another part of the world but the system is region locked.
I have a demo sitting on my ps3 of marvel vs capcom 2 that I can't unlock because it's been pulled from the store and there's no other way to get it (on that system)
Digital games go missing and there's nothing that you can do because you don't own your purchase
And it's for that reason I am importing devil may cry 4 for ps4 Japan gets a physical release (with full English language) and the rest of the world is digital release only and £20 is too much for a digital game imo
Well just look at the wii. The now sell it with no online connectivity at all. There was no backlash to that whatsoever. I could move all my stuff to the wii u but then my wii wouldn't be worth keeping. This digital era stuff scares me. I knew things were gonna go this way. They always say its about cost when really its about control and nobody seems bothered.
I was fooled for thinking that i get "free" games on my ps4 but thats all a lie. I have to pay £40 A year to play them and they can be deleted or changed whenever they feel like it. Again, nobody seems bothered by this practice. They think its great and it just leaves me baffled.
I really don't mind to be honest. It's just too convenient for me to download Splatoon, for example, & have it there to play whenever I want without having to swap discs. So that's what I'm going to do. In 10 years time I'll be playing something different so still having access to 10+ years old games isn't really a big deal to me.
@WinterIceFox Wouldn't by the online checks logic, all Wii Shop Channel purchases already be unplayable (which is of course not the case)?
@WinterIceFox There is absolutely no need to be connected to internet to play digital games once they have been downloaded unless the game itself relies on some internet connectivity. Unless you can prove the contrary. Good luck
A lot of people here that prefer physical releases. While I prefer physical releases on consoles (I've only went digital on the PS Vita), on PC, I always go digital. On PC, you have the ability to bypass DRM in the event a company goes bust or offline and becomes abandonware. And lately, a lot of games sold on different websites are DRM free, which means you can download 10 installers and back them up to 10 different storage locations. PC is by the safest platform for downloading digital games.
I'm aware of the recent shutting down of the Onlive service, which meant everyone lost access to their games, and that this could happen to other storefronts. People do have to remember however, that nothing is finite, and that physical releases and older systems are prone to wear and tear and eventually breaking. And if you break an old system or an old game, you have to spend a lot more to replace it unless you have backed them up yourself (which is a lot harder to do on consoles.)
People don't need to be too worried about digital purchases, they'll be ways of bypassing DRM in a worst case scenario.
The difference with Onlive is that it was more of a subscription model. You were effectively renting time from a high powered gaming machine on a rack somewhere. Asking for your game back would be kinda like asking for your movies back if Netflix went down. Also from what I understood when you purchased a game on there you were basically buying the game from Steam. People didn't get "refunds" when the service shut down but they still had their Steam copy.
Anyways, I think we can be fairly confident that if any of these companies went bust they'd find a way to make the games still work. Either via a software patch/fix of some kind or by giving you a key for the game on another platform.
I almost exclusively buy physical unless it's for games I would have only rented just to play then once and they are a cheap sale price.
Besides, personally I think we're more likely to "loose" digital games due to servers shutting down than disc rot.
With my PS3, I have a lot of downloaded games, but as I've noticed, if it's not connected to the internet, I can still play them, so I know that console is safe from this...the same goes for the Wii U...but still, I won't know until the full servers are down for those systems. The PS4 is different (and I think it goes with the XONE). If the PS4 is not connected to the internet, you can't play anything that is downloaded (including themes), which tells me that when the servers are shut down (when their next console is out), they're done and I can delete them.
Technically, this can hurt the indie developers as more people figure this out. No one will want to pour a lot of money into a download, just to lose it in a few years, which is why I usually always buy retail (did it with all of them). There's a lot of great indie games, and I wish many would come out on disc format.
@crazycrazydave You're right about the old consoles. I started to get smarter. After the 64bit systems came out, I saw the Genesis and Super at Toys R Us for $20-30 each...picked them up, and kept them as a second console in case my original breaks. People do need to realize that they don't last forever, but you can learn how to fix them and keep them up in good shape...cartridge games are harder to do that too.
