Discussionist: Digital Distribution
posted on 07.07.12 at 08:06 PM EST by (@admeady)
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With what would appear to be an entirely digital future, are you eager to embrace a download-only marketplace?

Or will you forever be a fan of the old box and disc?

As such, we’re incredibly curious to see your collections. If you collect video games, tell us what you collect, why, and what such a collection means to you.

And, of course, if you don’t, we’d like to hear why, too.

For some, video games are something to be collected. They might sit on a shelf, still wrapped. Or they may simply never trade them in – or perhaps they want a library to share with a future generation.

Tell us about your collections and share your thoughts on a digital distributed future.

Let the discussion commence, folks.

  • xMCXx

    I like them physical copies.
    It looks nice on the shelf ( I never ever sell my games, so my collection is steadily growing xD) and I have physical proof that I own those games.
    Collecting games, collecting stamps…..same thing, basically.

  • http://www.facebook.com/JaeWhy SasuleUchiha

    No and Yes.

    I’ve only started to collect videogames last year to be honest when I got a PS3. Before that I’m a pirate, I bought boot-leg from store and been playing since 1996 when I was 4 where I got a MicroGenius which is Chinese NES and it come with a compilation of NES game. We don’t have knowledge at the time so we took things for granted and of course the game store here doesn’t sell any original game even until today being in Indonesia.

    I’ve been eyeing for PS3 since it’s announcement because I love Playstation. PS1’s game shaping me of what I became today and what genre I like, Suikoden 2 being my favorite game of all time of all genre. It’s a shame that I don’t legitimately own the game. Back to PS3, when I read online about trophy and showing it online, I’m very interested in it because finally I can show off my “skill” though I’m not really that good by all means.

    In 2010 I watched trailer of Star Ocean 4 and I’m blown away and then Nier which is very unique because of so many red bullet and the combat looks great. So I’m determined to get one and wanted to buy the game legitimately because I want to show my trophy online but after playing for like months and reading stuff online now I’m buying for my own pleasure and support the developer.

    So how do I got my game? I live in Indonesia and Indonesia isn’t a connected place, it’s divided and has lot of island. I don’t live in Jakarta the capital of Indonesia or anywhere near there, I live faraway from there and we’ve only got 3 game store here, they all sell the boot-leg games but they do sell the system too. So to buy a game I “need” to ship from Jakarta which took 4-5 days and I’ve never complained about it, sometime I bought game from play-asia, amazon, zavvi or ebay (to buy older game like PS2) and all of them took time about 2-3 weeks not to mention the shipping from my own country costs $3. And that’s funny because Day One won’t ever happen in my life, all of my Day One means Day One pre-order, lol.

    As of why I collect videogames because I want to play them and at the same time I want to collect them because it feels nice sometime after you beaten the game and then grab a box of a disc and open it up reading the manual (if it comes with one) or just looking at the box and thinking about the last time you played it. It’s awesome at least for me anyway. To date I’ve bought about 60s PS3 game and a few game across the system like PSP,NDS,3DS and PS2. I planned to have completing library of newer console first and then went down to more retro and down more if possible, it’ll took time but I hope I can get down to at least PS1.

    And for every game I bought, I “un-dress” them because I want to play them even though I might not beat them, I’ll always test it and then backlogging them and I won’t ever sell the game so it doesn’t matter. For the games I’m collecting, for newer console I’ll bought everygame that piques my interest meaning if after watching the youtube video and the game looks great, I’ll put it on my buy-list. I don’t read review, I do however read them just for fun but it won’t have any effect on me every, it do though if the reviewer is bashing the game it will piqued my interest and I’ll see the youtube video and then if it looks bad then I won’t give a damn but if I’m remotely interested then I will buy it. To tell the truth I bought Duke Nukem Forever, call me stupid, pitiful or whatever you like, I found the game fun, I got it dirt cheap though. For older console and console that isn’t my main system I’ll just buy all RPG in English like Trails in the Sky, Gungnir, etc.

