Super Smash Bros. Ultimate creator Masahiro Sakurai has tackled a hot topic in his latest YouTube upload - discussing the pros and cons of digital and physical game collections.
Sakurai admits he's "team digital all the way" and doesn't really consider himself to be a collector. Rather than focusing on the game's packaging, he prefers to hold onto the "experience" he has when playing these games. He also mentions how he no longer really has the space for a large physical game library and opts to keep things compact with folders and other storage solutions.
Here are the apparent 'pros' of each, according to Sakurai's latest video:
Physical - Pros
- Can keep it forever
- Less data to install
- You don't need a point card/credit card to buy
Digital - Pros
- Instant purchase
- Always in stock
- No need to go to the store
- It doesn't require shelf space
Tell us - what team are you on nowadays? Vote in our poll and leave a comment below.
Having a PC made me much more accustomed to being digital only on my consoles too. Obviously, I see the downsides to it too, but ultimately I like the convenience.
For the people who claim that physical media is superior, nope, it's not perfect:
For personal use, physical games still have a lot of advantages over digital games, but they aren't a godsend, and neither physical or digital media are good for videogame preservation, the only option is piracy.
I’m both. If it’s a game I really want, I get it physical, or sometimes just for the heck of it, but I get a good amount of them digitally, because of sales and some special editions that they don’t make physical, in my opinion there both great option, just depends on what the person prefers, minds doesn’t mind, etc.
Physical, as a family of four, it's just easier for us, when it comes to playing Switch games.
i'm entirely digital, on both my Switch and my Series X. i like having everything tied to my account, all in one place. i like browsing the digital store fronts and not having to go to the store or worry about stock, etc.
but the biggest reason? i'm an idiot, and trade/sell physical games when i'm done with them or need extra cash. so if i buy them digitally, i literally can't get rid of them. so my collection, altho it's digital, is persistent, and does not get smaller due to my impulsiveness or brokeness.
I like both — it’s great not having to handle cartridges and switch them out for different games. but physical takes less storage on my SD, has a sense of permanent ownership, and I can lend it to other people to play or sell it if I don’t want it anymore.
You're Dead To Me Sakurai!
“Always in stock” laughs in Mario 3D All-Stars
I like both. I usually play digital and collect physical. Its nice to have physical as a backup for the day Nintendo shuts down the switch shop. Sadly most games these days are so buggy you need digital downloads just to make them work.
If “less data to install” is a significant Pro than “no need to change cartridges” and “instant switch to a different game” are too.
I prefer physical unless it’s cheaper digitally
While I love physical, another pro of digital is not having to switch out cartridges/discs.
Depends on system and game. For cartridge based systems I’ll always go physical. Eventually with stuff like the switch I hope to do what I did with my GBA collection, rip a copy of the game from my cart to have a backup and load everything to an SD card on my everdrive and be able to play them all without swapping carts.
I like buying physical because it looks cool on a shelf, but it seriously does not matter. Spend your money how you want to. I’ve come to grips with the fact that physical media will eventually die, so acting like digital is the spawn of Satan is just petty. There are other, more important things to worry about.
For games I'm really expecting to be great, or ones with big file sizes, I go physical. Otherwise, digital's fine.
No. The software must be also available for download after purchase because you also bought a license. Nya. Even if i paid extra for this service.
@Lony85 it is, unless it’s multiplayer games like Mario Kart, since each digital purchase can be played at the same time by 2 accounts, while you’d need one cartridge for each Switch.
I’m kinda indifferent. Each is good in their own right.
Physical whenever I can. Makes it easier for the kids to share. Also, I can sell the game when I am done.
Personally I’m more of a physical guy but I can understand the point of digital games. (I really want rhythm thief physically but the prices for the English version online are flat out ridiculous so I’m stuck buying it digitally)
You ever try to resell a digital game?
Physical games rules !
Let's get physical, physical. 🤟
Smart man. Nobody needs all that plastic.
I'm physical all the way because I prefer to own the games I purchase and will be able to play them anytime without a problem when the digital stores shut down (PS3 & PS Vita/Wii U/3DS). Plus, I love looking at my big ol collection of physical games on my shelf 🥰.
I understand the convenience of digital, and I'm not against it because I have subscriptions to Game Pass & PS Plus Premium. I know digital is the future, but I'm not looking forward to it being the only option along with streaming. It's sad to think that the next generation of consoles will probably be all digital 😕.
I almost entirely buy digital. I basically only buy physical when it's substantially cheaper.
I was a physical holdout for a long time, but at some point I gave into the convenience and space saving benefits of going digital. I’ll still pick up physical copies of games I really want, but I’d say 95% of my purchases are digital these days.
I don't like my games disappearing so physical. I have a near perfect condition Vita, and when I got it I was very excited to play Duke Nukem: Megaton Edition on it. I didn't realu,e that the game had been pulled by Gearbox when they released the World Tour edition. I also despise that the promise of an all-digital future was full of publishers swearing up and down that it would mean more affordable games. No shipping, shelf space, plastic, warehouse etc costs and the cost of games just went up.
I'm a sucker for special editions and steel book pre-orders. I do enjoy owning the physical cartridge, and not having to take up a chunk of gigs. Buuuut....
The convenience of loading it up without having to swap out cartridges, especially when playing away from home, is a HUGE benefit.
I got Splatoon 3 digitally, because I knew it would be the type of game I'd load up for a quick round here and there. I sort of regret not getting MK8/Smash/BotW digital.
Then there's games like Metroid Dread and Fire Emblem Three Houses. I'll play them obsessively, and even do post game content, then put it away until I get the random itch to revisit it down the road. Those games are perfect for physical.
I prefer digital, but physical for me is something I do for singleplayer experiences, so when I'm done, I don't have to put the cart back in. If I buy a digital game, it's something meant for me to just open for a little while and play to pass the time. Not even for progression's sake, I'm just exploring a Minecraft world in Creative, I'm just doing repeated Endurance runs in Puyo Puyo Tetris for the heck of it.
I've noticed that for certain games I got physically like Splatoon and Pokemon, the cart stays inside, that's just its home now for the next 500+ hours. Unless I decide to switch it out, of course.
I wonder if i’ll be able to play my digital Switch games on Switch 2?
The Switch is a mobile device, and I dont care to bring 58 cartridges on my trips, thats why my whole collection is on one 512GB SD Card.
I'm mostly physical. I play Switch mostly on the TV and it already makes me stand up and go to the dock to turn off the system (not put it on Sleep Mode) because it lacks a "turn off command" or button on the Joy-Cons, so I might as well stand up to swap cartriges.
I don't mind getting games digitally if that's the only option, though. Not wasting my time with those limted run companies and their releases than aren't available in Mexico unless I buy directly from them or through third-parties.
What will be even sadder will be when they move to game pass only and act all ¯(ツ)/¯ when a game becomes permanently inaccessible when it’s removed due to rights, contract or other arbitrary issues.
Really, REALLY have to talk about the cons on both; especially digital. I'm on the digital side. But, we've already run into issues with digital. It's a limited use license and there's nothing in the license that requires the company to allow you access it to the game files in putridity. We've just seen Nintendo close down a digital storefront. Also, there's the question of licenses that can be revoked. I bought my daughter Season 2 of Dora and Friends on Amazon (not the original show, the follow on show where Dora is older and lives in the city). Some of the episodes are now only viewable on P+ despite the fact that I paid for the full season. There's nothing that Amazon is able to do, except refund my money. Fine. But, my point is, digital isn't necessarily forever.
Digital is also tied to someone's personal account. Can't exactly pass that on to your kids for collection purposes.
I prefer digital for convenience. I have a short attention span and change games often, I am not carrying the game carts around everywhere with me and constantly swapping them out. I don't place any value on collecting games, so whatever cases I do have just get fired in a box in the closet.
For switch: first party > physical. Indies and most else > digital. I actually prefer my steam deck though. Massive library right there no swapping media & free upgrades when I buy a new gpu or deck.
Today's market has made supporting physical much more difficult. Availability is a concern, and a physical cart or disc doesn't mean the game won't need an online connection for patches and what not. As much as I want physical to never go away, digital is so much more convenient. Just means I'll never be much of a retro collector.