I've had several physical games break on me over the past nine years since I started downloading VC games on my original Wii in 2006, and I have lost zero downloaded games. I can't download DS Brain Training on 3DS anymore but that was free anyway, so it doesn't count. I also had to redownload a game on XBOX 360 because it somehow became corrupted but that was a simple process. Just look after your consoles with your downloaded games on and they'll last forever. My 3DS broke a few years ago and for the cost of a new game, I had it repaired by Nintendo no problem.
I sold my SFC collection around 7 years ago to get some money together to move to Australia. I've enjoyed starting to recollecting these games on the WiiU VC and having the ability to switch and change games without having to swap cartridges is great. I'm over collecting physicals after spending 2o+ years collecting games, I don't have to take care of them, find space for them or try to protect them from the sunlight. Nothing is for ever so why bother collecting them ??
On one hand, the overwhelming majority agrees that this is total bupkis.
On the other hand, there isn't exactly an effective solution out there that can please everybody.
I will never back an all digital future. I will never pay more than $15 for a digital only game. I will also argue against digital only any time the topic comes up. I don't believe in glorified renting of software as the future. I am also tired of all the buggy crap, games cut on half when put on disc so you are forced to download the rest, or fixes to the software, or your disc is almost worthless. All digital does is let the business folks find new ways to screw the consumer out of more money, and gives them control over the ability to not give us full games on a physical disc making it so even us physical lovers are forced online if we want a fully functional game.
I prefer physical for new AAA releases like Smash Bros, Bayonetta 2, and soon to come Splatoon, but I have no problem downloading eShop indie titles like Shovel Knight and in some cases discounted retail titles that are on eShop. For example I bought Duck tales Remastered and SMT Devil Survivor Overclocked on sale on the Wii U and 3DS eShops respectively and those were considerably cheaper especially if you factor in tax and/or shipping costs.
@skywake I see. I wasn't aware that they offered Steam keys. That's a little bit better. Still, I don't really like the idea of streaming games. I at least like the game files to be on my hard drive, whether in physical or digital form.
@mcj0961 & @garthvader. You can't legally lend your games. Some games have the labels on them expressing that fact. Although nobody actually follows this law, nor is it upheld.
It's even discussed loosely here. http://www.giantbomb.com/forums/general-discussion-30/can-you-legally-borrow-or-lend-computer-games-236267/
Rental places like Blockbusters obtain a licence to do so.
@JaxonH Well you don't need a Wii to play Wii games if you have a Wii U, do you? I can play DS games without a DS because I have a 3DS. When you consider people sell their old consoles to lighten the expense of the new one, being able to transfer all those downloads across beforehand is important. Or even, being able to sell a couple of those old games they'll never play again, which you can't do with downloads.
This is exactly why I prefer to have physical copies of the game than downloaded versions. I've always read the Ts&Cs and always encourage others to do so. Those who don't are asking for nasty surprises. Even I get the occasional nasty shock if I forget about a certain clause but as I know I've read the Ts&Cs I know it's something I agreed to. 1984.
Like what? I knew better than to sell my Wii and 3DS before transferring to Wii U and my 3DS XL. I've seen some people say they did that online and then complained that Nintendo was a bad company when they found out they needed both of their consoles or handhelds to transfer.
I remember when steam was first introduced and people, myself included, hated it as a buggy mess that just got in the way of gaming. It was only begrudgingly that people accepted it when HL2 came out and that required it / didn't let you play without iirc.
However, it did eventually get better and I've been through 3 PC's since then, so been able to just download steam and boom, there's my entire games library.
These sorts of debates annoy me. Frankly, digital is the future. When it's done properly, it's great! I'd just urge people not to be put off by the crappy way it's implemented on console.
