Games… Digital Download or not?

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Hi there!

I have noticed that digital download of games over the “net” are becoming more available. This is true for PC gaming with the highly successful service Steam where you can buy a game, download it, and play it on any pc. No CDs, DVDs to keep track of, and a big advantage is that you do not have to have the disc in the drive to play. I use this type of service a lot on my Playstation 3 on the PSN (Playstation Network). You put some money into your “wallet” and when you see a game you like you just use the funds from your wallet to purchase it. You can download it at anytime and it is already activated.

I think on the other side of the coin, you get your shiny new disk and box which you may or may not keep. I do like the feeling that you always have the media on hand, but there have been times where the disk is scratched or you just can’t find that nostalgic old game you really want to replay. The boxes that the games come in are getting more compact and less of a waste and can store in a DVD tower, but personally I am getting tired of keeping discs.

I think the digital download age is coming about for games. It is very convenient, and, if the service or company is popular enough, you do not need to worry about it going under, etc. There are only a few downsides that I can think of off the top of my head:

  • Bandwidth issues (downloading large games)
  • Do you have to be connected to the service to play the game?
  • Ongoing charges, if any

The only real problem I have right now for some of the games is when they are cheap (e.g. $4.95) it is too easy to just buy it without thinking about it. Then if you do that many times it could get expensive. The small inexpensive downloadable games I have recently bought for the ps3 (Super Stardust HD, PixelJunk Monsters, etc) have provided a ton of fun play. Moreover, some of these have provided more fun and play time than the $60 Blu-ray disk games.

What do you guys think?

–Andrew

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