    If the future of video gaming is entirely digital, I will quit video gaming and play facebook game, there is one I’m really hooked right now which is Harvest Moon Online or Minna de Bokujou released years ago in Japan and just released on June 30 in Indonesia. Or I might just back to pirate.

    Edit: for my collection I’m to lazy to take a picture of them but I took them awhile ago when it was still only a few game http://img513.imageshack.us/img513/5912/img00313201110271602.jpg

    And for my updated collection of PS3 can be seen in my PSN profile but games like Eternal Sonata and Valkyria Chronicles won’t be there though
    http://www.yourgamercards.net/profile/ryoonz

    • Malcolm Reynolds

      I can see that English is not your first language but I commend you for learning it and writing such an interesting perspective on gaming and what it means to you.
      Glad u are legitimately collecting now as best you can.
      Take care.

      • http://www.facebook.com/JaeWhy SasuleUchiha

        Thanks!

        • rockman29

          Yea dude, great post.

  • Miranda Lawson

    I never sell my games! I keep on collecting them even though I have run out of places to put them! I am also saving all of my games for the future to share with my family (when I have one.)
    I only buy video games if they come with the box. I prefer them to come with the box and instructions because I like to stare at the boxes of my favorite video games (every so often) and I like to read/look at the instruction booklets that come with the games. Also, I would never get around to reading the instructions for games if I am required to download them onto my system. I know that this may sound wierd to some of you but I also like to smell the instruction booklets of games that I buy (mainly new ones) because they smell good!
    I will be extremely dissappointed if they decide to make all games downloadable in the future, because I don’t want to have to wait hours to download a game onto my system before I can play it! I love the awesome box art that you see on the front of boxes, it sometimes makes me want to buy that game (if the box art looks cool enough.) And besides, what is the point in collecting something that you love if you can’t physically see it sitting on your shelf begging you to play it?

    • Malcolm Reynolds

      Nothing beats that new game smell!

  • KingKellogg The Waffle Haggler

    I like owning my games,so physical copy is the way to go.That way they cant make an update and take things out of my games,and I can put them on my shelf.

  • rockman29

    I’ve actually moved completely digital for PC gaming. It just isn’t reasonable for a PC gamer to not go digital anymore.

    The economic incentive is simply too strong with Steam, GoG, and Humble Bundles, and that’s only the start of it. Amazon now sells games digitally, and often cheaper than the price of regular boxes.

    However, digital distribution is very different from ‘always online.’ I swear, it will be the day I leave gaming when to play games I love and really want to play that I have to be always online. Diablo III is my first and last foray into this world. OnLive will never have my money. I want that box in my house. I want control of it. I want access to it when I, me, myself, want to play on it (and occasionally for something productive).

    On my consoles I still insist on owning boxes, and I think everyone should. You guys want Apple owning your games? Microsoft? Heck no! These companies are parasites against consumer rights and their industries. It doesn’t take long to see all the anti-competitive practices they participate in. They actively destroy industries with their business practices, and people love them for it, it’s insane. Just look at how Apple regularly tries to ban other products just from selling. They both stole the mouse from Xerox for crying out loud. If anyone wants their games loaded on these douches servers, they are NUTS.

    Also, big news on the digital distribution front: the EU ruled that players will OWN their games as a right. Now THERE is a government that actually sometimes works for it’s people. USA should take some damn note instead of peddling to all these big companies fighting against consumers damn rights!

    http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2012/07/03/crikey-eu-rules-you-can-resell-downloaded-games/

  • Malcolm Reynolds

    Call me oldschool but when gaming goes all DD, my happy ass is out.

    I have been avidly collecting since 2000 but have been gaming since I was about 5 in the mid 80’s.

    As a kid my parents were not well off so it was very rare they could afford me a game outside of Bday’s or Xmas. Even then I only got 1. 2 if there was a sale.
    Sadly I traded a lot as a kid to get new games and thank God for Turtles, and Blockbuster back then!