Of course, digital has major issues, like games possibly being broken or gone forever when online stores close up shop, games are removed for one reason or another or servers shut down. There's also the fact that digital games should absolutely never cost as much as a brand new physical game since there's no manufacturing, store presence or stock to consider, and yet brand new digital games still retail at the same price, which makes it hard to support digital games that aren't indie.
But the convenience of digital can't be beat. I find myself being less interested in going through the labor of switching carts to play games on Switch. If digital games were more reliable and were guaranteed to stay available forever (or could be backed up in such a way) they would be the superior option by far.
I like to buy physical games because then I can sell them if I don't like them. If there is a digital game I would like to get that is on sale I will still get it though. Physical games are also always about $10 cheaper too.
I lean physical for two reasons:
1. I can resell and cut my losses if I don't like a game.
2. I can share carts with my spouse who also owns a Switch. Great for games with a lot of single player content like Fire Emblem or Final Fantasy.
Aside from some 3ds games I bought when I was a kid (Pokemon, Yo-kai Watch, Bravely Default, etc.), I'm mainly digital. It's just much handier for me to just switch through a home screen than to keep a bunch of cases with me when I want to play something else. I only own 2 switch games physically, Xenoblade 3 (bought the special edition) and Persona 5 Royal (it was on sale at GameStop for like $30).
I went digital this generation. And it works fine. I don’t know how good it will work when switch's eshop shut down, but this day is not yet. So I can enjoy it.
On my ps4 I’m also digital. And physical doesn’t make sense there. If I had physical games for switch, they would be playable as long as the switch is working. A physical ps4 game (or at least a lot of the triple a games) are only playable as long as the ps4 servers are online. Some games on the disk need a day 1 patch to be playable and those games are physical useless when the server shuts down. (And I don’t see the benefit of physical ps4 games because they get installed on tje hdd like digital ones)
He forgot the biggest Pro to digital: You don't need to get up and fumble around looking for a cartridge/CD every time you want to play a different game. As a PC Gamer I got spoiled on that decades ago.
Years ago when I got a PS4 I learned real fast that I hated having to get up every time to change the disc when I wanted to switch games. On PC I could just click on the icon for whatever game I wanted and away I went. I made the switch to digital for console then and I never looked back.
Went fully digital a while back for the tidiness. Just hate having unnecessary junk collected.
Mainly digital for me. I don't really agree with one of the pros of physical and don't personally care either way about most of the others (I'm not a collector and I have to pay Nintendo for NSO anyways).
As for keeping games forever I've one way or another lost all my pre-Wii games (lost, stolen, broken, damaged by water, etc). From the Wii era, most but not all my physical games still work and the wii eshop still lets me redownload games I've bought. So after 15 years or so, eshop is winning so far. We don't know how long the re-downloading ability of the Switch eshop will last, but the precedent is 10+ years after the successor comes out and if (please please) the next console is back-compatible with Switch that could be for a very long time indeed. I'm willing to take the very minor risk it will shut down while I still want to play those games in exchange for convenience, higher reliability against games being lost or broken, eshop exclusives, sometimes better sales, etc.
The only true disadvantage of digital is storage, but given 'physical' games so often now have digital DLC and patches, physical has similar if lesser disadvantages.
Also, I like to swap games without getting up and dislodging my cat from my lap.
Physical games are just more stuff. I want less stuff.
Being a collector and like to display them alongside my Switch, I’m mostly physical. I do intend to buy digital sometimes but prefer small games over AAA titles since we have very slow internet connection and sometimes it takes days to download a game.
Hmmm, dozens of games just a click away wherever I happen to be, or a separate case I have to lug around, plus constantly getting out of my couch/bed to swap what I'm playing while the cases take up space and collect dust. idk that's a tough one I guess. I liked collecting physical things in my teens but I'm all about minimalism now. No girl needs to come over and see my stack of Pokemon games, although I'm grateful a friend let me borrow Scarlet so I didn't have to waste a penny on that travesty, so I'm happy to let my friends keep buying physical.
90% digital for me… unless it’s the Switch. I just love how the Switch cases look on my bookcase and it just feels nice to have. Nintendo just always feels a little bit better physical, I think. That said, most of my Switch games are digital, but I’ve got between 50-100 physical boxes with cartidges.
Physical media 4 life.
I like owning the stuff I buy — call me crazy
@victordamazio Being "superior" and "not perfect" are not exclusive statements, though. Option A can be better than option B despite the flaws.
Also, the arcade cabinet argument seems to support the physical side.
I used to be hardcore physical only, but after seeing how much clutter I built up, going digital was the best fracking thing I've ever done. It's amazing knowing that my entire collection is backed up on a 2" external drive. I don't have to keep dust off of tons of cartridges anymore and I don't have to upkeep old consoles that require either a CRTV or expensive adapter to work on modern TVs.
I love the control I have over each thing I purchase, largely thanks to GOG and Smart Steam Emu. I'm not tied to anything other than electricity and a computer. Best decision of my life.
Like it or not, digital is the future.
Though the convenience of not having to carry physical copies is nice, especially for a handheld device.
I do believe digital copies should be cheaper than physical copies.
I much prefer digital purchases for not having to locate my physical games. And I was counting my blessings when my 3DS and my Switch were stolen at the same time. I only lost my Mario Kart physical copy, and was able to re-download all the rest of my games when I got replacement consoles. And for the Switch, I was able to keep my save data, too.
And while we're on this subject, thank GOD for Anbernic devices. The RG351V with Amber Elec's custom firmware is so amazing!
Right as eshops are going down, no less.
Regarding swapping out game cards, I'd love it if the next console allows you to insert 3 or 5 games like those 5 disc stereo systems back in the 90s.
A physical game is an investment that you can also play. A digital game is pure consumption. That's why I could never bring myself to pay full price for a digital copy of a game.
Another benefit of physical games :
Eh. I just wanna play games.
Will add more to Pro/Cons benefits.
Physical - Pros
Can keep it forever
Unless you break or loose it
Less data to install
Has Value long term
You don't need a point card/credit card to buy
Resale Value and or Gifted
Prices rise and fall on consumer demands not Artifical prices
example: ForNite code in box... Pure Scam
Digital - Pros
But no return if you don't like... Sales are Final
Always in stock
Not if Deveoper pulls from eShop and they can raise or lower price
No need to go to the store
Then you don't need eShop store either??
It doesn't require shelf space
Hardware requires shelf space-misleading
Your a eternal Renter own nothing
Also one should get a NSO for cloud backup as well this is something missed in this article as well.
Not sure then a old YT video about Physical vs Digital to watch again.
Digital Distribution Vs Physical Media and True Ownership
Just wait till "digital" also means "streamed." Which can be cut out and placed exclusively on a new platform each time. You are essentially at a mercy of if or when a company decides your purchase has reached it's limit.
Digital itself isn't the fundamental flaw,. It's the general control of the purchase, the right to access and play, being moved from your hands to theirs, slowly. Basically it's like renting games from your neighbor's house and he eventually decides to move.
Sure, some physical media costs a fortune, but it is still available. There is games I won't be able to play because the digital environment changed so great over even the last decade that I can no longer re-download games.
As with all transitional periods within an industry it will have negatives and positves until copyright laws are properly updated for the digital age.
Something else people need to understand is that because internet speeds are not consistent across the world and games are going to be hitting the Terabyte file size within this decade, there is possibly going to be another swing back towards a form of solid state physical game storage at some point. Now this still may not be the traditional style of physical games we have today, it could be that you purchase a game online and the company mails you a high capacity cartridge that is signed to your console so it cannot be re-sold but you would also have access to it digitally.
@SwitchForce Digital sales are final? Have you seen GOG's amazing 30 day money back policy if you don't like the game? Steam's is also decent; 2 weeks of ownership or 2 hours of gameplay, whatever happens first. But still, there's never an issue getting your money back from those platforms. Switch and Sony, however...that's an uphill battle.
Since all my games are either purchased through GOG or Steam, I have complete control over backing up my collection. I'm not tied to a digital storefront as long as I am diligent with my back ups. Just another pro against Nintendo's and Sony's poor digital storefronts.
