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Physical versus Digital Media

Hey all,

With our "New vs Used" discussion, that got me thinking about physical media versus digital media. Delay of Game started back about seven years ago and many of us have known each other for longer via the Xbox Canada board, and in that time we've seen technology and trends change a good bit.

Today, much is available digitally, and I'm curious if you've all switched to digital for most of your media needs, be it games, movies, comics, novels, etc. or do you still stick with physical copies?

For me, for movies I still prefer and buy physical copies (DVDs still), though I don't buy many these days; certainly significantly less than when I was in my 20's. Books and comics I buy physical still, but again buy much less than when I was younger. Music I also still buy CDs as opposed to digital. For movies and books, I prefer an actual physical copy while for music I don't have that preference, digital wouldn't bother me, but I mostly listen to my tunes in my car and being a 2004 vehicle, CDs are more practical. I can also rip them onto most digital devices today if needed.

Gaming is were I've pretty much switched to digital, and that's mainly because I've gone back to PC gaming and retail copies of PC games are harder to come across now and its not uncommon for it to be a box with a download token instead of an actual game!

How about you?

Comments

  • Law212Law212 Centurion

    for games i go digital. Though sometimes i do get retro games and so those are obviously physical copies.

    For movies I like to go physical copy because of 4K and 3D, though some movies i just download
    Music is all digital. I cant stand having CDs all over the place.

    As for books and comics, ill always prefer physical copies

  • for me it depends on the console...1TB ps4 pro I got digital 90%
    xbone is 500 gig so I am 50/50

    switch I am 90% physical since cartridges are small and easy... and SD space isnt cheap

  • For games I'm mostly digital because I game share with some family so we can split the cost if games 50/50 and not gave to pat almost $100 each to play a game together. I still get a lot of physical copies on Switch/3DS though.

    Books will always be physical. I just can't get into reading a book on anything that isn't paper.

    Movies and TV shows are the same. I like to show off my collection and have had a lot of opportunities to share some of my favorite stuff with others because of it.

    Music I don't even buy anymore. I pay $15/month for a spotify family plan that gives 5 people in my family their own account and access to pretty much all the music you could think of.
    EchoGolfSierra
  • @EchoGolfSierra said:
    for me it depends on the console...1TB ps4 pro I got digital 90%
    xbone is 500 gig so I am 50/50

    switch I am 90% physical since cartridges are small and easy... and SD space isnt cheap

    Echo, a simple fix for the One is buy an external HDD and the storage space is fixed. I bought one last year and it's been made storage space no issue at all as I have no plans to upgrade my "basic" One fora long time.

    I am slowly moving towards digital. Most of the content on my Vita is digital as it's hard to find anything for it the last few years. I'm about 60% disc and 40% digital for my One and PS4 with most of my digital content being GWG and PS+ games.

    EchoGolfSierra
  • DoosDoos Centurion
    edited October 13

    I buy all video games (Unless I can't find them physical, Like Wolfenstein) physical because they have resale value.

    I do everything else digital. Movies, music, TV shows.

    When I see you guys post in the 'What Did you Buy Recently' thread with all your statues and collectors boxes and stuff I physically cringe. Not that I'm judging ya'll.. I just hate all that shit. I hate it so much that even when I bought 10 BluRays for $5 it was totally not worth it even at .50 a pop.

    When I want to watch something I want to point at it and click. I don't want an FBI warning, a menu, a trailer, anything. I want the movie I want to watch and I want it now. Right. Fucking. Now. Forget unwrapping that thing and putting it in the machine. I clicked a button. Entertain me.

    I'd go digital with games but the industry decided to be a bunch of 'charge full price' cunts about it so they can suck it. I'm not paying full price until I can trade that shit away afterwards.

    Juxtapose
  • @RumGeoff said:

    @EchoGolfSierra said:
    for me it depends on the console...1TB ps4 pro I got digital 90%
    xbone is 500 gig so I am 50/50

    switch I am 90% physical since cartridges are small and easy... and SD space isnt cheap

    Echo, a simple fix for the One is buy an external HDD and the storage space is fixed. I bought one last year and it's been made storage space no issue at all as I have no plans to upgrade my "basic" One fora long time.

    I am slowly moving towards digital. Most of the content on my Vita is digital as it's hard to find anything for it the last few years. I'm about 60% disc and 40% digital for my One and PS4 with most of my digital content being GWG and PS+ games.

    ya I had a 1 TB connected by USB and it kept fucking up.... maybe I should try again

  • JuxtaposeJuxtapose Centurion

    @RumGeoff Yeah, Sony's lack of continuing support for the Vita is very, very disappointing. So much that could have been done with that handheld, so much potential wasted.

    Oh, and everyone, @Doos is judging us.

  • Law212Law212 Centurion

    @Doos said:
    I buy all video games (Unless I can't find them physical, Like Wolfenstein) physical because they have resale value.

    I do everything else digital. Movies, music, TV shows.