    Now I’m a JRPG fanatic as far as my collection goes although what I tend to play are the shorter less than 20 hour games.

    My goal is to have a mass collection of Jrpg’s to spend my “Cocoon” yrs playing and beating. Damn a porch and a rocking chair. Give me a can of Dew, a confu revliner and toss my crodgety ass the controller sonny! Grand pa’s gotta save the world!

    I love collectors editions and buy every JRPG in its collectors version. All other games I buy collectors editions if I can afford to.
    My game room is maxed out. The closet too. Now starting to store them in the basement. Its getting out of hand with the CE’s.
    I have almost every system from the NES to the PS3 minus any MS HW or the worst system of its gen, the N64.
    I own 13+ handheld systems as well from the Atari Lynx to the turno express to the Vita and have many games for all of them.
    Closing in on 700 physical games.

    I love collecting. Its a wonderful hobby and DD is out to ruin it.
    Times change but we dont have to change with them.

    • rockman29

      Hear hear.

    • Malcolm Reynolds

      I should add: I have a couple thousand dollars worth of download games between my PS3, Vita, and WiiVC. As well as my now dead Xbox account that I’ll never use again.
      While I hate the idea of DD replacing physical media I have no problem with coexistence.
      I cant count how many games I have rebought in DD even though the disc is sitting on my shelf.
      I also, in the case of Back to the Future, will purchase the physical disc even if I already bought the download months prior.
      Given the choice on launch day I will always go physical though.
      Now where is my physical copies of Jurassic Park and Walking Dead?

    • Miranda Lawson

      Love your post! I laughed at the part where you are saying that you ran out of room in your game room and closet, so you store them in your basement too!

      • Malcolm Reynolds

        Its a sickness. Luckily my wife loves me enough to continue to let me indulge.

  • barklight

    Digital Distribution? NO!
    It’s really pain when you got to download all the games, especially when you have a bad internet connection like myself.

    • Miranda Lawson

      Yeah same here, I forgot to mention that in my post. My internet connection is probably bad because I use Clear Box internet, or because I live near the mountains in my city. Maybe because of both, I am glad that I can still download add ons for Mass Effect 3 and Final Fantasy XIII-2 without it taking too long to download.

  • bebestorm117

    I don’t have problem with games going digital I use Steam mostly and sometimes GOG. Now on console I only download psn games Im not a collector I just want to play the game.

  • Malcolm Reynolds

    I had a story typed but the damn edit feature caused me to lose 20 minutes worth of iPhone typing.

    I’m a sad Panda.

    • Locksus

      Aww :( hope you’ll write your opinion as I think it’ll be an interesting read :p

      • Malcolm Reynolds

        It somehow reappeared.
        Spelling errors and all.
        Meant to say “Comfy Recliner” not ‘confy revliner’ lol

  • KingKelloggTheWaffleHaggler

    My post isnt showing up?

    • Zero

      I think I fixed the problem. Should be showing up now.

      • KingKelloggTheWaffleHaggler

        I still cant find it D:

    • http://gematsu.com/ Sal Romano

      It’s there now. Not sure why, but it went into “Pending” rather than be approved immediately. Sorry about that.

      • KingKelloggTheWaffleHaggler

        Sweet thanks!!

  • DjangoRaijin

    I am a GAMER. through and through till the death of me. If I can only play a game I want through online then I better clear up some space cause its coming after a few paychecks. Ill never say goodbye to gaming no matter what happens. Games have shaped my being since as long as I can remember and Im young so that was only PS1 but Ive played games all the way back to the NES days like I just bought them. Nothing will ever beat that new game smell or the day one buys or ripping that plastic off the case like Im a 5 year old with a new toy. I understand where everyones coming from but Ive had to endure stupid insults, dumbasses, recession problems, fucking high school jocks, who tried to attack me even though Im a member of their same damn team and was good at the sport I played to the point where I started and got 9th grade D-MVP but Ive still held onto my love of gaming not the disk but the game itself. I get more exited for that new game starting screen than when the friday night lights come on. Im proud to say I’m a gamer and Ill be damned if loss of a little plastic box and metal disk stop me from doing what I love.