It's hard for me to answer this question, in principal I prefer physical media but in practice I'm almost entirely digital. This isn't just a gaming thing for me, I feel the same way about music, film, and books. And it's not just about the media itself, I think the sense of community that develops around game, record, and book shops is important, but digital media is just so much more convenient, especially if you move around a lot and aren't really settled in one place. Like, I've got well over a hundred games on my Switch, only about 8 or 9 of them are physical, I've also got thousands of ebooks on an external harddrive and thousands of albums in MP3 or FLAC format. I'd love to have the space and stability to dedicate whole rooms to physical game, book, and music libraries, but the reality is that I live in a small apartment and I move every couple of years, in many cases moving to a different country. It's just too difficult to bring it all with me and too costly to store it all back home, as such I've already sold my physical record collection and all the physical books that I could find digital backups of. I think of games the same way, I grew up with bookshelves full of NES and SNES cartridges, VHS tapes, CDs, LPs, audio cassettes, and books, and I still think there's value in the actual tangible, physical objects, but it's hard to deny the benefits of the digital era.
My only problem with digital media is developers can choose to not only de-list their games, which in some cases is understandable with licenses expiring, but completely removing them from the storefronts to redownload even if you've purchased them. Nintendo quietly removing Tropical Freeze from the Wii U eShop overnight is just unforgivable.
Both actually; I have certain games digital - like Splatoon 2 or Crash Team Racing - that are easier to jump into because you can just do a round or two splatting or racing without having to switch the cartridge. Whereas with long games like Trails from Zero, I prefer to have it physical because I know I want to play it on multiple systems.. without having to go online. And yes, I have more than one switch haha. One of which is offline only.
I mostly buy physical but I also buy digital out of convenience or if it's cheaper. Both have pros and cons. I still prefer buying physical media for things that I know I'll be keeping long term.
Getting a PC and Series S made me realize how much I love-hate digital purchases. On one hand, you get convenient gaming where you don't have to insert a disc and you can get into a game much quicker.
On the other hand, if you have ass or mediocre wi-fi, or you live with a lot of people, it'll take forever to download bigger games. Microsoft Flight Simulator took HOURS for me to download and all I wanted to do was to feel like my piloting license wasn't taken.
I vastly prefer physical. If it's an option, I'll go for it 99% of the time. I don't see a point in spending a lot on a digital game when the storefront could get shut down at any time (like we're seeing now with the Wii U and 3DS). And yes, I do like to play old games, so the whole "You won't be playing them 10 years from now" counter-argument doesn't apply to me.
Steam is the one exception where I'll buy digital since, well... it's the only option. That being said, I don't really pay more than $25 for a digital Steam game unless it's something I REALLY want to play.
These days I almost always go digital, partly as I mainly play on PC and have no choice but mainly because physical is nowhere near as attractive as it used to be.
I love physical for older systems with manuals which are a big part of the experience and the ability to just put a disc or cartridge in and play the game without worrying if it's installed and how often are you actually playing the game that is on that physical media these days? On PS5 for example Ratchet and Clank doesn't even have a 60fps mode on disc, whilst HFW is a blurry mess and the less said about what's on Cyberpunks disc the better. For Xbox you probably dont even have the game on disc at all at times due to smart delivery, this is less of an issue on Switch but still very much there.
So overall I see modern physical games as an inconvenient way of accessing what is essentially a digital library anyway and it always makes me feel sad when opening the box to see no manual
I prefer physical. I enjoy displaying games in my collection and being able to exchange games with my brother. Plus, I'd like to have kids eventually and physical is more convenient for swapping between multiple systems in the same household. I'll buy games digitally if there is a major price drop like Capcom and Ubisoft tend to do.
I am buying both pyhsical and digital games. The biggest pro of going digital that isn't listed in this article is not having to swap cartridges to play your games. It may seem like a minor convenience but it's actually a big one for me. That's why I tend to buy games digitally that I intend to play over a long period of time e. g. games like Monster Hunter Rise.
Btw: I have lost a couple of physical copies of games but I never have lost access to my digital copies
I have been leaning digital more and more because I like getting those sweet discounts. Even if it was not for the discounts, I have found that I enjoy having access to all of my games at once without having to carry around all the cartridges.
I think this transition is easier for me because I have never been much of a collector though I do enjoy being able to let a friend borrow my games.
I'm kind of in between, and it depends on the platform. It's why I prefer PC gaming, and specifically DRM-free games whenever possible. In that case, I do own the game without physical media. I do like the way Steam has operated up to this point, though, so I do use them when GOG doesn't have something.
On the flip side, when it comes to moves and shows, I don't use streaming services or digital purchases. I have stuck with DVD and blu ray because I've already run into too many issues with distribution and I'd rather have the discs. But physical has downsides too, like when something is only available in limited numbers or for a limited time. Last summer, I was planning to buy an old Japanese show, and it sold out and went out of print right as I was about to buy it, and it was only available for maybe four weeks. I think the license was abruptly pulled. Can't win them all, but that's where I prefer physical, but for games, it's digital for me on PC.
@SonOfDracula Here we go again...simple minded mindset that doesn't see the bigger picture. And whom own your account - not you they own it. So not sure the rant about control when someone controls your account and payment information. That's what you call your control then count me out. And those Steam are tied to your account no one else. Guess we found a weak spot on someone here.
he mentioned having +6000 ebooks and says to imagine storing those physically, that says it all right there to its convenience. and must be incredibly important for a busy bee like sakurai.
a major downside to digital for me is how expensive and fast storage gets filled, and thats the last thing a celebrity has to worry about
@MajinSoul Btw: I have lost a couple of physical copies of games but I never have lost access to my digital copies
Same goes for Physical you don't loose access to the game either-so not sure how that makes a difference other then buying the game again as such. And they do drop in price for used games or games people don't buy. They don't stay MSRP except Digital can stay MSRP as they can keep charging for MSRP not what supply and demand charges for the price. All Digital games require alot of Storage Space that's the elephant in the room Egames don't tell you if you get lots of egames.
I buy digital most of the time just for the convenience. But physical should be supported and NOT phased out.
All video games are digital. The opposite of digital is analog, not physical. The physical cartridge contains a digital version of the game.
The opposite for a physical purchase is a download purchase. (Since if you purchase the physical version of a game you don't download it)
For example if you buy "Monopoly" you have 3 options:
1. the board game (analog & physical),
2. the switch game as download (digital & download)
3. the switch game on a cartridge (digital & physical).
And whichever I prefer? It kind of depends on the game. The games I play the most are always a download. But the more rare games are physical cartridges. Or whenever I can get a limited edition of a game.
For me it depends on the games. I'm physical for the most part, but I do a lot of digital too.
I voted for digital. My collection is about 60% digital and growing. Though I can’t resist first party Nintendo games with there beautiful inside art.
For Nintendo, i prefer physical (They hardly ever do big sales, especially on the major titles), you forgot "Can be sold on if you're done with a game" as a pro for physical games.
For PC, digital isn't a problem, but there they heavily discount even major releases fairly frequently, and not being able to sell on a game i got for €5 or €10 isn't as big a deal as being stuck with a €60 game...
I haven't bought a single game physically on Switch, and I've bought dozens of games. Team digital all the way!
“but the biggest reason? i'm an idiot, and trade/sell physical games when i'm done with them or need extra cash. so if i buy them digitally, i literally can't get rid of them. so my collection, altho it's digital, is persistent, and does not get smaller due to my impulsiveness or brokeness.”
This. No-one ever mentions this argument for digital over physical, and couldn’t have put it better myself. I’ve sold so many physical Nintendo stuff and regretted it, sometimes not till years later. Now all my games on switch (bar one single physical copy) are digital, and I’m glad because I would have sold every one for one reason or another.
Bit of both, I'm not here for "Collectors" artificially inflating the used game market.
£100+ for devils third, nah mate. I'll pay £29.99 on the eshop, and have the same crappy experience. Wish fragile dreams had a digital version
Nowadays most physical editions don't even come with a manual. So I really don't see the point in hoarding bits of plastic.
My KOF XV collectors edition is awesome though.
To put it bluntly, I prefer physical because I have some semblence of equity. I'm happy for Sakurai that he's in a postion to not be bothered (and let's face it, he is in the industry lol) but you have zero equity buying something digitally (and subscribing to it is nauseating) and as a result should be much much cheaper than it is. At the mo, it's just free money for them and I think everyone buying into it is being foolish.
