Poll: Do You Prefer Boxed Copies or Digital Downloads?

Digital downloads are nothing new for PC gamers but they are a fairly recent option for their console counterparts.

So, console gamers, when you purchase a new title, do you prefer a boxed copy or a digital download?

Vote in our poll and then hit up the comments section or our email (SuperPACpodcast@gmail.com) with your reasons why.  Do you want a box to display on your shelf?  Are download and install times more appealing then getting in the car and driving to the store?  Are you concerned you may one day no longer have the ability to re-download your digital copy?

How much of a price difference would get you to swing the other way?

Tune in to next week's podcast where EZK and I will reveal the poll results and share your opinions along with our own.

"vote label" © Tribalium / Shutterstock. All rights reserved, used with permission.

-Reporting from San Diego, GamePolitics Contributing Editor Andrew Eisen

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  1. Mr.Tastix says:

    Six of one, half a dozen of the other.

    I prefer boxed copies because then I don't have to download the game, only any updates it might have. This isn't a big issue for people in the US or EU areas but in New Zealand and Australia our data caps are still pretty small (and download speeds slow).

    I love the convenience of things like Steam and have taken good use of Steam's many specials, but overall, I'd much prefer it if I didn't have to download most of my titles or update them through Steam before playing.

    I'm not a fan of "games as a service", because it means I lack control. What if Steam or Origin shut down? Then what? How do I play my games? Simple answer: I don't.

  2. jryi says:

    I'd actually quite like to have all my games as a service, if it were possible. Spotify and Netflix have taught me that it is quite convenient to not have to choose what I want to purchase, only what I want to consume. This would also be fairer to the publishers: revenue could be shared based on time played, so if your game sucks, you'll see less money than if it's a genuinely good game. (Now that I think of this, maybe all publishers aren't too keen to support this model after all.)

    I doubt that this will happen any time soon, though. The old business models are still far too strong in the minds of the powers that be.

  3. Longjocks says:

    I'm tempted to be juvenile and say how I like my things in boxes… well, I guess by saying that I've done so and can move on.

    To be serious and answer the question, I prefer digital. I'm aware of the risks, but the convenience is too good to say no to. In my risk assessment my mind may just have been swayed by confirmation bias due to how lazy I can be in wanting my games a click away and not having to go through my collection to find a disc.

    When I last moved house I decided that this time I wasn't going to cart DVD boxes around. So now they're all on spindles. Once I rip them or download them digitally, I'll probably dump them. Next will be music CDs and games. I have no attachments to boxes/cases. My place has more space and looks tidier for it.

  4. hellfire7885 says:

    Even with digital your games can be stolen, only in this case your entire library goes. I know it can be recovered fairly quickly and easily ,but still…

  5. Sam-LibrarIan Witt says:

    You mention discs being stolen and misplacing things. I see how this could be a valid concern. However, with digital games, you could just as easily have your files corrupted (removing your ability to play the game), if the saves exist in the cloud the servers could go down or the controlling company could stop supporting the game(s) entirely and you have far fewer ownership rights than with a physical copy. And if you're so supportive of digital, it shouldn't matter what happens to a manual because, aside from in-game information, most digital downloads don't come with manuals anyway. I for one can't remember ever misplacing a piece to a physical game. I guess I'm just organized?

  6. Neo_DrKefka says:

    Here is why I support digital

    • If your discs get stolen or scratched your out of luck

    • If you have tons of discs over the years chances are you'll misplace a manual.

    Through out the years I've lost countless discs or at times run out of room to carry some of them. I even got games stolen when I moved back to my parents house by my brother. Overall companies switching to digital can be a good or very bad thing depending on how the company works it. It just so happens, many companies are making it easy to play your old games or current games digitally.

    I was shocked to find my manual for Diablo 2 only to have no disc but I had my CD-Key. Blizzard just started a new service to where if you put your Diablo 2 CD-Key and register it on the new Battle.net site you can have a digital download. Not to mention the time and grief I never have to deal with since Steam is such a life saver.

    I've had tons of games in my time and if a company correctly markets and uses digital services properly it can be a good thing.

    The PSN had the right idea but now it bought a new company and plans to use it on the PS4 all my old games are useless and they want me to buy them over again? This is where digital stores go wrong. It's the same company I should be able to import my name games I digitally downloaded. It's like they are telling me don't buy anything on the PSN because it will be useless if you get a PS4.

  7. Zen says:

    Physical all the way for me.  With a collection of over 1,300+ games and growing I prefer to go through everything like a library organized on the shelves for me or anyone to talk about, and play by simply pulling the title out.  

    I do have some games digitally, but only from HUGE sales or Bundles because of one simple fact..I can't share them.  If I want to play Portal 2 on my main PC, and my son wants to play Portal 1 on my laptop, only one can work at the same time because they are all under my login.  My physical games don't limit me nearly as bad.  🙂  

    Plus after getting this new  computer I had to spend a few nights just downloading over 100GB of data to play some of the games I have with more still waiting to be redownloaded. All of my physical ones were up and running that night for me to test the system with. 

    (EDIT) – Here is a pic of one shelf in the house. This isn't half of it lol.

  8. Papa Midnight says:

    Is there a both option? I kind of like Blizzard's StarCraft 2 approach: Buy a boxed copy, download a physical copy anytime you want.

  9. hellfire7885 says:

    Eh, on PC I like not having a bunch of discs around and I like that my library is practically infinite with digital.

    However I also love having something to display on my shelf, and oy my knowledge, it's harder to get some of the goodies you get wit ha physical copy, like possibly a figure or something you can display.

    Plus, if my internet is down, it's easier for me to access a physical copy.

  10. locopuyo says:

    For PC digital for sure.  For console it is a little harder choice because consoles tend to have limited storage space.   I also don't completely trust the platform like I do with Steam or Blizzards download service yet.  I'll probably go with download for most console games.

  11. Kyle Bue says:

    There are advantages and disadvantages to both. However as a collector, I will always prefer boxed copies. I personally love that new game smell and I always like my money being spent on something physical rather than some data on a hard drive. But that's just me.

  12. David says:

    Boxed copies.  My Internet speed isn't fast enough for full sized games to be downloaded in a reasonable amount of time.  Maybe if Google Fiber takes off and comes to my area…

  13. PHX Corp says:

    although it's a tough Question, I prefer digital in some cases for immediate access(no disc required), for space saving in my physical library and in case the disc drive fails. I also prefer Physical because I can put the disc in when necessary

  14. Pixelantes Anonymous says:

    Boxed copies, because I can resell them if I like.

    I buy digital copies only when the sale is more than 50% off. Digital copies have more aggressive sales than boxed copies, though.

  15. MechaTama31 says:

    I love downloading games through steam on the pc, but on consoles, I'd rather have the disc.  I just don't trust that I will be able to play the game years down the road, redownload if necessary, etc. when it comes to the consoles.  The pc keeps evolving, but it's still the pc.  Consoles and their infrastrusture get binned every few years.

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