Sunday, August 30, 2015

Digital or Disk?

So I perfected Lego Star Wars and bought my Xbox One.  And I'm loving it.  I'm having a blast in Titanfall and Destiny and recently Gears of War Ultimate Edition (of whatever it is called).  But all this excitement has me thinking.  And that's a scary thing.

I have a shelf full of game cases for all my systems going back to the PlayStation.  I'm running out of room to put new game cases.  I can't image what it will be like a year or two from now.  So I've been thinking about going all digital vs. buying disks.

I probably wouldn't have even considered this a couple of years ago but having the Games with Gold option every month it's nice to get a full game and not clutter up a shelf with a case that will never be used.  Plus I don't have to flip around a big CD case looking for a game disk of what I want to play.  I know the Arcade titles have always been digital but in the past I've preferred to buy a disk when I wanted a retail game.  Now I'm rethinking that.

I don't store my disks in the case they came in.  Instead I put them in to a very big CD folder (which I'm running out of room in between my PS2, PS3, Xbox 360 and Xbox One games).  Those game cases are now just decoration . . . and clutter in my living room.  I guess I could always pull a case out and look through the insert manual for help in playing the game.  But wait, games aren't coming with inserts anymore.  And there's no organization to my shelves at all.

So why not digital?

That's what I've been asking myself for the last couple of months.  When I started to budget for getting an Xbox One and heard the announcement of a 1TB system I knew I had to get that larger hard drive space . . . especially if I wanted to get all digital.  On my 250GB hard drive on my Xbox 360, I've run out of space several times.  All of my Arcade titles are now stored on a thumb drive and I've deleted all the extra stuff for games that I probably won't play for awhile.  I figure I'll just re-download them if/when I play that game again.  File management has been a bitch.

A 1TB hard drive should be big enough, right?  If not I guess I'll have to look in to some external storage for my XBO.  I like not having to flip through a case but instead flip through a couple of titles on my screen.  And there isn't the hassle of having to get up to change disks whenever I want to change games.  I can see the beauty in going all digital.  But it doesn't feel like I "own" anything when I purchase a digital game.

I love to read but I have no interest in going to a digital platform for books.  My tablet is a Nook from Barnes & Noble but I have no interest in reading a book on it.  I prefer the paper and glue method of delivery that I've used for years.  I feel like I "own" those books , , , even if I've only just checked it out of the library.  There is something about holding something in your hand and saying "this is mine" that is very satisfying to me.  That's why I've been buying disk copies of games.

And it always seems to me that I can find cheaper copies of the game if I buy the disk than if I buy a digital copy.  Recently I've been looking for a copy of the game Enslaved: Odyssey to the West for Xbox 360.  I saw that GameStop had a used copy for $3, but in the game store on my Xbox a digital copy was still going for $15.  Now why would I want to spend $15 on a game when I could get the same game for $3 somewhere else?  (In fact I got the game for $1.50 somewhere else so I saved even more money.)  For less than $60 I was able to pick up 5 games only one of which was new (Gears of War Ultimate Edition $40).  For less than $20 I was able to pick up 4 more games that I wouldn't have been able to if I had purchased the digital version of Enslaved.

Until digital pricing goes down on older games I'm not so sure that I want to spend more money than I have to for older games.  That doesn't mean I won't buy digital at all (and I won't stop getting Games with Gold games for free if I like them).  But maybe I only pay full price on new games.  You know, when the digital copy is the same price as a disk copy.

Yeah, I won't have any little inserts or "24 hours free Xbox Live Gold membership" cards in a case.  But I also won't have a case cluttering up the space in my living room.  I'm running out of shelf space as it is.  And with digital some games have the option to pre-purchase and pre-download so you're ready to play the game from minute one on the day it comes out.  I like that.  But whether it is digital space or shelf space I don't see myself stopping to buy video games anytime soon.  New or used.  I only see more video games in my future . . . especially this holiday season.  Lots more games.

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