@sanderev digital is short for digital download
A point no one (I think) has made - digital foundry found that games ran marginally better from system memory or a micro DS card than they did from the game cards. Also convenience. But I would go physical if I could install the game and not need to swap out game cards… alas, that isnt an option.
For me it is simple, in Australia console games are almost always cheaper physically (day 1 or on sale) so there is not enough incentive for me to go full digital like PC games.
digital sure has its pros,no swapping of cards, cant break. but it comes with a lot of cons, too. for one, digital games are usually MUCH more expensive than physical copies, especially nintendo 1st party titles. lack of resell value, i dont generally sell my games but I bought witcher3 digital when it was on sale and got bored after a dozen hours or so, cant sell it now. even tho a physical collection takes up a lot of space it sure looks good imo. digital storage is also an extra investment.
Not a single serious gamer I know would ever prefer digital games! You can’t share them, and what happens when they close down the servers like with 3DS and Wii?! You lose all the games. Cartridges last longer than discs! I have games since gameboy,n64- and I never had a single cartridge that would stop working. I there will be a gen of consoles that’s digital only, it’s over for collectors as well! Digital has bad influence on the industry- they got too used to making patches all the time and usually companies release unfinished products! Before, it had to be tested super well, and rarely there would be a game that got released and had serious issues liked games today! So physical release has to have a more polished form!
When you have children and multiple Switches, digital gaming is a nightmare.
Everything I have is digital
All making my life so simple.
Music in the car all on one tiny usb stick, how far we have come and what a great age to live in.
@Znake Serious question: do you “lose all the games” the minute the eshop closes though? If you have them downloaded, can’t you just continue to play them for as long as the console continues working? Do you really mean you just can’t re download them if for some reason you deleted the game to save space etc?
I managed to buy a PS5 with a bundled digital copy of God Of War 2.
It took 87 hours to download on my basic Broadband.
Other than convivence in terms of moving off your butt or storage space, I see no personal advantages to digital. In every meaningful way for me personally, physical has every advantage that actually matters, with one of the most important being I actually own it, I can do what I want with it, and it's mine until the day I die or decide to give it to someone else or sell it or trade it in or whatever. There's an actual tangible value and feeling that physical brings too, literally, which is simply missing from digital. For me, there is nothing magical or special about digital, and I generally end up with a bunch of digital games just collecting non-literal dust, but physical actually gives me joy when I pick it up and touch the box and flick through the manual and see high-quality printed images, and so on. And, recently, as I've gotten older and seen everything start to become digital and the endlessly piling up computer bits stored in some hard drive or the ever-growing selection of games and movies and books on these online services and my digital library, which has gotten to a point of there actually being far too much to wade through, most of it total filler fluff, I've started to appreciate what physical brings to the table even more than ever. Basically, they're not even close imo.
On Nintendo I still do a lot of physical as the games hold their prices and can be sold on.
Physical isn’t the big attraction is used to be. Games are updated so much post-launch that what’s on the disc is only part of the game.
I’m glad we have the options, neither is fundamentally better to my eyes.
Just because disc rot hasn’t affected you doesn’t mean it isn’t a thing for others
Stick!! Digital I'm team Physical, I only download if there isn't an option. When I look at my collection with all the fantastic box's especially my retro kit. Digital doesn't come close!!
On Switch I buy first party games physically and buy everything else digitally. I’ve found this has struck the perfect balance for me personally 😊
Digital, because it's more convenient. Physical for collector's editions of games that I'm particularly interested in
For Metroid Dread I preordered the collector's edition. In the case of Link's Awakening, I traded my (regular) physical for the limited edition after having finished the game. I loved it that much.
I'll definitely be on the lookout for a Tears of the Kingdom collector's edition.
Physical would be more appealing if the cases themselves weren't so standardized these days. Having grown up in the 80s and 90s, games had much bigger packaging, not to mention an actual manual.
@Hayter I understand the convenience of having it all on a SD card. But do you finish 58 games in one trip? I can fit 5 extra cartridges in my Switch case and for me that is more than enough on a trip.
As a child of the 80s/90s I used to love having physical copies of games with their big bulky instruction manuals but now I’m closer to 40 with children of my own, the convenience of having my entire library at my finger tips, cheap digital sales and the space saving aspect has converted me to the digital darkside. I know that physical has the resale prospects but I’ve noticed over the current generation that games really lose their value quickly!
@SwitchForce Seems like you're being a bit pedantic with some of those points. When they mentioned shelf space, it was regarding the games itself and not the hardware to play them on. Also, you can't call the eShop a store in the same sense as a store in real life. Finally, some digital stores have return policies such as Steam and GOG, it's just taking a while for console store fronts to provide the same or similar policies.
@SwitchForce I do lose access to a physical game if I have lost the physical copy of it so not sure what point you are trying to make. You cannot play a physical copy if you don't have the cartridge/disc anymore. People tend to freak out over "not owning" digital games and losing access if digital stores close so that's why I said I never had an issue with that during like 2 decades of digital gaming.
Sales happen to both, digital and physical games. Physical games tend to actually go up in price over time(way beyond the initial retail pricing) so again, I fail to see the point you are trying to make.
Sure, you need storage for digital games but so far I have not had an issue with this. You can go very far with a 500 GB micro SD card on Switch since Switch games usually don't take up a lot of space so no, not all games "require a ton of space". SSD/HDD storage for PC/PS/Xbox is pretty cheap aswell at this point. Besides, a good chunk of physical games recieves updates nowadays so you will need storage regardless of going 100% physical.
The most important aspect is ownership. Digital games are rented. The practical answer is a combination, where you get big important games physically and grab indies digitally.
I prefer physical when I want to get a game day one or soon after release and it costs the same or even less than digital to save storage (swapping cartridges/cds is way less annoying than swapping SDs for me), because I want to potentially share games with family and friends and for collection.
I don't mind going digital at all if a game is not available or it costs too much physically and to benefit from better sales in case I don't want to get a game around the time it comes out.
I really hope it continues the way it is because being able to choose between physical and digital is awesome!
For me it depends on the game, if its a short game (30 hours or less) then I'd rather get it physical so I can complete it within a couple of weeks then sell it and get 70% of my money back to put towards my next game.
If it a long game like xenoblade then yeah I will buy it digitally, same with online games that i keep going back to like splatoon 3 and Pokémon, I will buy those digitally as well.
Nintendo also make it more lucrative to go digital for me as I'm from the UK their store has a 2 for £84 voucher on any first/second party games even pre orders.
Good luck re selling those digital games people.
I’m just looking at my large boxes I’ve put together over the last 20/30 years, taking up all that space in my loft. But then I would never call a few thousand pounds worth of stuff an inconvenience.
I hope he marked that video as advertisement because I bet he paid to say that. But I guess he’s rich enough to not care.
It's everyone's own choice but I'm digital about almost everything I can get digitally. And given my console libraries these days, where would I even keep them in physical format?😅 I don't have an AVGN tier basement.
I mean... both formats have their advantages, and my collection reflects that. Although I'm probably 70% digital with my Switch games overall, due to cheap sales and library sharing with a family member. Could we swap cartridges? Sure. It makes a lot more sense to just buy one digital copies and both be able to play at the same time, though.
Also, digital is just much more convenient for a portable console. Most of my home console games are physical, since the devices is close to the library, and I never have to worry about the two being apart. But it's annoying not being able to play a Switch game somewhere because it's sitting on a plastic card in a little box at home.
Also, gold coins. It's not a ton of money back, but it's something.
I prefer digital ideally because you don't need to keep changing disks and can switch between games quickly, but still buy some physical because there's many bargains to be found, especially on non-Nintendo consoles.
In Switzerland, Digital Nintendo Games costs like double the price than physical, cause Nintendo is charging ridiculouse high prices in Swiss Francs (even tough it's more worth than EUR or USD, its usually 25-50% more expensive than in EUR or USD). I know I could change the region, but I don't want to do that either. So I just stick with physical. its collectible and also if I don't like a game i can resell it.
