Why I don’t want console gaming to go digital | Pugs and Dinosaurs

The Playstation Store’s 10 year anniversary last month was welcomed with a huge range of discounted games, a lot of them big titles I’d been eyeing up but wasn’t quite ready to purchase yet (e.g. £19.99 for The Last Guardian.)

While these discounts were great and exclusive, I always feel a little sad downloading a new game and not having a tangible disc to push into the machine. It’s something I worry is going to take over the console industry and in turn impact the wider bricks and mortar retail stores.


Retailer Gamestop is already facing closures over in the US, due to poor performance, with 150 stores apparently closing in the near future and while it’s true that these retailers can charge more for games, much more than a digital download may cost or an online retailer may charge, there are also more overhead costs to consider.

The world of music and film has already witnessed this change, as we move away from physical CDs and DVDs and pay monthly to gain access to streaming services or stores where you can purchase a digital download. However, these are usually no cheaper than purchasing the physical copy and so it’s all about ease and instant gratification – one could also argue that it benefits the environment.

However, while I have a Spotify account and watch Netflix, I really don’t want console gaming to become a solely digital industry, where you can only purchase titles via the PS Store or its competitor counterparts. There is still a place for discs.


There’s something satisfying about having a huge stack of games, sitting on the side or neatly placed in a holder. About looking through the titles and deciding which one to pick out today.

I love going into game stores and working my way through the rows of titles available, picking them up and reading the back to see if it’s something you fancy playing. The packaging and the artwork is something to enjoy looking at before you install the disc. This is all lost when it’s digitally downloaded. 

PC gaming has already evolved to allow more of a digital preference, with the likes of Steam and Origin allowing users to directly download games. Many computers don’t even feature disc drives though, so this makes a lot of sense. It appears however that Nintendo obviously still thinks there is a place for physical games, as it decided to produce cartridges for its new Switch console – albeit at a tiny size – but this was the opportunity to make everything exclusively digital.

We’re already halfway there when it comes to digital downloads and consoles, there’s just a part of me that hopes ease doesn’t completely win over substance. Part of the fun of gaming is receiving that shiny new disc and running home to play it!

What do you think about console gaming going digital? This is just a personal reflection on the changes happening, it’s still an exciting development in the world of gaming though. Do you think it will become the norm?




4 thoughts on “Why I don’t want console gaming to go digital | Pugs and Dinosaurs

  1. Kim says:

    I’m someone who prefers physical rather than digital copies of games. Perhaps that’s something to do with my age – you could only get the former when I was kid so maybe I’m nostalgic – but it would be a shame to see gaming go completely digital.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Athena | AmbiGaming says:

    I prefer physical games, just like I prefer physical books and movies. For now I’m not sure we’ll see a complete turn to digital. Movie stores haven’t gone out of business, and Barnes & Noble is still around, so I think enough people still like having a physical copy in their hands/on their shelves that they won’t completely disappear yet.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. thedragonsteaparty says:

    I will buy digital versions of games if they’re on sale but I usually buy physical copies. I tend to buy these second hand though and then display them proudly on my shelf. I hope it isn’t the end for physical games!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Paul and the Backlog says:

    Agreed 100%.

    I understand the pros of going digital and every argument to do it, but then I’ll look at my game collection neatly organized on my shelves and throw those arguments out the window. Having a tangible product to hold onto and play is just satisfying. I’ll still be get digital titles if there’s a PSN sale and I can get the whole Mass Effect Trilogy for $5, but if I ever come across the physical collection for cheap, I’ll gladly pay to get it as well.

    Liked by 1 person

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