Physical Gaming Media

I recently got into a discussion regarding whether physical media for gaming still has its place in the modern world. A while back a Ubisoft exec made some comments regarding us not really owning any games we buy on from online stores. Personally I haven't really bought an actual game in a box probably for over 10 years. It certainly gets you thinking though if one day stores such as Epic, Steam or Nintendo online decide to pull the plug, access to all those games in our back catalogues would vanish.

So I just wondered what peoples thoughts were on this and do any of you still try to buy / collect physical boxes of games whether that be for console or PC.

  • I like Physical boxes for games franchises I am heavily invested in, especially when they come with tangible collector's items in physical rather than digital form. However, I also have the majority of my game collection in digital form on one platform or other so am well aware I can lose access to them at any time.

    What I would say is that even the operating system you use, you do not actually own. That applies if you bought physical media or used a media creation tool too. You are paying a license fee and accepting an end user agreement purely to use the software for however long the developers deem fit to leave it accessible for.

    Is this fair on end users? Possibly not, but it's the way the industry has been for decades.

    At least with Physical copies, if the game gets pulled from an online platform (and you didn't back it up previously) you can still play it. Some multiplayer features may be defunct but solo mode should work great still.

  • I have always liked having physical media, you dont really get that with PC any more, but consoles still get it.

    I can see why PCs aren't still there, people get internet and can download things on a whim. Or play 3 games a year like CoD or fortnite addicts.

    That said, it sucks are someone who wants a physical representation of their favorite games to look at their collection.

  • I don't even have a CD-Rom drive in my PC or Laptop, so buying the physical media would be difficult, even tho I generally prefer it. 
    But of course it should be possible to store and access your games offline. We all know why the gaming industrie doesn't want that.

  • Yes, it is a shame that access to the entire digital game library could be lost if the platform closes access, but it is what we have achieved after buying physical games less and less due to greater offers or DLC/Expansions, or for reasons of "eco-sustainability".

    Personally, I blame myself for be the first one that I love walking around the videogame part of a store, or visiting small specialty stores, like GAME, like if I were visiting a museum but I don't buy anything there...

    In any case, sometimes even if we have physical copies, it is a pain in the ass because the operating system does not support it and you cannot play it directly and you have to download an emulator.

    The good (and bad) thing is that now there are many classics that can be enjoyed again with the remakes/remaster

  • I appreciate a lot special editions of games and all the exclusive merchandise that developers release to promote a geme. 

    I would like to have the option to buy those, but for standard editions of games I personally don't blame the decline of physical copies since there's a lot of plastic production behind.

    Still I miss old days when was more easy to buy used PC or console games.

  • I have an LG SuperMulti DVD-RW with M-DISC in one PC and an external USB slot-in equivalent also from LG which I use with my laptop and other PC that don't have an optical drive any longer

    GOG have DRM free games for the most part but even CD Projekt, their parent company have added an additional Launcher for Cyberpunk and Witcher now

  • I thought about getting an external Disk reader, but there's hardly a point for it anymore.

    I didn't know that regarding Cyberpunk and Witcher. But it sounds good. Should be the standard.

  • The additional Launcher is a negative point, it used to launch directly from GOG Galaxy without the need for that. All I can see they use it for currently is advertising other upcoming releases and news about the games. It is not used as a patch delivery mechanism for now and I hope it stays that way.

    They can already show everything included in the Launcher inside GOG Galaxy, but I guess it's a cross platform addition that targets Steam users more than GOG. Either way, it would be nice to be able to circumvent it

  • "Still I miss old days when was more easy to buy used PC or console games." - I think you hit the real reason why there's less promotion and creation of physical media for PC and Console games these days, profit margins

  • As a paranoid consumer I don't trust services as you never know what will happen or if the company will go under (I have been burned before). Games are different to music/movies as modern games are connected to servers, get patches and updates along with DLC; 100% of the games isn't always on the disk. I try to get physical games when I can but I am starting to see the convenience of digital libraries.