On PC I am 100% digital. On Switch I am only buying physical. Nintendo doesn't ever do good digital sales, so buying physical is always cheaper, but also Nintendo seems to always be the first to pull the plug on digital content, so I don't trust them at all with my digital purchases.
I’m on Team Digital! I went digital back in 2019 and have absolutely no regrets. Getting better Internet in recent years has helped make this possible for me, so it all just came together.
I live in an apartment, so I don’t have the space to keep so many boxes. For me, that space can be better used for other things. Maybe things might be a little different if I had a house, but even then, I don’t know how often I would take the time to look at them. I’m still planning on collecting and owning SOME physical games but it just doesn’t animate me like it does my sister, who is definitely on Team Physical and works at a job where she deals with those sorts of things. It’s fun to look at video game memorabilia but I just don’t think I’m the collector type, and she respects that.
I thought it was a hassle when I constantly inserted the game cards for games I played a lot like Splatoon 2 and Smash Ultimate. I’m not lazy. It just seemed to take away the convenience that should’ve been the key feature of Nintendo Switch. I also get annoyed when my console can’t read a game card I inserted and I have to do it again, which has always been something game cards would do to me since the DS days. Now with my Switch library being mostly digital, I love how I can simply boot up a game immediately. So long as I don’t delete and keep them off, I can keep my digital Switch games. It’s not like NSO, streaming, or cloud gaming in which I don’t own anything. They won’t just disappear from my Switch many years from now. I can still go back and play games on 3DS and Wii U that I had to buy digitally. Besides, physical games can deteriorate, so they don't "last forever."
Everyone has their own tastes and living circumstances but this has been perfect for me and I plan on going all-digital for Nintendo’s next console. Convenience FTW!
Well no one is perfect
digital games would work better if not for
1) backups being locked behind a paywall
2) certain games not allowing back up saves stares at gamefreak
at this point if something goes wrong with my switch, which will likely happen given the current state of my new2dsxl, theres a good chance of it bricking and potentially losing my pokemon saves.
in contrast, my physical 3ds game saves are still safe on their carts despite my not having a functioning 3/2ds currently.
though theres also a chance that i lost my digital games and their saves even if i get my new2dsxl's screen fix a there could be more problems with it due to the issue with it was caused by external damage via cat and gravity so i don't know the full extent of the damage. getting a new new2dsxl won't fix this problem either especially with getting back access to pokemon bank as that would require hoping customer support would grant me access despite the wii u/3ds eshop closure which is a mess in its own right...
@papahefe Completely agree pal, I’m in the same boat as you.
Years of re-buying the same games over and over, trying to get ‘complete’ versions with disc, manual, box in good condition that meets my standards to only sell them again because I’m an idiot.
Moving to all-digital removed that horrible cycle for me that I was in. I’ve got a digital library of 500+ games on Series X on a 12TB drive and 1TB SD in my Switch which makes my brain so calm and happy. CFW on all my legacy consoles with digital libraries that have closed their stores. We just wouldn’t have the physical space for the amount of games I’ve bought if they were physical.
I had a friend who’s roof leaked and it destroyed his whole physical collection of N64 games… I don’t think I could handle something like that.
I went from collecting games to collecting consoles and it scratches the same itch. I still buy every new Zelda physical though which helps keeps my collecting compulsion in check…
Home Consoles- I’d prefer physical, but I’ll tolerate digital, as I usually have a internet connection when using them.
Portables- I’m only digital when I have no other choice, as I usually won’t have an internet connection then.
@victordamazio I wanted to go over some of your points here, as I am a 100% physical collector and will never buy digital, even if it is the only way to get a game...
Of course a game can be lost or break but digitally a game can be taken from you without a pre notice or so. A lost game can be found or bought again but a digital game if its gone its truly gone.
What is recent when it comes to discs? I know BluRays can last up to 50 years if treated right.
While the aspect of the hardware is true, you can always buy a new console, or used to play your collection of physical games. Now, try to buy a console that needs internet just to play your digital games and you're SOL if the servers are offline... So again physical still wins here.
Space, okay I will agree with you here
And here too, games are going up in value that is also, and sadly true. But once you buy it it is yours and no worries it may disappear in the future... Can you resell a digital game... nope.
Okay arcades have nothing to do with physical as it is a totally different thing... its the game and the hardware in one and of course its expensive... I do not understand how this has to do with the Digital vs. Physical argument.
Okay this last point so many get wrong and falsely use against physical... If you buy a game and it requires no download or patch and is complete on cart or disc then it is no "digital key" or so. It is your 100%. Only on Xbox and PC is this an issue... NSW and PS it is not. You can be 100% offline and play almost everything, minus those games that need a download or so. That is why I always check this before I buy any games... there are sites that check exactly this! does it play is one that makes sure the games do not need a download....
Physical is for me the only way to play and if it goes away I will focus on my back log and won't be buying anymore games. Digital is just you throwing money out the window imo.
I have and always will be physically only. For me, collecting video games comes down to being a long time enthusiast of gaming. Yes the physical games and consoles are just bits of plastic, but I enjoy the different types of cases, cartridges, box art, instruction manuals and special editions because they are all part of this hobby that I love so much. It's the same with the consoles and controllers. Even if I'm not using the older ones I still enjoy owning them. Same with video game magazines or books on gaming or figures or collectables. It's all part of the culture that I love.
It's like some people who love books. Yeah you can read a digital version but some people enjoy the look, feel and smell of books. Same for me but with games. I know some people will get what I'm saying.
Physical is better because you have more rights as a consumer.
No both option in the poll?
If its a game I want right away I get it physical (If there is one, some games don't) and then trade it in towards another game when I'm done, I'm sure that's sacrilege to some but then I'm not one for replaying games, my backlog is big enough as is.
I'm with him on the 'experiencing games rather than collecting them' kinda thing, but if the price is too steep or I'm on the fence it gets added to the eshop Wishlist to be bought on sale, and that happens a whole lot, thus my digital collection is much bigger.
I used to be hard core hating digital. I was big on being able to resell games to recoup some of the expense. But PC went full-digital long before consoles, so I had to be all-digital on PC, so I got used to it.
I partially make up for non-transferability by buying the vast majority of games on sale. On the very rare occasion I buy something close to release, I am more likely to buy a physical copy of it.
I see the appeal of physical but living in South America, means that getting my hands on physical equals +3 times the cost. Also, some quick play games are more comfortable on digital than constantly changing them manually.
I go digital
He can be wrong. He's only human.
Another BIG pro for digital: you don't need to change gamecards to play different games. It's nice to be lazy.
And a BIG pro for physical: you can sell it!!
I much prefer digital gaming myself, the ease of being able to simply jump from game to game whenever I want and having all my games for a system in one place is super convenient for me.
Sakurai-san probably doesn’t have kids with Switches and so probably hasn’t experienced the absurdity of buying the same game 3 times digitally because the family can’t SHARE a copy.
I’ve said here countless times if I’m spending $50-$60 or more for a game, I insist on getting something tangible for my money, an asset I OWN and can keep, lend/gift to friends or family, or sell as I please. However imperfect, having hard copies ultimately gives the consumer more control over their purchase. Physical will always be my first preference.
That said, digital is temptingly convenient and I will buy or double-dip from the eShop when a game’s price is slashed low enough to be a decent value for me.
I prefer the convenience of digital. But in a house with more than one Switch, Nintendo makes sharing digital games too damn difficult! So I buy physical. I also hate how Nintendo treats past games--they abandon so many good games. The virtual console was so cool and the fact they got rid of it is my biggest disappointment with the Switch and another reason I buy physical. If I want to play BOTW or Odyssey or whatever else again in the future, I don't want to have to pay another $60. Microsoft and Sony have much better policies on digital media when you buy or upgrade to a new console--Nintendo needs to follow suit.
People talking about switching cartridges like it’s running a 5km haha. If the game can be bought physical, I will always go that route. But I guess after reading these comments I am lucky to have a dedicated space for my game collection.
Physical for fully priced Nintendo games, but the rest, all digital!
If it's SNES/N64, physical.