    When I see you guys post in the 'What Did you Buy Recently' thread with all your statues and collectors boxes and stuff I physically cringe. Not that I'm judging ya'll.. I just hate all that shit. I hate it so much that even when I bought 10 BluRays for $5 it was totally not worth it even at .50 a pop.

    When I want to watch something I want to point at it and click. I don't want an FBI warning, a menu, a trailer, anything. I want the movie I want to watch and I want it now. Right. Fucking. Now. Forget unwrapping that thing and putting it in the machine. I clicked a button. Entertain me.

    I'd go digital with games but the industry decided to be a bunch of 'charge full price' cunts about it so they can suck it. I'm not paying full price until I can trade that shit away afterwards.

    I dont get why youd buy physical copies of games then. As reselling a game gives you next to nothing. Collectibles on the other hand can net you more than you paid for it , if and when you decide to sell it.

    And going digital with gaming can be far better because many games go on sale , on steam huge sales. So thats why i dont care if i can re sell a game. usually when im done with it, either i got my value out of it, or it was so cheap that if i dont like it i dont care if i dont play it to completion.

    Movies are a bit different. I get physical copies now because i think that the quality in visuals is unmatched. 4K and 3D are incredible and even my old dvd movies get upscaled with my player and tv and look amazing. The refresh rate of my tv helps a lot in how a movie looks and playing a downloaded copy in 720 or 1080 P just doesnt look at good. Thats not even talking about the sound. You just wont get decent sound because of all the data lost through the digital version. Thats why when you download a movie its what 2 gigs? but a blu ray is 50? or more? Look at all the visual and audio data that is being lost .

    EchoGolfSierra
  • DoosDoos Centurion

    I don't play on PC. So Steam sales don't do anything for me unless it's like an old school humble bundle.

    Resale on videogames is huge. I sell them on Kijiji and if you play through them in a week or two you easily recoup 75-80% of the cost. That doesn't include trading with friends either, which my group does. All buy a game, swap through them, sell, buy more games.

    I watch everything on my laptop as far as movies are concerned.

    Sound, visual quality, none of this means anything to me outside of video games. A movie is a story to me and nothing more. Unless something like Mad Max is happening, it's usually not worth the hassle.

    I care about sound in music, which is where, if able, I will buy direct from the band, digitally and get FLAC files. Listen on headphones and love it.

    I mean, if I really wanted to get wacky I'd buy a turntable and some bad ass senns, get that rich fullness but I trade ease of use over quality.. obviously.

    Juxtapose
  • @Juxtapose said:
    @RumGeoff Yeah, Sony's lack of continuing support for the Vita is very, very disappointing. So much that could have been done with that handheld, so much potential wasted.

    Oh, and everyone, @Doos is judging us.

    Indeed, it seems like it was given so much more love in Japan. Luckily the bi monthly flash sales gives owners some good deals on games.

  • @EchoGolfSierra said:

    @RumGeoff said:

    @EchoGolfSierra said:
    for me it depends on the console...1TB ps4 pro I got digital 90%
    xbone is 500 gig so I am 50/50

    switch I am 90% physical since cartridges are small and easy... and SD space isnt cheap

    Echo, a simple fix for the One is buy an external HDD and the storage space is fixed. I bought one last year and it's been made storage space no issue at all as I have no plans to upgrade my "basic" One fora long time.

    I am slowly moving towards digital. Most of the content on my Vita is digital as it's hard to find anything for it the last few years. I'm about 60% disc and 40% digital for my One and PS4 with most of my digital content being GWG and PS+ games.

    ya I had a 1 TB connected by USB and it kept fucking up.... maybe I should try again

    Did you format it before using it? In my research leading to my purchase, if that was not done, it could cause issues.

  • I thought my xbone formatted it...but not sure...as I said have to try again I guess

  • DoosDoos Centurion

    @Juxtapose said:
    Oh, and everyone, @Doos is judging us.

    I said I wasn't judging! I just don't like stuff any more. As I look around and see stuff everywhere. I just noticed I have 5 guitars.

  • On PC I am digital, but for console usually buy physical so I can trade/sell.

    Movies are mostly digital and booms I am slowly switching back to physical, as I have found reading a paper book via a regular light let's me fall asleep faster once I am done. I had a hard time when my books were digital.

  • SintacsSintacs Centurion

    There's absolutely no reason to go physical on PC outside of collector's editions these days. You'll often need to install Steam or another client when installing any modern physical games, if you even get a disc in your box. There's a lot of times now where all you get in the physical box is a slip with a Steam key on it. The last physical PC games I bought have been collector's editions, and one game that cannot be purchased digitally anywhere. Before those, I believe the last normal game I bought physical was Dawn of War II, and it was installed through Steam (though it installed via the disc, all the updates since then have made a download via Steam more convenient since it won't need patching after that). I've lately started trying to buy more of my games via GoG though, since I can at least create back-ups of the games I buy through them that will always be playable (assuming no compatibility issues pop-up) if the service ever goes away. The same can't really be said about Steam, sure, they claim they'll let everybody have their games if (obviously a big if) they ever shut down, but I really doubt that will happen. I'd also really rather not support Valve if possible, and now that GoG is really starting to become more of a relevant competitor, I'd rather give them my support.

