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The digital days of gaming

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November 22, 2019

Like most content produced in the world of creative media now a days, more and more gamers are buying their games digitally. We could come up with a number of highfalutin reasons ourselves why this is happening but to get the good oil, we go to the source and let our resident in-house gaming guru Gerard explain why.

When I look at my ever-growing video game library (and it does seem to be ever-growing), I've noticed a developing trend: I'm not buying too many physical copies of games these days. 

Instead, I'm buying more and more of my games digitally.

Why digital?

I put that down to two things: The first is the instantaneous nature and convenience of digital storefronts and the second is actually fibre broadband, which has changed the way we can access content as it lets me download large files relatively quickly.

There’s such a diverse range of digital stores to source games from now, some of the more popular ones I use are Epic Games Store, Steam, Nintendo’s e-shop, the PlayStation Store or Xbox Game Pass (for both PC and Xbox). 

In fact, the only physical game I've pre-ordered in recent times has been Luigi's Mansion 3 for my Nintendo Switch - and that was only because I haven't got around to buying a bigger microSD storage card. That is despite having to delete games I haven't played in a while to create space on the handheld's storage for The Witcher 3. I'm sure I'll get around to it sometime soon (yet right, I probably won't!). That said, I did buy it from an online store, though, not a bricks and mortar retailer.

These days, digital stores are just way more convenient for me than traditional bricks and mortar shops. I mean, think about it: You're browsing your favourite digital game store and you see a game you’ve been wanting for some time or a new release title. You pop it into your virtual shopping trolley, pay for it and in a matter of minutes (sometimes instantly) the game is ready to be downloaded. It couldn't get any simpler.

I just love that I'm browsing online at home, at night, and I see a game I'd like, there's no waiting for the next day until a retailer opens: I can buy games from a digital store no matter the time of day, even while wearing my pyjamas, if I want! (sorry, scrap that image, I went a bit too far there). I've even heard cases where boxed copies of games actually have a digital code inside rather than a disc so buying digital cuts out the middleman.

Also, I still get games to review from publishers sometimes, and 9 out of 10 times they provide codes to download the game.  

Going digital without buffering

Of course, to go completely digital these days, you need a reliable fibre broadband provider and no data cap (an unlimited data plan), which I have and I suspect many of you do as well, especially if you're gamers or stream a lot of multimedia content.

I reckon it's even more crucial these days to have an unlimited data plan if you're planning on downloading all your games, especially when many AAA games these days are often in excess of 100Gb in size (the upcoming Red Dead Redemption 2 on PC is said to be 150Gb in size!).

Unless a game has a reason for me to go for a physical copy, such as a sweet steelbook case or some other incentive, I can see myself getting more and more of my games digitally in the future.

I'd better make sure I have plenty of storage space on all my gaming platforms, eh?

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