Anything else, digital,cause I'm running out of room lol
Not all platforms are made equal when it comes to digital games but PC is definitely the best place with services like steam that have been around for the equivalent of multiple console generations. Xbox is a decent place as well slightly better than PlayStation in my humble opinion due to better track record at supporting old games, Nintendo is the worst place by far to buy digital. They are always the first to shut down online services and support old games max one generation going backwards (GBC/GBA, GBA/DS, DS/3DS, GameCube/Wii, Wii/Wii U… and then since Switch zero backwards compatibility going forward and zero guarantees Switch’s successor will support any of its library but given Switch’s success at selling us cheap ports I’d bet Nintendo will try to screw us all with their next console… and I’ll probably just suck it up all over again 😂. But yeah when it comes to Nintendo games physical all the way. Besides they have fantastic resale value.
i prefer digital unless the deal on physical is significant
Physical. If anything happens to your console, your entire library won't go south with it.
Phew, quite the debate here, of course. I just go with physical for games I want physical and digital for most indies. Sometimes I buy physical just for the heck of it or because I find them at a better price than digital sales offer, but just going with both always seems like the best answer. Why limit yourself to one of the two if both is an option?
I generally prefer to get games digitally as it's almost always the only way I can actually get them, not to mention how it's cheaper for the same reasons. But when I have the opportunity (either due to going or knowing someone who's going overseas, or when the timing is just right on Play-Asia), I prefer to get physical copies for the games I consider special.
I was a big fan of physical games and although I will still purchase FEE and BoTW2, since I got the Steam Deck, I can survive without collecting my games in physical state (because they’re so much more cheap).
I think the poll should include the option that it depends on the game.
I like the principle of 'physical' better - not having the game tied to the console so you can easily switch to another system, share with a friend, etc.
However, for games that we might want to play just spur-of-the-moment with family/friends, like Smash Bros or Mario Kart, it is really nice to have 'digital' to not have to change carts to do so.
And of course for indie games, for which producing physical carts would be too much of a burden, it is great that they can use digital means to distribute their games.
Physical for Nintendo systems, digital for non-Nintendo systems. For most non-Nintendo systems which have digital games, physical versions are a lot less physical (e.g. have to install the full game to the hard drive, disc only contains a physical license key).
Physical is truly great for less data to install on the system and you get the neat box and cartridge, other than that digital is better in almost every other way with how instant you can get it and you don’t have to switch out cartridges
@skyyye Completely agree!
Too many controversial issues with digital. When people BUY a video game, they want to know that they truly OWN the game, and it's their possession, no strings attached or funny business going on. At the very least, this is how I feel.
I'm no hardcore collector, but I nonetheless see the value of physical game copies over digital. All of my physical games throughout the years have long outlived the consoles they play on. All it takes are some very simple precautions to preserve them until the time comes to sell them, which to me is usually some time after I upgrade to the next console.
Unless game companies allow buyers to preserve and use digital game files long after their consoles have bitten the dust (fat chance of that happening), digital games will never beat physical ones when it comes to long-term value.
I have been buying digital games ever since the psp allowed it.
Nope, read up on it, it can be a manufacturing issue. It’s also happened to serious collectors who really look after their games.
I have a mixed bag of old classics in physical form but ever since I picked up my series X (and more recently a Switch OLED) that I’ve been feeding it digital crack and my savings.
Physical for Switch because Switch lacks family sharing. I wish they would catch up to Steam or Apple.
The single biggest Pro of physical games on Switch is missing from your list - you can share it among multiple people. Since everyone in my house has their own Switch, buying digital sometimes means buying three copies of the same game.
Please remove “can keep it forever” from the Pros of physical games. My game cards that were in my stolen Switch case had to be re-purchased. My digital games, did not (redownload game licenses from my Nintendo history). I’ll never buy physical again for soooo many reasons.
@Big_Fudge That still doesn't solve the issue. You can't have an analog download. You could say 'download vs physical', which would technically be correct. But that clashes with most people's idea of a "download" being a pirated copy. So I usually say "download purchase vs physical purchase" instead of "digital".
Why not both? If it's digital only, I get it digitally, if it is available physically (when I want to get it), I get it physically. Will only vote for physical because it makes it easier to return/give away if I don't like the game.
@victordamazio But digital games eventually are no longer able to be redownloaded after a store goes defunct.
I buy physical wherever I can, unless there's a really big price gap between the two versions.
As for the arguments about preservation, I think an important point is that nothing is ever 100% secure. I've lost physical cartridges and had game discs get irreparably scratched. I've also had limited-time downloaded content get erased. Physical media aren't indefinitely guaranteed, but neither are downloads in the very long term.
For me, it's just whichever you prefer and feel more comfortable doing.
@sanderev solve what issue? It's just your personal issue with how language works. The world has chosen to adopt the name "Digital Media" and "Digital Downloads". It doesn't matter if digital isn't the opposite of physical
@Picola-Wicola exactly that’s the issue! There is no way to back up a big library unless you have a ton of cash extra to buy a few more momory cards. So once the server is down, you can never redownload the games you have already bought! Also digital games-you can’t share them with a friend, and can’t sell them if you want to. Way too many disadvantages. Also the price is the same, which is ridiculous. Digital only should be drastically cheaper, at least for the amount that the art box and cartridge cost. But as I mentioned, moving to only digital will further worsen the quality of releases because they can release unfinished games and keep fixing them after release, which would never happen if it was only physical release.
For single player games I prefer physical, but for multiplayer games I have started to prefer digital for the convenience
For Nintendo consoles, I’ll go 100% physical as long as possible. But with the PS5, I’m starting to become more into buying digital, or downloading off PS Plus. If it’s a new game I really want and it’s a major title, like a Final Fantasy title, I’ll buy physical.
99% of the time I purchase digital but for the 1% physical is for the Smash Bros box art.
As PC gamer primarily, I prefer to purchase my games digitally. But that's because they're kept in my Steam library and every time I upgrade my PC I can still take my library over to the new hardware.
Unfortunately with Nintendo, they have a horrible habit of NOT letting you port your titles over to the next console. So many of my favourite Nintendo games are still trapped on useless relics like the Wii U. No Switch versions of Wind Waker HD or Twilight Princess HD. No Gamecube Mario Kart Double Dash or Eternal Darkness on my Switch. Nintendo are their own worst enemy in that respect because it drives fans to emulators.
The Switch is probably the last console I will buy physical media on, and it's been the only console I have bought physical media for since the PS3/360 era came to a close. At the start of the PS4/One era I bought some games on disc but I quickly stopped doing that because it became apparent to me how discs had become little more than a physical form of DRM, as you have to have the console read the disc before you can play the game. Like they no longer saved me any space on my storage, and I still had to download a ton of stuff half the time, so what was the point? If you have your console activated you can always play digital games so long as the console is working, and in my experience the disc drive is always the first thing to fail.
All digital. Its much more convenient.
It's interesting that almost 2/3 prefer physical going by the votes so far.
Those predicting the demise of physical media are a bit premature IMO; the resurgence of buying music on vinyl proves that many people continue to prefer actually holding their purchases in their hands.
Removed - off-topic
Depends on the day tbh. If i preorder games, i get them digital so that i can play them on day one, and not just wait a day or go to the store, which defeats the point of preordering. i also get indies digital for obvious reasons. Other than that tho, i prefer physical.
Everything I actually play on modern hardware is digital.
However I still buy some physical games just for collection. I keep these factory sealed, it's an investment and hobby.
It's similar with my gameboy and gameboy color collection. I buy boxed games, but I don't open the boxes if they are sealed or in good condition. If I play gameboy games then I use a flashcart or I play a digitally purchased version version on the 3DS.
Physical. I can sell it, I can use a disk changer if I want to (who needs to get up with one of these). XD
Digital I see reason in many Indies don't because they can't or are low print run, for stuff in other regions it makes sense to. I like taking up space with things, better than a thunder storm and I can just play it no problem without a care and feel safe playing a game (especially with a handheld no way putting it in the dock or using console while the weather is in that state) and games trying to communicate with servers or whatever the case. I can share it with others I'm not likely with a digital gifting being a thing or not (and likely another purchase at least for Steam games).
Digital is fine but if it goes offline, whatever the license or they take it away no worries for physical or however else to not mess around with digital to back it up then a physical copy whether the different cartridge revisions or not available it's possible to access.