    As far as consoles are concerned, I generally go physical whenever possible, but I will go digital if the price is really good, or if the game is a favorite of mine, and I want the convenience of not having to swap discs when I want to play it.

    With movies and TV shows I go physical, though I own a few seasons of things digitally, one of which only because it wasn't available physically for a pretty long time (Constantine Season 1, I've since grabbed it on bluray), the rest of em were all freebies across various platforms.

    Music-wise I was pretty strong with physical, but I do have a very large digital collection that I have "acquired" and a chunk of digitally purchased stuff too. I do listen to a lot of obscure stuff, and band that haven't been around since the 80's, so buying physical for stuff like that can be a crapshoot. It's either hard to find, or expensive as hell, and when it comes to bands that aren't even around anymore, I have no issues "acquiring" albums digitally, as buying physical means somebody else is making some insane profits, and buying digital just means the studio is making some profits, but not the band (though if the members are getting royalties, they're still not making that music anymore, so I have no reason to support them for something they no longer do). Active bands generate more profit from he sale of merchandise and tours anyway, so I'm not always in a hurry to pay for music from them either, but I'll generally try to buy shirts and see them live when possible.

  • DoosDoos Centurion

    I didn't even know you could buy physical games for PC's. Like, if you go buy a modern PC and piece it together, who includes a disc drive?

    I have two friends that just built monster PC's for their HTC Vive's and neither included a disc drive of any kind.

  • ya I put a bluray rewriter on my new PC last year...total waste

  • JuxtaposeJuxtapose Centurion

    @Doos said:

    @Juxtapose said:
    Oh, and everyone, @Doos is judging us.

    I said I wasn't judging! I just don't like stuff any more. As I look around and see stuff everywhere. I just noticed I have 5 guitars.

    Oh you're judging, don't you kid ;)!

    I think this comes down to getting older and home ownership. I stopped going nuts with collector's stuff when I bought my condo. When I got my house I got a few extra things due to more space, but I'm still very selective and I don't want stuff everywhere cluttering things up.

    So I think I get where you're coming from.

  • JuxtaposeJuxtapose Centurion

    @Sintacs How does GoG allow you to make back ups? You mean an online or offline back up?

    @Doos Your correct, places that build PC's don't include disc drives standard anymore, but you can add them in. That's what I did for my old man's new PC last winter.

  • SintacsSintacs Centurion
    edited October 15

    @Juxtapose said:
    @Sintacs How does GoG allow you to make back ups? You mean an online or offline back up?

    Their games are all DRM-free. You can download the game you buy, and depending on the size, it will typically be either a single .exe installer (ex. "install_game.exe" 520MB), or a .exe file plus one+ .bin files (ex. "install_game.exe" 1MB, "install_game.bin" 3GB). To install a game from those, you simply run the .exe file and you're good to play after, no need to be connected to any online services, no nee for any CD keys etc. You can back up your games by downloading the installers for them and tossing them on whatever you feel you'd want to for back-up purposes, burn em to discs, USB drives, cloud storage, etc. I haven't actually bothered with any back-ups of my GoG stuff yet, but I likely will with a USB drive in the next few months. GoG also has a client now similar to Steam, so you can use it to keep the newer releases features in their store up-to-date, and games installed via that client do not require it to be running to be played. The level of trust and the convenience born of it that GoG offers their customers is pretty great.

    @Doos said:
    I didn't even know you could buy physical games for PC's. Like, if you go buy a modern PC and piece it together, who includes a disc drive?

    I have two friends that just built monster PC's for their HTC Vive's and neither included a disc drive of any kind.

    It comes down to personal preference really, and whether or not you'll actually use it. My next PC will probably be disc drive-less, but I may consider getting an external USB drive, as I do still rip CD's, DVD's, and Bluray's occasionally, and have a few disc-based games that aren't available digitally (though I've ripped ISO's from most of them).

    Juxtapose
  • Law212Law212 Centurion

    I will always include a dvd drive in any PC I build. The great thing about PC's is that you can play some really old games. So I will keep a drive to install old games.

    EchoGolfSierra
  • I guess I dont have any old games I could install that way...all my old stuff comes from digital sources

  • SintacsSintacs Centurion

    So I was in EB this week to get the GF a copy of Pokémon Y and all they had was a gutted copy. The box case they went and got for it was in terrible shape, all scratched and scraped up, and very dirty. They still wanted the "new" price for it. As a collector, I not only take good care of my game discs/carts, but I take good care of my cases too, even though this wasn't for me, if it were, I'd be embarrassed to have that on my shelf. I left and got it at Walmart for the same price and factory sealed. I don't know why EB doesn't just print off the cover art to use for display purposes. Hell, they could just get some empty cases in and print the cover art and toss it in those to put on shelves, that way they don't need to gut things, and they can swap the cover art to something else when they cycle out the stock.

    Juxtapose
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