  • Aldridge517

    Whatever happens, happens. I’m in favor of physical copies, but if digital-only is necessary for the industry to thrive than so be it.

  • zakou

    Strongly against Download-only.

    I have a collection of over 100 games but I had about twice as much, however someone stole them from me.

    Im not going to explain why, you can’t explain in words the joy of something you grew up with as a both collector and huge game fan.

    But I can say that a huge collection on a hard drive looks soulless compared to a physical copy,

    You are comparing a list of names with one picture as an artwork to a physical form of something you can look at, hold, something that has artworks all over it, looks good on a shelf and such.

  • 浪黒雷 (ロークロライ)

    Once gaming goes DD-only it’s gonna be a sad day for me. I got into “collecting” games around Christmas 2009 when my Lightning LE FFXIII PS3 bundle arrived from Japan. Before that i was mostly into PC gaming. My only prior console was an N64.

    Now I’m a proud owner of around 50 PS3 games including various Collector’s Editions. I do not intend to trade in or sell any of my games as I only choose the ones I’m interested in playing and consequently in supporting the developers. Trading in = less support for devs.

    I’ve got quite a collection of DD-versions of retail games and numerous PSN games courtesy of PS+ thus I understand the appeal of DD. Still, I love to have a physical copy of a game, holding it in my hands and looking at the cover artwork. You can’t do such stuff with a file located on your HDD.

    I embrace DD as a valid, genuine method of delivering games to the consumer but I prefer my games on disc, especially as some PS3 exclusives can weigh in way north of 30 GB (HDD space concerns + the pain of downloading and installing such huge files on PS3). Should gaming become DD only I certainly won’t quit my hobby – PC gamers have fully embraced DD-only since the dawn of Steam – I’ll just be a sadder guy.

  • Locksus

    It’s hard to put my thoughts into words as English isn’t actually my first language but the bottom line is that I very much enjoy getting actual physical copies (Man, nothing beats the smell of a new game <3) so, personally, I'm not too fond of DD.

    I have a few games digital games on my PC but the thing is that somehow I'm not excited to play them for some reason, even though they are very solid games but somehow I just love getting physical copies as it gets me pumped up to play the game.

    I wouldn't consider myself a collector but I never sell my games as I'll do my best to support the gaming industry and Japanese games are always a priority on my to-buy -list as I want to support the developers and of course I love the quality Japanese games and want them localized (just bought Catherine and it seriously kicks ass ^_^ just on my second playthrough as I'm writing this!).

    So yeah, I love getting physical copies due to various reasons and do prefer them to digital ones.

  • KingOptimusOrigins111

    I don’t think it matters because at the end of the day technology has to progress and we all know that digital download only is coming in the future so their really isn’t any way to stop it. I prefer to have next gen as both digital and physical because then that way if I don’t feel like going to the store and being lazy I’ll buy the game from home if its a game like Gran Turismo 6 for PS4 I have to buy it physical disc so I won’t lose it.

  • http://gematsu.com/ Zero

    I got tears in me eyes! Seriously! Most of these comments are exactly what I think! So much so, that I’m not sure what else I can add.

    I also love to collect, I’d have one hell of a collection if it wasn’t for my years working at gamestop. I had all these employee bonuses and traded in way to many games. Something that I will always regret…

    Moving on, I agree, for all the convince digital only can bring, it feels like something is missing. My copy of Batman Arkham City for PS3, feels more important than the digital version I have on steam.

    Why? I think you all did a great job of explaining the why. Having the item physically in your hands means something, and yes, I love that new game smell.

    For those of us that grew up on console games, this is what we know. As we slowly take steps into this digital age, not just the people posting here, but tons of people across the world are trying to hold on to that dearly.

