Survey Says: We Love Physical Media

According to a report from Ipsos MediaCT, 64 percent of those surveyed preferred physical discs over digital downloads. Ipsos MediaCT surveyed 1,000 people to come up with its findings. According to Ipsos MediaCT director Ian Bramley consumers still love physical media because of nostalgia, the experience of shopping for games, and the concern that digital collections can be lost.

"I believe the preference for physical discs amongst next-gen gamers reflects the potential value they derive from the pre-owned market, which is holding up the preference for physical – this is unlike the music and film markets," said Ipsos MediaCT director Ian Bramley.

"Physical games discs have a long and well-established history, which is a deep mindset to change – particularly when gamers build a physical collection as they fear losing digital versions. In-store browsing is also important to buyers."

Sony was the first major game maker to figure this out first-hand, when results from digital sales for the PSP Go were less than stellar; the PSP Go, as you probably know, dropped support for the PSP UMD format.


Source: MCV

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  1. PHOENIXZERO says:

    Let’s not forget (only skimmed through the posts so someone could’ve mentioned it) that even if they let you re-download things, it doesn’t mean they will be up and available to download forever. What if you deleted a game off your HDD after finishing it and then a year or two later want to play it again only to find it’s been removed. Then another problem with DD is the fact that there’s generally no incentive to download a game if there’s a physical version of it also available. They seem to sell for the same price and while the physical copy at retail will drop in price fairly quickly (especially today) the DD version can stay at the same price indefinitely, especially when there’s no issue with needing the space for new products.

  2. mdo7 says:

    Well I like physical media too.  But I notice more game are going digital distribution like what you find on PSN and Xbox Live Arcade, you won’t find them on disc (ie: Savage Moon, Fate/unlimited Code, Castle Crashers, Super Street Fighter 2 HD Remix, etc).  Same thing for comic book and manga, they are going digital (which is a good thing because there’s a lot of comic book I never heard of) and a bit cheaper then the physical version.  I like both digital and physical media but if a physical media exist for the game I’ll buy it, if there’s not and it’s digital then i’ll buy the digital version.



  3. Thad says:

    But you can do all that with a PSP3000, AND play UMD games that haven’t been ported to the download format.

  4. mdo7 says:

    Simonbob, I wonder if they are aware the PSPgo didn’t do so well.  I’m not hating on the PSPgo, I’m planning to buy one to play games (including Minis) from the PS Store, this include Digital Comic.


  5. SimonBob says:

    Everyone I know who bought a PSP Go (both of them) really like it.  Apparently it’s got a massive selection from the PS1 era.  Sony should’ve advertised it by saying "portable FF7" and let the fanboy stampede turn the profit for them.


  6. Neeneko says:

     Well, indirrectly consumers are also pushing for downloadable games in that games that would never have been economical if printed can survive as downloadable content.  It has also made it easier to make older games available that consumers want, but not want badly enough for a reprinting to be economical.

  7. SpiralGray says:

    Oh my, what … a … shock! People want something they can keep/sell/trade-in. I … am … so … surprised.

    But seriously, the only ones pushing for all digital distribution are the console makers and game publishers. Heck, there’s still a significant percentage of people who do not have access to broadband to download games.

  8. black manta says:

    Yes!  Call me crazy, but as much as I love services like Steam and Impulse, I prefer to have a copy of the physical media when I can.  It seems somehow ethereal to me if I just download a game.  And while that is nice and convenient, what if the servers go down?  I’d still like developers like Kerberos, who makes the Sword of the Stars series of games, to give me the option to obtain a disc copy if I want one, because as far as I know, their games have only been available for download.

  9. State says:

    I know MS lets you re-download items, but the price of the downloads are always much higher than the price of the games instore (especially when many stores rival each other to the price of particular games).

    Then there’s the restrictive DRM, which for the 360 was ridiculous even when dealing with transferring your own save games between media.

    iTunes only lets users move music around five times and then it becomes useless. CDs let you play and transfer music anywhere an unlimited amount of times.

  10. CyberSkull says:


    People like the knowing what they bought can’t arbitrarily be taken from them by stupid things like lack of internet connectivity.


  11. Thad says:

    Of course, if the publishers played the game differently, it would be a lot HARDER to lose digital downloads than physical media.  It would be utterly trivial for Apple to allow you to re-download all your iTunes purchases if your hard drive crashed.  (Or do they?  Last I heard they didn’t, but that may have changed.)  Course, iTunes isn’t the best example to use, as music is the best example of a market where people HAVE overwhelmingly switched from physical media to digital downloads…

    Similarly, the PSP Go’s failure wasn’t so much that it didn’t support discs as that Sony sold their customer base a bill of goods.  They promised there would be a way to convert a UMD collection to digital downloads; that was, let’s not mince words here, a lie.

    I still prefer to buy physical media, but it’s not due to something innate to a digital format, it’s due to the licensing restrictions that usually accompany it.  Remove DRM and allow users to re-download their purchases and digital files are SUPERIOR to discs.

  12. hellfire7885 says:

    I like options. I love having a physical manual I can read and physical discs and cases ot look nice on my shelf, though I do like digital toe the convenience.

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