I predict that the next generation will be digital only and that will be the end of me buying new consoles. I currently own way too many games. I could stop buying games right now and still I would have enough games to go the rest of my life without running out of stuff to play. I have a collecting bug. However. once the shiny packages are gone the collecting bug will be gone too. I will be left with the games that I already own, lined up in their storage containers, and having the problem of deciding what to play next.
I have ptsd which affects memory, especially short term. If I stop playing a game for a period of 4-6 weeks, it's pretty much new to me. I may have parts that seem vaguely familiar, but overall it's a new experience.
Both a gift and a curse sort of thing, I guess.
Well, I know it's sort of a curse word on gaming sites in general, but... emulation.
In 20 years, if I feel like playing Shovel Knight and have no access to the version I purchased on my Wii U account for some reason, I'll just emulate it and be done with it. I tend to shy away from such practices for ethical reasons more than anything, but I'm betting I'll feel 100% justified ethically if I ever have to do that. I bought a product and paid for it, as far as my conscience is concerned.
There are benefits and disadvantages to both physical and digital. As someone said, nothing lasts forever, but physical tends to be more reliable in the long run than digital, especially when talking about Nintendo.
The way they handle their Nintendo ID and digital downloads is so far behind everyone else, its really disturbing. Up until last year, they wouldn't even unlink your ID from a lost or broken system (unless you file a police report)... now they do so with minimal wait — my ID transfer took 24 hours and I was able to then log into a replacement 3DS and download all of my eShop purchases again without problem. But we shouldn't have to do that in the first place.
I think downloading is good for convenience of having games you play on a daily basis with you all the time and have another game in your game slot or drive. But I hope Nintendo really does an overhaul as to their account system when it comes to the next console.
Why would I collect lots of physical games when there are basically only a few per system I'd be interested in keeping the rest of my life? I take a similar approach to movies: I only have a handful of favorites that I watch multiple times, so I eventually buy physical copies of those.
Downloads have gotten me. Its a space and convenience thing. I don't have a place to put a bunch of the games I've downloaded, and having them all in one place helps when I want to go from playing MH to SSB4 on the fly. I've never been much of a collector, and I'm not all that attached to the games I buy. There's very few I can honestly say I've played after a few years or a game I've wanted to continually go back to except like Shadow of the Colossus but, like the pokemon games, after like 600 hours I'm basically through and on to the next thing. The only thing I can say physical offers me over digital is trading in the games I'm done with. But by then I only get like 10 bucks , making my physical purchase cost me as much as the digital would have on an eshop sale, like about 30 bucks.
Its not much of a problem for me currently, BUT I can definitely see it being an issue in the next few years when the market is wholly digital and games come and go faster than I can keep up with, with gems disappearing before I can play them. There's like no assurance the catalog will be the same next week let alone next year, so if something came out today when I'm broke and it was the new hotness, then gone next week when I get money and I just can't play it, I'd be salty.
@Koz I agree with this, and it's not an unfounded fear. Aside from missing distribution periods I've had it happen to me twice where I'd hit the distribution period of free content but lost it forever due to outside causes. Once with event Pokémon after losing my game cartridge, and another time with the spotpass costumes for Dead or Alive Dimensions/spotpass Pokémon for Pokédex 3D when my 3DS was destroyed in a flood and even Nintendo was unable to do a system transfer.
NEVER. If I pay for a game with my hard earned money, then I will bloody well own that game and I will be able to pull it out of a closet, dust it off and play it even in 30 years time, if I'd wish to do so.
I'm always so baffled by the amount of people accepting this kind of [email protected] as being normal, just "because it's 2015 and we need to get with the times".
People need to stop and realize that WE are the ones buying this entertainment so WE are the ones in control. If nobody buys, there will be no customer base. But that's obviously not a realistic view.
All I do want to say is to not just lay down and accept this like a bunch of sheep being herded in whatever direction companies think is good for us. Take note, take heed and protect your hard earned money. Life is expensive enough as it is without all these shenanigans of "well, you may have bought it, but we're pulling support anyway, so good luck trying to get it to work".
