Topic: Would you stop current gen gaming if the current gen was all digital?

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Basically this came up during a conversation a friend and I were having. With consoles like Google's new console and even the Xbox One variation and companies like MS and Sony pushing for game streaming and digital purchases and let's face it devs aren't fans of the used game market, it will probably be only a matter of time till consoles are digital only. I mean some laptops don't have disc drives anymore if you think about.

So if that day comes will you still be a current gen gamer.

My answer, probably not. Yes with the PS4 I did go mostly digitally but there is that rare instance where I did by physical, especially if I wasn't sure if I'd like the game or not. Unless companies let you return digital games or even trade them in somehow I will not buy a digital only console for that reason alone. For one reason I don't like keeping games that I am not going to play anymore and especially if I don't like them. Not only that but I use the trade in credit towards purchases of new games, with digital games you just can't do that.

I won't totally give up gaming though since there will be plenty of older consoles that will still have physical media but if current gen went all digital that would be it for me.

So what about you?

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Yeah i would Stick with my old consoles if this happend as i still have lots of stuff to play

Edited on by Areus



I would eventually move on and get a model console even if it didn’t have a disk drive. I already game on my laptop and phone which are both all digital although if the game is also available on a consoles I would buy it on that in preference the all digital platforms.

I would consider a disk drive less console to be deeply uncool and would therefore try to put off my purchase was long as possible. I would probably pick it up a few years down the line after I was sure it was going to succeed and went there were good games available at a reasonable price. I’m normally in early adopter would pre-order a console if it looked good.

Edited on by Ryall



Unlikely to give up gaming completely, but it would drastically change my purchasing habits. I'd be much more hesitant to get a console, and wait until there's a hefty discount.

As for games, they're bound to be more expensive if shops no longer have discounts on physical copies, so that would make me buy them less often.


If that’s the way it goes, and there are games I want to play, I don’t really mind how I get them to be honest.


PSN: WigSplitter1987


depends if your talking about digital downloads then as much as i prefer physical i would still carry on gaming, now if it went completely streaming then that would be it for future systems but i would still have my old ones to fall back on

so what i'm saying is i would stop gaming on the newer stuff but i wouldn't stop gaming

but i don't think physical would go away for one reason, sales, what store is going to stock a console that they can't make money off, the store makes it's main money from the returning customers who buy games for the console they brought

look at what happened when MS first released Game Pass, many stores stopped stocking XBOX's because they believed they wouldn't make any money off game sales for that system any more and as stores, even online stores like Amazon or Zavvi would eventually say "NO" to selling consoles if they went all digital, unless Sony, MS or whatever company is making consoles allows you to buy digital games off those stores (and yes i know they used to but i know at least MS don't now because they want people to buy off the XBL store or use game pass)

point is it's a symbiotic relationship and too big a change could ruin that

plus if Backwards compatibility is as important to Sony and MS as they are making out they CAN'T go all digital anyway, they could do what MS did and have 2 different SKU's but i doubt they would do a digital only console as their ONLY option

"I pity you. You just don't get it at all...there's not a thing I don't cherish!"

"Now! This is it! Now is the time to choose! Die and be free of pain or live and fight your sorrow! Now is the time to shape your stories! Your fate is in your hands!


To be honest, I don't think I would but its not a day I would be happy with. The lure of new games or missing out on them would be too great for me. To me it makes NO sense to make an ALL digital console and not offer a 4k HDR Bluray drive for example. Its not just cutting out the 'physical' drive for gaming but its also reducing the features and functionality that this offers. I know that some may not watch DVD's, Blurays or even 4k HDR Blurays (which are far superior to streamed - not just in PQ but audio too which are both compressed).

With Backwards Compatibility, it would be a mistake by a console manufacturer to not support the games that were purchased on disc the generation before. I can see people being very angry if those games were supported but for just those that purchased digitally.