Sure scratches and damages happen, rot or otherwise for disks and cartridges and more but I'd rather have it than them saying 'yeah sorry we won't let you access it' when I can be offline, still have it and go and back it up if I ever want to (not that I do that but still it's an option).
I'd rather think physical for future proofing then go 'ah well what do I do with this now ah it's digital, the license and all this yep got to deal with that and what if I want to gift this to someone as a birthday present'.
Some with internet connections I just played enough through of the content and check what is offline accessible like GT Sport, don't care if it doesn't save my content I'll just play what I can and otherwise if need be look up reworked versions that all proper saving the way it should be if someone does so in the future.
All-digital over here. I appreciate the convenience of having everything compact in one place. I don't resell my games and lending/borrowing with friends or family has become a thing of the past for me. I also sometimes play a lot of games in short play sessions so switching between is much easier digitally- especially since I mostly play cozily in-bed docked.
I just hope Nintendo keeps the digital storefronts open for a super long time this time and carries account data & purchases to every future system going forward now.. similar to Xbox's ecosystem.
... Wun can only hope.
I'm digital only on PC because... well, good luck finding a physical PC game, the few ones are just download codes anyway (or still requires online activation, which defeats the point).
Physical as much possible with consoles since a have the option. I don't pass on digital only games but if it has a physical version i'll try to get that version.
For modern consoles, I lean more digital, it's just more convenient, and I don't think concerns about not being able to redownload games is any more impactful to digital games than physical in a world where 95% of games have day 1 patches, physical games are just digital games that take up physical space instead of digital storage. Plus I also don't care about not being able to redownload games in the future because shutting down the ability to do so is just a green light to pirate whatever you want imo.
One more pro with digital - Better performance. The loading times are much faster on SSD and microSD than they are on the Game Cards. This is especially noticeable with some of the more recent games.
Also people on here forgets he has access to all Digital games for life and most likely don't have to pay for them. That's why he can say he wants more digital as he has access to them anytime. Why do people not see that flawed logic of his. And those talking pirate well when Nintendo does lifetime bans wonder if they will admit they did pirating. Digital cost microsd space longterm until we get more then 2tb whenever that come or can buy one that will be the achilles heel for Digital long term storage. What's important that the saves can be moved to the SD cart-if they are so worried about hacking legit users could care less but report hacker and boot them off and ban them will teach them a long learning curve.
I usually buy both the digital and keep the physical sealed.
Digital always unless two specific circumstances for Nintendo switch only. 1. Cheaper 2. Saves space on micro sd for huge game file sizes DOOM, Witcher 3 etc.
I own them.
I can trade them.
I can sell them.
They're worth a lot once they're old, like my N64 collection, Cube collection, Wii collection etc.
Even rubbish games are worth a lot once they're old.
I can sell my old games for new ones.
That "junk" that us collectors hold onto will finance my new car etc.
My kids get to enjoy my retro games, that were once my current games like my Switch collection is today.
Also, are we that lazy that to get off our backsides and change a cartridge is too much of a hassle?
Reminds me of that Wall E scene of humans rolling around because we've become too lazy to walk.
We all know that, as a Nintendo developer, Sakurai most likely has a modified Switch. Therefore, I would assume he has more storage built-in compared to a normal Switch. So he probably has lots of storage space to download games. Also, does anyone else realize how SMALL the Switch’s storage is? It’s barely got room for all the games I have, plus screenshots.
Personally, I prefer digital. Physical is nice, but it makes potential future backwards compatibility a bit of beeotch. I've basically come to the realization that I'm going to have to repurchase every single physical PS4 and PS5 game I own on PC if I want to be able to play them forever. With Switch, same thing with all the indie games I've bought on Switch. Once my Switch dies in 20 some odd years them those games are gone forever if I don't buy them again on Steam. This is basically why I've stopped buying anything but exclusives for PS5 and Switch, opting for Steam instead.
You didn’t list 2 of the main pros for each. Pro for digital is that you can load game instantly without swapping disks or cartridges. Pro for physical is that you can sell it later
Not sure about the plastic statement, a source would be helpful. But considering that cartridges and CD from the 80s still run fine today. They definitely outlast download media.
Besides half of your comments also reflect digital media. Which makes physical king.
Has nobody actually considered the term digital media incorrect for downloadable contact? I mean games on disc are actually digital. 🤣
Always in stock?, Seriously, need to check that detail, because i want some games that are digital only, but, yeah, online store is dead..., No buy available...
Then, no, always available is not a positive point...
Also, instant buy?, Well, yes, is already a instant buy, but, no a instant play, because need to download and install the big game (and nowadays are GBs of data)...
I prefer physical, but any points also aren't positive nowadays:
"Less data to install", well, before, really was instant play, but now, need download data to play a game, sometimes, looks that is a digital game instead physical when was bought...
"Don't require credit card", well, before, there were many stores where buy those games, nowadays, many games are in stores that are online, and not all accept physical money...
When I bought my first Switch, I have bought it with 8 physical games. It didn’t take a week of cartridge switching before I have rebought all of them in digital store and got rid of the cartridges.
Owning only digital games has its disadvantages when you cannot refund like with Steam. I own maybe 60 games out of which like 10 are good and I play like 5 regularly. It’s not an issue money wise but still... I have learned my lesson and this year I plan to buy only the new Zelda and like 3 AAA titles on PC (Starfield, Diablo 4 and forgot the last one). I tend to play the best games for hundreds/thousands of hours anyway.
Last time I preferred boxes for show off on a shelf was in nineties. I like to keep my house clean of junk these days.
Also nostalgia rarely hits me. Best Nintendo games in past? Mario World and Mario Karts (required true skill) on SNES. On PC I could name Dragon Age Origins. And although I consider these games gems still, I didn’t touch either of them in years… so I don’t really care if the digital store shuts down in 10 years. I will be playing very different games by then.
I've been all digital for over 10 years and have had no problems at all with it.
Except for online only games that have since shut down, I can play every single digital game I've bought. Backwards compatibility for games is now a standard for everyone except Nintendo, so having the game digitally has meant I can keep playing older games on my newer consoles.
And neither of those two problems are solved by keeping games physical.
Also, I use Remote Play with my PS5 a lot. And that just not sustainable with having to swap discs.
I get it, a shelf with games do look nice. But having been around since the days of NES fidgy cartridges and Amiga floppy disks, I just don't see the charm in actually using any form of physical media today.
I would always prefer a physical copy if possible. But also if there's a sale on the Nintendo/Playstation store and I can get it digitally for far cheaper, then I'm not going to pay a lot more just to have the box. I think the main draw for me to physical is that you know you'll always be able to play it. In 20 years from now will I still have access to all the digital games that I do now, even if I still own the console? I doubt it.
And my respect for him has fallen, sorry but Physicals all the way.
For me a physical is actually owning the game, a digital version is just nothingness.
When I buy something and I like to hold that something in my hand.
This is why i still buy CDs and DVDs (true I first stream them to see if it like them first)
I’m kinda half and half 🤷🏻♂️
@Jeaz my shelves are full now so I mostly go digital these days unless there’s a nice special edition or something
Why leave your house and deal with people when you can just get it digitally?
Sakurai is a very practical man; he uses his limited space the best he can, hence the digital copies for convenience and the ring binders for his discs (crime against humanity that one). That said, when we say physical vs digital, what we are really asking is what gives us more protection as consumers. Digital weighs heavily in favour of businesses as there is no expectation on them to enable us to continue accessing the game you paid for. Until this is enshrined in law, I would take my chances with physical every time. Sure, the discs could break, but I have yet to have that issue in the past 25 years. Not to mention, from a collector's viewpoint, physical is nicer to look at, especially with all the beautiful boxarts.
It depends on the game.
'One more pro with digital - Better performance. The loading times are much faster on SSD and microSD than they are on the Game Cards.'
-That's not quite true, at least as far as the Switch is concerned.
The loading speed 'hierarchy' is actually; Internal memory>Game cards>Micro SD
So in most cases physical will be quicker as the Switch's internal memory is pretty small.
I'm on the fence because I've noticed that some of my DS games no longer work and require the exposed contacts to be carefully cleaned, that's not an issue with digital. Also, with my PS4 & PS5 I can play a digital PS4 game on both consoles. If Nintendo allowed me to buy a title on one platform, to then use on another (like Sony does) then I'd be digital all the way. As it stands I mix and match my approach, digital (often too expensive for the physical version) VC games for my 3DS and Wii U, but I prefer to buy physical for more recent games.