    This is my question when it comes to digital only games. I discuss this with my friends and colleagues often in real life.

    Is the world ready for digital only games? And if so, is this the correct road to travel down?

    Remember the PSP go? That more or less proved it, the majority of gamers are not ready to go digital only yet. I think Sony hypothesized that it would be fine, because of the popularity that games seem to have on mobile devices.

    Obviously, games on those devices are digital only, but I’ve always been one to question just how serious people are about video games on mobile devices. The PSP go did a great job of answering a few of those questions, it was a total bust.

    Not only were gamers not ready to jump into a digital only future, but it showed that most “gaming” that goes on via mobile devices is still very casual.

    Which leads into another problem. How does AAA gaming fit into the digital market? Well, currently, it’s like trying to smash a full size frozen pizza into a mini toaster. The idea sounds good, but it doesn’t quite work as constructed.

    The first problem is simple, size of the game. Some of these games now days can be 20 GB or more. Next problem, how many people have great internet? Ask that question to a large group of people, and I bet that maybe, 2 or 3 people raise their hands. And out of those 3, 2 of them probably just think they have great internet.

    (In one of the more recent studies, the united states was #13 on the list of fastest internet.)

    http://i.imgur.com/ijcHC.jpg – (Picture of pando networks findings.)

    (A recent study by pando networks, who deals in lots of MMO/Free-To-Play games, showed that the world’s average download speed was around 580KBps.)

    This really rings in a truth when it comes to internet in the USA. It really, really, sucks here. And, to top it off, all these money grubbing companies feel the need to enforce bandwidth caps and other limitations.

    I thought we were going digital people? Did someone not get the frigging memo? Hello?

    And just look at some of the findings from the pando network. Much of the world is not ready for digital only anything!

    So, where the hell am I going with this? It’s all to prove a point. The world is not ready to move to digital only games. And, we don’t need to make this move! At least, not yet.

    Some would argue with me… Look at Steam, look at these other digital only gaming experiences. Those work great! Sure, they do work. They work for a select group of people. You don’t hear about the negative to much, and it all works because consumers have those other choices.

    Take the other choices away, and force everyone to use steam and digital websites. Then, people who normally don’t have problems, well guess what? They start having them. It really isn’t rocket science, and it’s more complicated than just upgrading the servers. (Which most can’t afford by the way.)

    Imagine, you come home and a great new game is out that day. Tales of Xillia 2 for example. You got it on pre-order months ago, you decided to pre download and install the game. You are ready to go! You get home and guess what, the game has a 100mb patch that is mandatory to install. The problem is, like 8 other games also launched that day, so the network hosting all these patches and stuff is getting slammed. Some people, they will get to play that night, others will have to wait until next time.

    Considering we have problems like this now, I hate to think of how bad it could get, once you start forcing everyone to do the same thing. Consumer choices are not only convenient, but in many ways a necessity!

    Not sure why some of these game companies are trying to ignore some of these obvious problems. I didn’t even touch on some of the other problems. Like how going digital only will probably make piracy even worse.

    Consumers getting annoyed and pirating a game is already happening now! I hate to repeat myself but, imagine if digital is the only choice. If they are currently fighting a war against piracy in the world of video games, going digital only is like choosing to fight the war on the pirates terms!

    The pirates would love to see you make everything online, make it all digital. They thrive in the digital playground. it’s kinda like their natural habitat. The big companies would be at a great disadvantage.

    These companies, EA for example, they see all these positives in the digital market, and without really thinking it through, are trying to go all digital. Sure, it reduces cost in some ways, it allows you to bring in the majority of the profit, you can more or less cut out the middle man.

    I think that is kinda fools gold, just like I said above, it works so well now because consumers have other choices. They will find out rather quickly, digital only comes with its share of problems too.

    I’ve only touched on a few part of the digital only discussion, and I’ve already typed up way tooooo longgg offf a possssttt. (Sorry!)

    Thanks for reading! And feel free to reply. This is a topic that is very easy to discuss.