I know that Digital is on the increase but considering ALL the extra games, DLC, Micro-transactional content that are 'digital' only, Physical releases still account for nearly half of all the revenue and Physical sales are still the most popular method of buying games on a 'like for like' basis. Considering that its pretty much just the AAA games that are available to buy Physically and here Physical outsells Digital by more than 2:1. Maybe one day, the tables will be turned but even if Digital does end up overtaking Physical here, that would still mean that there is a very high number of gamers who buy Physical so it would really annoy a vast number of gamers. You ave to remember that currently, Digital sales include a LOT of content that is 'digital only' and yet Physical with vastly smaller quantity of releases accounts for nearly half of all sales so there would really have to be a massive swing in buyers spending habits to actually consider going all digital without a backlash. Even if just 10% are buying their games digitally, that's still going to be worth releasing physical versions for those sales.

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To be honest physical games in the traditional sense don't exist anymore. All physical games I have in PS4 , even Game of Year editions / collections, require patches etc. I really don't mind a digital future. It may also help game preservation in the long run. For example I have games from the 90's that refuse to work yet with digital games you can have multiple copies in various ssd/hdd.

Edited on by belmont



@belmont i agree on the whole patches and updates thing BUT i have games from the 80's that still work perfectly fine and some of those are old tapes on the Commodore 64

i think it's more about how you take care of them than anything else

"I pity you. You just don't get it at all...there's not a thing I don't cherish!"

"Now! This is it! Now is the time to choose! Die and be free of pain or live and fight your sorrow! Now is the time to shape your stories! Your fate is in your hands!


I've been pretty much exclusively social since the ps4 launch so I would have a problem with it at all. I personally would love if the ps5 had a discless sku and knocked the price down a bit for someone like me



@FullbringIchigo I was mostly talking about used games. I always find ways to keep those cartridges dust free!

That said some games from this era have better build quality than others, especially in the hardware point.



@belmont oh yeah used games are a minefield, it's why i don't bother with them anymore

that and the shops selling them are utter ******** when it comes to price for example GAME will charge you nearly full price for a used game and the reason they get away with it is that they don't stock many new copies in their stores thus forcing people to buy them used so they got all the money, i'm glads the greedy ******** went bankrupt (even if someone bailed them out)

if you can't tell i hate GAME

"I pity you. You just don't get it at all...there's not a thing I don't cherish!"

"Now! This is it! Now is the time to choose! Die and be free of pain or live and fight your sorrow! Now is the time to shape your stories! Your fate is in your hands!


What @kyleforrester87 said. Ask me at the start of this gen and I would have answered a lot differently. I traded in my 360 for some credit in CEX and did not have much disposable income (probably because I had just used it all to buy a PS4 lol). So I was playing the trade game and using that store credit to get my games early on. As my finances have improved I can buy what I want when I want and have not bought anything from CEX in ages, and I have about 60 quid in store credit.

I only buy a couple of games a year on day one, I don't get that hyped for many games that make me wanna do that. Everything else I tend to buy in the sales on the ps store.

So next gen I can see myself going all digital anyway. I assume games will work the same way this gen in that even if you buy a disc it still installs the whole game to the HDD anyway, so in that respect it doesn't make much difference.

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I'm 90% digital anyway, so no, it wouldn't make a difference to me. Especially on home consoles like PS4 where "physical games" merely function as installer discs and unlock keys anyway.

The sad truth is that many, many games would be bug-ridden messes without their updates and day one patches, assuming they work at all and don't require downloads just to function.

At this point, the only real advantage to physical gaming besides owning a box is being able to resell your games,


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There are a number of points to this. No is the actual answer for everyone here - we would all still game in an all digital future. But I prefer to have a retail product I can trade in / sell afterwards.

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I'd likely do what I do with current consoles anyway; wait a couple years, make sure the underlying technology is sound and that the experience it offers is something I wanna, well... experience. If it ticks those boxes then sometimes you can't stop the change.

But as many have said, I'd hoard my historical consoles and maybe even buy back-ups of them all, before they disappear forever, so that I can always play them in future.