Next thing you know they will be remotely cancelling your car, since that is also more and more a digitally controlled item...
On a side note: this may very well also give a huge boost to piracy and pirate servers were these games WILL still be supported long after official support has died, provided that they are popular titles, obviously.
@TheRealThanos Heh. You're right. Also, about the car thing. We bought a car and it had a GPS installed. Not a GPS to tell us where to go but a GPS tracker so if we didn't make payments in time they could find and repossess it, and an annoying alarm would go off if it was driven. I don't remember but it might have been able to stop the car from functioning too if you took even longer. They're not wrong for that, and now that we're done paying it's been removed. It's just not outside the realm of possibility for them to leave them in cars that have been fully paid for. That remote shut-off switch might not be far off.
On the theme of piracy here... oddly enough, while criticised and condemned for taking profits away from companies, it is pirated versions that usually ARE the means many older games are still available to play today! In a strange circle of completion. As someone involved with preserving old, unknown games, there are many we have yet to track down an original for, but no problems getting a digital pirated copy. In today's digital heavy world, it may well be the pirates still who are the gateway to playing digital only games way into the future. I don't condone piracy, but if there IS an upside to the practice, this is definitely it.
Whenever there is a a choice between physical and digital I'll always opt for what I can actually hold in my hand and re-sell if I choose to, or lend to a friend. That's especially true when it's a full price game.
NOBODY owns a game except the publisher themselves. It doesn't matter if you it's on a cart or a digital download.
@mr_nihilism the only physical wii u game I own is Nintendo Land. I lent it to someone many months ago and haven't seen it again. While I like the idea of lending physical games, it can certainly lead to a tangled mess of people forgetting to return them. Hasn't Amazon implemented something like this with their ebooks? You can loan your digital copy to a friend. I would love a system like that. I could specify the loan period and it would automatically return the game to my system.
Its not like no one saw these problems coming. For gamers, in particular those who are collectors, digital is a bane. Exclusively digital distribution is essentially just a convenience for disposable media.
@DarthNocturnal No, you're correct. No one was forced to charge for mods, and it was up to the publisher of the base game to decide on the profit-sharing levels. I hadn't heard the milestone thing, but I'd bet that was decided by a publisher too.
The thing that's disappointing is that in like 10-15 years these digital-only games will be as good as erased from existence if nobody will be able to play them anymore.
What about Zelda? Think of the two Satellaview games that we'll likely never be able to play them as they were meant. Unlikely to get an official rerelease by Nintendo, and fan emulation can only partially recreate.
Now imagine if that was every game.
But yeah that's because game developers are probably most concerned with making money today, not are we going to be able to appreciate their work in the future.
The moment Nintendo goes to exclusively digital is the moment I jump ship. If I can't own it, then I'm not paying $80 CAD for it.
@NTELLIGENTMAN Let's not get lost in semantics. What most people mean with owning games is not what is written in the small print of EULA's that may or may not be in the disc's/cartridges' box as well.
The whole point is being able to play these games at your own leisure, NOT at the company's, and the physical copy that is not dependent on any online service is therefore for all intents and purposes yours to play, take along to a friend or sell/trade in a second-hand game shop. I may not own any game legally but if I want to play my old N64 games, I can easily get the box out of the closet, hook up my console and browse through MY collection of game cartridges that I own. And I can still do that 30 years from now, if I'd wish to do so. It's not like Nintendo is ever going to come to my house to get them back...
@maths You only own ONE physical game? Don't you have any older systems? Other than that I think you're kind of missing the point on "the fragility of buying download games" looking at your statement concerning digital lending.
Also, I NEVER lend out games. I once did in the past and I also never saw it returned and had to buy a new copy.
