With the digital-only PS5 coming out, there's been a lot of controversy over whether digital or physical games are better. Here's my take on why I prefer digital games.
- Convenience. I don't have to wait for shipping or go to the store. If I feel like getting a new game at 1 a.m., I can do that easily with digital games. If I'm out of the house and want to play any game I want when I get home, I can access steam or psn via mobile, buy the game, and it will be installed by the time I get back. Total freedom and convenience. I don't even have to get up and switch discs
- Durability. I have had many games get damaged over the years and become unplayable. Though things are a bit different now with cartridges and blu-ray, it just takes one mistake- your dog chews up and eats your Legend of Zelda BOTW cartridge, and then it's gone. That's pretty much an impossibility with digital games.
- Portability. This kind of relates to points 1 and 2, but if I wanted to, I could bring my entire Switch library over to a friend's place and not have to worry about losing anything or even forgetting a game.
- Space. Pretty simple one- I don't have to actually store the games. That's less clutter I have to deal with, less things to dust/organize. Just makes life a little bit easier
- Environmental benefit. I'm a bit of a tree hugger, so if there's a way to reduce waste, I'll do it. No cases or discs for digital games mean they produce less waste. A plus for me.
There are also some arguments I want to address
- But you don't own the game. Fair, but with major platforms such as Steam, Nintendo, and Sony, how realistic is it really that you will lose your license? The companies would have to go under for something like that to happen. And let's face it, if you do enough digging, you can find a replacement online. There's a larger chance of your disc getting ruined than there is losing access to a digital game (note: I am not officially advocating for piracy, just saying it's something you can do)
- Digital games are expensive, and you can't buy used. True that you can't buy used, but the major platforms have sales all the time, and often, the game is cheaper than the used physical version while the sale is going on. It's also easy to get notified if there is a sale going on for a game you want. Steam will email you if something on your wishlist is on sale, for example. And with shipping and everything, I've only gotten a physical game $5 or under once at a garage sale. I can't say the same for digital games
Though I admit going all-digital isn't for everyone. I have a fast internet speed, so at worst, I'd have to wait a few hours for a game to download. I also don't have many friends who game, so the inability to lend is a non-issue for me. I also like keeping games around so I always have the option to replay them. It's not everyone's cup of tea, but going all digital can be a great choice for some.
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