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I’ve never resold a game after finishing it but this means I have quite a few PS1-4 games scattered around. I’m the same with music, even if I only buy CDs to upload them to iTunes and then never use them again.

That said, I’ve bought more games digitally recently because they’ve been on offer on the store. The Division 2 is the only digital game I’ve bought at release and that was because my PS4 goes through periods of the random eject problem. This obviously doesn’t affect digital games so one that is highly network dependent would be especially annoying to have ejected mid-game.

So it wouldn’t bother me too much but the monopoly of where you could get your games from would be worrying.



Whilst I do agree that modern games do rely a LOT on digital patching to improve the way they work, its not as if the games aren't 'generally' playable to some standard. I know that some games may require a substantial download to work or give the complete game (like Spyro having to download 2 and 3).

In truth though, this is only going to be an issue many years later. Its only going to affect which games are worth buying and which are not. If you buy a PS3 game now for example, its not affecting your ability to play that game with any patch installed because that console is still able to connect to the internet. As soon as the PS3 is turned off from connecting, it only affects the games you may want to buy but, if you kept your games up to date, with any DLC that you wanted (assuming its not online only DLC like map packs - some games may offer offline MP with bots and/or local play - you may also be able to play over LAN by connecting up multiple consoles together), then the patched versions of those will still work. The advantage of 'Physical' here is that you can still play the games to the standard they were released to but if you buy Digital, unless you have kept it installed on your console, you will lose it when the console can no longer connect to the internet.

If the PS3 was turned off today, ALL my physical Library will be playable up to the point they were last updated and only affects the offline parts of the game. That's going to be the same for PS4 too regardless of whether I bought Digitally or not. All the games I own, will still be playable 20years from now and, if I haven't updated to the latest patch, they will be playable up to the last installed patch. If I buy Spyro 20yrs from now, then I can play Spyro 1 at the standard it comes on disc but not 2 or 3. In 20yrs time though, chances are I couldn't even play Spyro 1 to any standard because the PS4 probably won't connect to the internet to buy it digitally anyway. If I buy Spyro now though, and download 2 and 3, any patches - in 20yrs time, that game in full will still be playable - as long as I don't delete or sell my console (or external HDD if its saved on that).

Just because we are now in an era where the games are patchable, do require some downloadable content to get the full game, as long as you buy it whilst the consoles are still connectable to the internet, it doesn't matter as the patches and downloaded content are stored on your hardware anyway. Its only going to affect those retro-gamers who buy old games on disc for a console that no longer can connect to the internet to patch them. If you owned them and updated them at the time the consoles were 'active' (for want of a better word), then it doesn't matter because all those updates, downloadable content etc are already stored on your console.

Edited on by BAMozzy

A pessimist is just an optimist with experience!

Why can't life be like gaming? Why can't I restart from an earlier checkpoint??

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If / when current gen gaming gives up disc or physical media drives, then I won’t abandon gaming, but I will be a little disappointed. I buy discs when possible due to transferability via resale or borrowing. However, over the past couple years, I’m acclimating to the digital future. When I can get them on sale, sometimes a digital copy of a game is cheaper than a pre-owned physical copy, even taking into account the money I will recoup down the road with a sell back. So, over time I have accumulated more and more digital games and I actually like not having to deal with physical discs. This weekend I popped back and forth between The Handsome Collection and Rayman Legends digitally and never had to get up and get a disc. I considered playing Persona or Injustice or another game, but didn’t want to have to deal with getting the disc out. How’s that for laziness!
But yeah, it comes down to price though, in the end. If the console is not cheaper and the games are not discounted, then I will be more hesitant to jump in. Like someone said earlier, the presence of physical games and the second hand market does force the digital stores to compete price-wise. If current gen has $60-$70 games only, then my library will really shrink.

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Without a complete change to the way most store fronts (in the console space) operate, physical will always be preferable to just buying a 'license' for digital content, rather than owning the content itself and being able to sell or pass on that content at will.

Should actual digital marketplaces for the consumer be developed, I don't mind too much.

Personally, I'd always prefer a physical game.

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