This is what it means in many cases...You DON'T and CAN'T own a game anymore. You just have it out on loan until the company you paid for the "privilege" decides otherwise and basically 'takes it back'
Some people think everything in the past is old hat and pointless now but I think some people are blind to the FACT that actually, some things were indeed OBJECTIVELY better back then (more things than they realise and in some very significant ways). Yup, in most ways the tech has evolved and the graphics are far more shiny, you can also talk to your "friends" and stuff online now and freely curse at strangers for amusement etc, but what about the actual underlying ideals...like consumer ownership for example and you being able to do what you want with the product your fairly paid for...
Yeah; when I say it was better back in the likes of the NES and SNES era and/or that I think the 16bit generation was all-round the best and most satisfying console generation ever, I actually mean it.
PS. The fundamental issue isn't digital but the way it's being handled imo. I'm all for digital in principle, there's a lot of genuine advantages to it, if it were actually done right...but it's almost inevitable that the more time moves forward the more it won't and indeed can't be done right ultimately.
PPS. This is what comes of our modern "free" market capitalism by the way; where it always comes down to increasing the numbers on the books and always striving to find the next big way to be more economically efficient and turn a higher profit etc; no matter what the real cost to the people at the other end. The games will get bigger and better for sure but the user experience, at a core fundamental level, will in many ways only continue to get worse and especially for those with less money than others. It is an inevitability of the particular socioeconomic and corporate business-centric system we have created and what are video game developers and publishers if not businesses...
@BinaryFragger Exactly. And if you take an average person and do the math it's even more ridiculous. Let's say the average console owner (not the hardcore gamer or collector) buys around 10 - 15 games a year, at an average price of $45, then You're literally throwing away hundreds of dollars/euros on games if they're going to be digital-only from now on. In my case, the total amount could go up to a thousand... (depending on how many good games there are available in a year and how many I can afford to buy)
Might as well stop collecting and start renting then...
I think the there should be new laws regarding downloaded software.
This is what I think the law should be:
If the software is not focused on internet connectivity (i.e. MMOG) then the publisher may not delete it from those users systems/devices who have paid for it, even if they go bust. However, they can remove it from the download store but not from users devices.
As @Pahvi stated, even if a person buy physical copies of games these days they're actually "half digital" as there will be many patches and DLC attached to them after the release. The fact that you may not be able to get the full experience of a game you own some years after it's release is a major bummer. But my greatest concern is about day one bug patches. They're becoming increasingly common nowadays. So, even if you get a physical copy of a game today you may end with a nearly unplayable bug ridden version of it as your only option tomorrow.
@fredtoy As long as the DLC is offline/single player game content and the patches are downloaded to your hard drive you can use them perfectly fine. And as soon as any company is starting to implement the draconian practices of disowning people's purchases or making games unplayable when online, just unplug your console from the internet and enjoy a whole world of idiot-free offline gaming. Just like in the good old days...
@TheRealThanos It's my only physical WII U game. My comment was in response to another poster's about lending. I was just saying that physical games have their own fragility--namely they can be lost, stolen, or destroyed. But yeah, I suppose if that happens you can just buy another physical copy, whereas if you lose a digital copy that is no longer supported and can't redownload it you are out of luck.
@maths Ah, okay. And I agree with you on lending: as you could see from my own experience of lending out a game and never seeing it again.
And pardon me for speaking before my turn was up...
I was just curious to know...
Another thing- the Wii U doesn't let you play a game (physical or digital) if you delete its update data. What if the Wii U servers shut down and something happens to your update data- will you have to factory reset the device? Will that even fix it? Thankfully the updates aren't mandatory as long as you don't use Wifi.
Games these days are becoming more like long term rentals. I don't even connect my systems to the internet anymore due to the potential abuse of DRM.
I regularly play retro games and don't want any of my discs or even downloads ending up unplayable in the future. It's too bad because the quality of Nintendo software is still high (even with the constant patches and bug fixes).
I think this will be my last generation of game systems.
