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With every game available simultaneously on the PlayStation Store now, digital transactions are becoming big business for Sony – but this wasn't always the case. In the early days of the PlayStation 3, downloadable titles consisted mostly of bitesized experiences – timewasters designed to fill the gap between retail releases. This has changed over the past five or so years, but have your spending habits moved with the times? We caught up with editors Sammy Barker and Robert Ramsey to see if they've embraced the so-called digital future.

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I'm spending more than ever on the PlayStation Store, says Sammy Barker

If you'd have told me five years ago that I'd be spending more than a tenner a time on the PlayStation Store, I'd have furrowed my brow before laughing at you and walking in the opposite direction. However, it's now something that I do regularly without a second thought – and not simply because the prices of digital games have increased.

It's been a gradual change, and not something that I've paid attention to in the past, but on a day where Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number and Flame Over are both due out on Sony's virtual plaza – while Sleeping Dogs: Definitive Edition occupies the Deal of the Day slot – it's becoming increasingly clear to me that at least half of my 'gaming money' is being spent on digital goods.

This is, partly, due to the way that the industry's changed. There are fewer boxed products these days – a symptom of escalating budgets and diminishing returns in the AAA space – while the digital sector is practically bursting with good stuff. Transistor, Velocity 2X, Resogun – you can purchase three or four essential indie games for the same price as one Blu-ray release.

But this isn't just a David and Goliath affair, because I'm starting to buy more 'full' games digitally, too. DriveClub was cheaper from the PlayStation Store and is a perfect pick up and play experience; I doubt that I'd have played it anywhere near as much if I'd have bought it on a disc. Dying Light, too – a game that was only available digitally initially – is something that I keep coming back to.

Convenience plays a part, then, but I think that the stigma associated with digital games has slowly eroded as well. PlayStation Plus has certainly acclimatised me to the advantages of downloading software, and the Vita's probably pushed me over the edge. I can't remember the last time that I bought a cartridge for the handheld – I prefer to have everything on my exorbitant memory card these days.

And this does flag a problem, of course. Storage space is an issue across all three of my PlayStation systems, and I doubt that my ISP is happy with all of the bandwidth that I'm eating either. Even more worrying? Sony could choose to switch off the PSN one day, and all of my items would be gone – it's already doing it with PlayStation Mobile.

But I've been able to put most of those worries to the back of my mind. I like the ease-of-access that digital enables, and I enjoy being able to pay for a game which I can play as soon as it downloads. Yes, it's made me more impulsive with my purchases, but given the regular PlayStation Store sales and the overall quality of digital-exclusive games, I feel like I'm getting more bang for my buck.

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Discounts are driving the digital charge, declares Robert Ramsey

In regards to the title of this article: yes, I think I am. It's a trend that's kind of come out of nowhere for me, as I've never been a big advocate of buying digital. Sure, I can see the appeal, but I still find that there's something reassuring about having a physical disc and case sitting on your shelf.

I think that the game changers here are the discounts. We can't go a single week without something having its price slashed on the PlayStation Store, and part of me thinks that that's great; I've purchased several titles that I likely wouldn't have normally, purely because they've been on sale. What's more I think that, despite what a few particularly farty critics may tell you, price is an incredibly important factor when it comes to buying games.

If you're really on the fence about snapping something up, and you see that all-important discount, it can be the tipping point. Plus, spending money on a digital store feels a lot different to putting down real cash in a real shop, and at times, it can almost seem like you're not actually parting with any meaningful amount of dosh because of this disconnect from reality.

While it's easy to argue that such a thing presents a dangerous precedent, it represents one area where the so-called digital revolution is gaining significant ground: accessibility. I'm sure that we've all been at the point where it's a late evening, and suddenly, you get the urge to play something new. There are a few games that you wouldn't mind buying, but it's 9PM, and it's raining outside. But then there's the PlayStation Store in the corner of your eye, winking at you suggestively, and all you need is a credit card.

That's not to say that we should all bow down to our digital overlords, though. There's plenty that Sony's doing right with regards to its digital offerings, but many of us still prefer having a neat little collection of physical releases. There's still a stigma that surrounds digital gaming after all, with companies pushing horrible DRM practices, and titles that require a constant online connection. It's certainly not hard to see where the aforementioned stigma's coming from, then, and if you couple all of this negativity with the fact that the PlayStation Network had a rough 2015, you can see why many refuse to move away from what they know.

All in all, I reckon that there's nothing wrong with a bit of both worlds. If you see a good digital deal, you should probably just approach it as you would with any kind of attractive discount. But at the same time, betting the farm on what is a relatively immature market isn't the best idea. Personally, I feel much more still needs to be done before I submit fully to the digital revolution – we need far better pricing for a start – but until then, I'm quite content to make the best of what's on offer.

Are you spending more money than ever on the PlayStation Store, or do you still prefer to purchase packaged goods? What is it about digital that you prefer, and what are your biggest concerns about downloadable games? Add your opinion to our engagement basket in the comments section below.

Are you spending more money than ever on digital games? (61 votes)

  1. Yes, I’m embracing the digital revolution61%
  2. Hmm, I’m spending about the same21%
  3. No, I’m actually pumping less into this area18%

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On average, how many digital games do you buy per month? (64 votes)

  1. I don’t buy any13%
  2. Between one and three games63%
  3. Approximately four to nine titles22%
  4. Easily over ten releases3%

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What do you like best about digital games? (122 votes)

  1. They’re always accessible30%
  2. Many games get good discounts36%
  3. They can be downloaded immediately20%
  4. I can pre-load them prior to launch13%
  5. Other  0%

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