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Is physical media for modern consoles worth it?

Posted: Sun May 30, 2021 7:03 pm
by Raging Justice
The reason I ask this is that, when you buy physical media for most of today's games, there's patches that you have to download, there's inevitable DLC, updates, etc. This leaves me wondering, what are you actually GETTING on that physical media when you end up have to download so many things? If you don't have internet access, what does that physical item really give you? If you're downloading everything anyway, why not just buy the digital version of the game? And with most games on physical media nowadays, you don't even get the luxury of things like instruction manuals anymore.

I feel like with physical games on older systems (PS2 era and everything that came before it), you get a COMPLETE game on your physical media. Plus, a nice instruction manual. With modern consoles, that no longer seems to be the case.

I see people on youtube like Radical Reggie who buy only physical, and while I understand WHY he does it, I feel like gamers like him are kind of getting ripped off as hardly anyone gives you a COMPLETE game on physical media these days

Re: Is physical media for modern consoles worth it?

Posted: Sun May 30, 2021 7:40 pm
by Ziggy587
Hey RJ, great topic and welcome to the forums!

MVG recently put out a video that really turned me off to the Xbox Series X.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9E983349p7Q

Basically, when you buy a game on a physical disc it's really just a key code. If you're console is offline, you can't play your games. Even your physical games. So in the case of the Xbox Series X, I would say there's no point on getting physical games.

At least with the Switch you're always getting the full game on the cartridge, and you can play it offline. Although even Nintendo hopped on the band wagon of releasing patches after a game's release. Although to Nintendo's credit, its usually to add features and not to fix bugs. But yeah, they don't come with manuals.

When I bought DOOM (2016) for PC, I opted for the physical release, but I think it's rather funny. The game was very popular, even a few years after it came out it still wasn't going on sale on Steam. But a physical copy sitting in a retailer's inventory will get a price reduction if it isn't selling. So I bought the physical copy purely because it was cheaper than the digital copy. The funny part is that although I bought a physical copy of the game which came with a disc and everything, I ended up just downloading it from Steam anyway. I basically just bought a key code and never used the disc. First off, it's a DVD so only 8.5 GB max. DOOM is 77 GB installed LOL. What's even on the disc? Even if the disc was a dual layer BD, it still wouldn't be able to fit the entire game. But even if it did fit, or there were multiple discs, it would have been an outdated build of the game so I would have had to download it from Steam anyway. Why they had a "physical" release for the PC is just beyond me. There's no way you could ever play it offline.

Re: Is physical media for modern consoles worth it?

Posted: Sun May 30, 2021 7:47 pm
by marurun
Not so. Even the Switch has many games where all the content isn’t on the cartridge, owing to high cartridge prices for the larger capacities. Someone is maintaining a list of sorts here:

https://forum.blu-ray.com/showthread.php?t=327587

Re: Is physical media for modern consoles worth it?

Posted: Sun May 30, 2021 10:28 pm
by Ziggy587
Well that sucks!

Re: Is physical media for modern consoles worth it?

Posted: Mon May 31, 2021 3:32 am
by Anapan
The prices they're selling used in pawn shops and thrift stores here for current and previous gen they are. $8-15 CAD vs the prices of digital copies still, I can usually get a deal on a handful of them. All the consoles need a connection to play online and all, and DLC is a huge part of so many games, but you can still get a full campaign or whatever for your money without ever going online. All the online premium stuff is just extra frosting on the cake... or crippling bug fixes... whatever.

Re: Is physical media for modern consoles worth it?

Posted: Mon May 31, 2021 6:04 pm
by Raging Justice
I kind of wish games could be released in digital format first. Then, after all the patches, all the updates, all the DLC (including pre order bonuses) have been released and a company knows that it's DONE with that game and moving on, only then would the game get a physical release with ALL of that stuff on it. I know that's a foolish fantasy on my part. Although, we do sort of see this with major releases in the form of Game of the Year editions.

Re: Is physical media for modern consoles worth it?

Posted: Mon May 31, 2021 6:21 pm
by Nemoide
I still feel like it's a level of assurance that my games are ones that I'll safely be able to play for the longest amount of time. (Yes, it's possible for them to be stolen or destroyed in a fire, but I have insurance). Even if they game ends up being primarily downloaded, if my PSN account got hacked and/or banned or something, I'd be glad I at least have those physical games!
I also like importing games and appreciate that I can buy a Southeast-Asia English-language PS4 or Vita game that isn't available in the US and have it play without any issues (although I wouldn't be able to download DLC). Yes, I could technically work around that by creating multiple PSN accounts, but that feels like more trouble than it's worth to me.

It might be more psychological than anything else, but I like having a physical collection of games. It makes my ownership of them feel a lot more real. And if I relied exclusively on digital games I feel like I'd end up forgetting about a lot of games in my backlog.

Re: Is physical media for modern consoles worth it?

Posted: Mon May 31, 2021 10:42 pm
by prfsnl_gmr
Nemoide wrote:I It might be more psychological than anything else, but I like having a physical collection of games.


“All creature will die, and all the things will be broken. That’s the law of the samurai.”

It’s psychological. I like having physical games too, but I recognize that all of my physical games will fail one day. Or, the hardware will fail. Regardless, none of them will last forever, and I’m increasingly drawn to digital releases.

I also don’t like physical games released almost exclusively as collectibles. They’ve really taken all the fun out of collecting games for modern consoles.

Re: Is physical media for modern consoles worth it?

Posted: Tue Jun 01, 2021 6:56 pm
by ZRofel
Nemoide wrote:It might be more psychological than anything else, but I like having a physical collection of games. It makes my ownership of them feel a lot more real. And if I relied exclusively on digital games I feel like I'd end up forgetting about a lot of games in my backlog.


It's not just psychological. You actually do have more rights of ownership of a physical item than you do with a digital item. Legally, you are essentially just leasing digital content. If companies remove the game from the digital store or close down the store itself, you have absolutely no legal recourse. When you buy a physical item, you're covered by something called the First Sale Doctrine that actually does give you legal rights to resell that item, lend it to friends, etc. You don't get that with digital purchases. So you are actually getting something more substantive with a physical purchase.

Re: Is physical media for modern consoles worth it?

Posted: Tue Jun 01, 2021 7:50 pm
by BoneSnapDeez
The slop that is modern releases is something that shouldn't bother me....... but it does. You've got regular ass retail games, digital only games, joint digital/physical releases, digital games that later get physical releases, purposefully limited/collectible games, plus those oddballs that are digital only in North America but physical (sometimes in English) in other regions. It's a mess. It's hard to keep track of this stuff too. I used to rely on database sites like GameFAQs, but places like that now can't keep up with the chaos.