I've been asking these questions for the last six years and people have teased me for it. First started thinking about it after a cross country move in 2009 where I went without internet for a couple months. Noticed all my XBLA games revert to trials, only to return after re-connecting to the internet (keep in mind this was back before games reverted to trials immediately without an internet connection).
Digital games will never be more than extended rentals, and should be priced as such.
I'm physical only. I don't feel like a HAVE the game unless its on the shelf.
Retail is the best. I like to physically hold my games and hear their satisfying click or noise when I insert it into my console. You can also take your games to a friend's house and play with them too. Entering a download code to get virtual money to buy games doesn't feel as fun as hyping up to go to the store and I finally getting the game you want.
I got Wind Waker HD from Club Nintendo, and it doesn't feel like I own the game. The game box art looked so cool.
Thats the EXACT reason I bought the Mario Bros U bundle and not the Wind Waker Bundle. Mario bundle came with the retail copy and Wind Waker a download. I missed out on that sexy black and gold WiiU because retail copies are so important to me.
Interesting article, I like nostalgia and I like to collect games especially the retro stuff but it is difficult to keep all those consoles and games in order not to mention the peripherals that come with them. I became very much a digital consumer when I bought the Wii, the original VC was and still is great, i'm surprised to hear that the games I downloaded could be made redundant. I mainly downloaded games for the PS3 too on PSN but I didn't get the same sense of ownership that I got with the Wii VC, that's why I went with the Wii U instead of a next gen Sony or Xbox. I was hoping that Wii U would be the one stop shop for retro game collecting I was looking for like a Wii and a PS3 all rolled up in one (as the original Wii had it's limitations) but it hasn't quite turned out like that. I think most people just want one console that they can put everything on like a big reliable MP3 player and have some sense of ownership of that collection, that's the dream.
Valid point. You almost persuaded me to only go digital but you are missing one big factor--what if your system goes down, the actual console itself. You lose all your games.
I got Wind Waker with the MK8 promotion they had when I bought my MK8 Wii U bundle. I wish they would have sent a physical copy of the game.
Hi my name's SH007ME, I have a WIIU and 3DSXL and I am a Download addict..lol
@Onion thank you! For clearly stating what needed to be said... On the occasion that I want to play a cartridge game, I clean the contacts first (as I don't want to promote any further degradation of the contacts points - console or cartridge) my first PS1 finally lost the drive on the console, sure I was able to repair it,, but how much longer will said parts company be in business? I say, Play your games, now, isn't that why we bought 'em? BTW, I love all my old consoles, why I still have 'em!
@conway1993 Same reason why I finally got a Wuu with the Mario Kart bundle. Plenty of stuff. I didn't get no digital Wii Remote Plus, no siree! Got a physical copy of that Mario-branded rectangle.
@BLPs What's your drink of choice, anyway?
@TheRealThanos I pretend to keep my games downloaded and patched on the console for future playing. But this situation is fragile. If something happens to the console, for an example, I may not be able to restore the lost data.
@fredtoy True, but in all honesty, that almost never happens. I had 1 red ring of death experience with my first Xbox 360 and after that I never had any additional problems. You can always keep a spare hard drive or make a backup and keep that in a safe place.
In any case, it is a whole lot less fragile than being at the mercy of whatever companies want to do with your games once you go online...
As a longtime PC and console gamer I have actually read a number of EULAs, no matter if you buy a physical copy or digital copy you never truly own a piece of intellecual property. You are always paying for a license to use said media, again physical or digital, that license may be revoked for any number of reasons at which time continued use of the product is subject to legal ramifications. While it is rare for someones license to be revoked it has always been a possibility, in fact even your console is licensed to you and you agreed to the license terms on initial startup. A large ammount of the paper enclosures that come with a console deal with your license to use it within the terms of that license. The entire physical vs. digital argument is really a moot point. You may own the physical cd/dvd/cartridge/tape/etc. but we have never owned the works of the mind that are stored upon them.
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