I consider myself on "team digital" but I'm not totally opposed to buying physical. In my house, we have 3 different Switches. For a single player game, or a game that has good local multiplayer support, we will buy a physical copy to share amongst the three. For a game that has online multiplayer (Splatoon/the first Overwatch) we purchase multiple copies digitally. If we buy games that only one person is interested in, we buy digitally.
I like both to be honest though I am mostly digital.
My tastes these days are much more skewed towards Indie titles. Some are not available in physical. With some exceptions, I am about a year behind on games.
Any Nintendos (Xeno3 etc) I buy physical as they are very rarely in a firesale. BUT this messes with my minimalism (yeah, whatever mate) so I then sell when completed.
Also, I travel a lot and when I want a day 1 game, it pretty much has to be digital (Hades, Monster Train, Inscryption, Rogue Legacy 2, Cult of the Sheeple, Soup Hero).
BUT...... I do see physical games as a store of economic value, investments and many people will have the SME and time to buy the limited stuff that future generations will crave for. AIM Supply Demand.
Video game interest and the population are only growing so the collector market is a great way to stack chips with those titles that have a relatively smaller print run vs future interest.
Part of me wants to do this too! But, I have picked other things to invest in as I just want to keep this hobby as fun rather than monetising game X and any conflicts that may arise (I cannot unseal and play game X because it's worth Y etc). That's just me.
TLDR - Top Top #43
Staying a little behind in releases, being notified of digital wishlist historical lows using DekuDeals and paying using SwitchUp 10% eshop codes is awesome.
With digital it feels like it can heavily depend on how it is handled.
an issue with how nintendo handled it was that they jumped into digital before they had an account system in place, it wasnt until midway through the wiiu/3ds era they added one and up to that point purchases were linked to the console they were downloaded to and had to be transferred to a new system rather than being available on your account.
in the same way the stores themselves weren't exactly unified, the virtual console for example existed across 3 different platforms with each being a completely separate library (wiiu did offer discounts on games you had on wii but not every game from wii was available)
i am curious to see how nintendo handles this kind of thing with their next system, and whether they include backwards compatibility with digital purchases, my big hope is that if we get a "switch 2" that we will be able to carry over our entire game library both physical and digitally
Everybody typing essays it took me 5 min to get down here.
Results button is working either
It depends on the platform.
On my Switch I’m all digital. It’s just too convenient with a portable platform.
On my PS5 I buy most single player games physical and I buy all of my multiplayer games digital. Mainly due to my playing habit. I tend to focus on one single player game at a time but I also play multiplayer games. So it’s nice to be able to switch between the two easily.
Being from Brazil I'd say I prefer Digital, because physical media is more expensive here, even if it's a modern game.
But there's a catch: You can't sell your digital collection.
That's something I've learned with my pokémon cards. I've always taken care of them I'm making a small fortune by selling them little by little lol. Not something I could do with a digital media.
I know cards and games are different medias, but well, I guess I made my point clear.
That's not the hierarchy largely because the microSD speeds vary. The ones that Nintendo recommends - any SanDisk ones - are faster than the Game Cards.
It's also worth noting that the small storage capacity of the internal SSD does not affect the reading speeds. It's not like HDDs where filling it up does actually slow things down.
I'll do physical only if I'm getting the special edition or it someone gifts it to me. I like switching between games too much and prefer not risk breaking the game slot from overuse. Also I believe in getting my monies worth out of experiencing the game more so than owning some physical thing.
My point was that for digital only gamers, most games will be installed on the slower Micro SD cards by necessity because the internal storage is only 32 GB. Not that the memory will get slower as it fills...
Regarding SD card speeds, I stand corrected. Back in 2017 the game cards were quicker than Micro SD cards but that has changed with the later versions.
I like the convenience of digital but I also do not trust Nintendo, at all. Nintendo’s next console could lack a cartridge slot but still be backwards compatible with digital games only. The biggest issue is that we have no idea what Nintendo will do. My collection is 1/3 digital, 2/3 physical.
The way Steam operates is the de facto, the best. Nintendo will be unable to follow their lead if Nintendo’s future consoles are unique from each other in form and function. Given that, perhaps this argument is pointless. If Nintendo were to make each new generation of hardware unique, as they have historically, then digital vs physical doesn’t matter too much as your games are likely locked to Switch and maybe one generation of successor hardware. If Nintendo where to standardize their hardware and never stray too far from 16:9 aspect ratio, standard d-pad, abxy, r1, r2, L1, L2, motion, ARM processor, then perhaps they could allow customers to carry forward games for decades as Steam does.
And like I said, that cartridge slot may not stick around for too much longer. IDK, there are retailers to consider and the chip crisis to consider as well.
@Znake have you heard of game-sharing? My friend and I have a huge shared library on both Switch and Xbox, and split the cost of most all games, via PayPal. Sorry, digitally is the infinitely better choice.
Digital on the Switch because I don’t want to have to carry games when I travel
I switched to fully digital with the release of the Switch and stuck with it when I got a PS5.
I haven’t had to wait for a game to be delivered or worry about it being sold out for a while now, and I’ve had greater accessibility to games through the sales on the Switch eShop and PlayStation Store.
To each their own, but I appreciate the convenience and reclaimed shelf space.
I’d like to see this poll conducted again in 10 years.
Physical, except if the digital game is insanely cheap.
The main reason to avoid choosing digital media is that it has no "value".
Your digital copy of Zelda BotW is just as valuable as someone else's digital copy illegally downloaded onto a modded console.
I know there are people who just want to download and play, but it bothers me that I'm spending $40 (a Nintendo digital game on sale costs that much) and it's automatically "worth $0" after I pay and download.
For example, anyone who went full digital on the Wii U was simply screwed. Nintendo ported all the games in better versions and they didn't get a chance to resell.
Your pros for physical miss the biggest pros. How the heck do you not list these in your pros list?!
You can’t do this with digital.
Of course he’d say that on his Yt channel. It’s called a sponsored ad lol
I just hope Nintendo knows I’m never buying a digital only console until they can guarantee that I’ll still be able to get my games 20 years from now. Not that I’ll be alive that long but that’s the main flaw in digital and they better find a creative way to prevent that.
Psychical. I'm panicking just knowing that digital only games on the 3DS will be gone in a couple months.
Physical for me. Love having a collection I can look at and it saves me a lot of time with installing the games. That is if the disc has the game on it anyway. For PS4&5 it's nice to get the digital versions through PS+ so I can put my disc version away. On the Switch I mostly play Pokemon so I don't need to swap the cartridge often. Only time I change the cartridge is when I get a new game and when it's finished, Pokemon goes back in.
@ClaytThaGreat definitely isn’t- it’s more convenient I can agree on that. Once you involve the economic side of things and sharing, then how can that be?! You can share your account only with 1 person, can you lend it to someone else, No can’t do! Or can you sell it-also can’t- ownership is locked with your account and the duration of the server- so once you lose the switch or two and the server is gone, you lose all your games. I hope you understand the long term benefits of having physical media. I switched to mostly digital for some time, but all these negatives bring me back to physical again. Also, if you remember offline consoles, all releases were mostly flawless, and as I mentioned before, the biggest downside of eliminating physical media is that companies will get even lazier because they can patch their games anytime and release them in any condition. Before, there were no patches and updates, the game had to be properly tested before release, and the industry was just more disciplined and delivered complete products. Now games are so much about profit that companies push deadlines to make money for holidays, that they ignore what state the game will release in. So your opinion is important and people around you too, because we all impact the global market and shape it. You can disagree with me if what you care most for is comfort and not quality of releases, economic side of things, having life long ownership, etc, because that will all degrade drastically if consumers allow physical media to disappear. We might get them to a point where only a few companies release physical games, and there won’t be enough for all who want it-like Limited Run games and I hope that won’t happen. Even ps4/5 games are becoming a problem, because the disc serves mostly just for the license and without a download you can’t play the game, which I think is terrible. Anyway, have a great weekend!
Removed - flaming/arguing
Removed - flaming/arguing
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