Boxed Games Still Way More Popular Than Downloadable Ones

Digital download sales might be the future of gaming, but they're certainly not the present, with a recent study finding that between 80-90% of games bought are still those that come on a disc and are sold in a store.

This means that, at a rough estimate, 10-20% of total sales are of the digital variety. Hardly market-busting, sure, but consider that not every console is connected to the internet and that not many digital games can compete with retail titles for advertising space and awareness and it's a respectable figure.

Also remember that this is taking the entire gaming market into account as a single overall tally; there are reports that suggest that around half of PC games sales are now made on stores like Steam and Direct2Drive.

Report debunks "disc is dead" claims [Eurogamer]


    No surprises there... I'm one of those people that will always buy a physical copy over a digital one...

    I'd love to buy online more, but the paltry download limit I'm lumbered with precludes that option :(

      Me too. Need to save that for playing the games. sometimes if I have some left at the end of the month I can squeeze something in.

      PC games are a bit easier i you can download them at work ;)

      Yeah, I see what you're saying; however it's a matter of perspective. what is a "paltry download limit"? Is it 5Gb? I can see that being a problem. Is it 25Gb? Meh, DL a game a month, and in no time you'll have more games than you can handle.

      I see the main issue as the HDD space allowed on consoles. 250Gb for OS, media, saves AND games is by no means enough. People can simply have more games at once while they're on disc.

      This is not as much off an issue with PC gamers. I can simply add another HDD to my PC and I'm good to go.

        Well more and more games are exceeding a 2GB minimum and usually employ some sort of online component with equally large updates.

        The average internet account is between 20 and 40 GB. After a while it all just adds up.

        For me, I'm limited to a 6MB dsl2 account with 25GB per month shared with the rest of the household.

        I've had to curb my online use a lot coz I can easily end up using around 10GB per day.

    I think this is skewed a bit by the console stuff--much less of those games are primarily available digitally (after a long delay or simply not there). If you talk about PC games, especially exclusive stuff, I bet the numbers are vastly different. Do a breakdown of Empire: Total War or Civ5 when it hits and we'll see a difference.

    "reports that suggest that around half of PC games sales are now made on stores like Steam and Direct2Drive" Which speaks of the size of said market.

    I'm with the majority. I like my games on physical media.

    I've been a huge supporter of digital delivery for quite some time. Nearly all my PC games are on steam. Hell I have a PSPgo!

    Wonder if it has something to do with having the same price for both, I know I tend towards thinking "If I'm paying full price, I'm damn sure getting something physical that can at least pretend to justify it"

      The other positive games in physical format have is that you can resell them once you're done - can't do that with a download

        I don't care so much about the selling, but I do lament the loss of lending. It's much nicer to be able to say to somebody "It was really good, borrow my copy and see what you think" than "It was really good, now go buy it yourself".

      This would be my take on it as well. If digital downloads were significantly cheaper (reflecting the fact that there's no "middle-man" retail chain, no manufacturing, no box art to produce, etc) then I'm sure digital downloads would eclipse retail purchases very quickly.

    I will just buy whatever is cheapest. I typically don't give a toss how it is delivered to me.
    One thing I like is when I can download a game again if I damage the disc somehow, but Blizzard games offer this even when purchased in a store.

    I think 80-90% of my purchases are now digital download and 20-10% are physical. It just makes so much more sense to use and with steam it's just a few clicks away from buying, installing and updating to the latest version. HDD space is never an issue and download quota for steam is free on iiNet. Prices are generally a lot cheaper than retail and best of all is that I know I have a large library of games ready to be delivered to me wherever I go.

    digital is boss, but often only the physical version will have limited editions and the like... where i can get cool things like a mini face hugger with no tail.

    Does anyone have a link to the full results of this study? I went to Eurogamer who directed me to the people who conducted the study, the Entertainment Merchants Association. But I can’t find the study anywhere on their site.

    I prefer a physical copy over a digital one. I do own a few games on steam though.

    Death to Physical media! (on the PC). I don't even have a working DVD drive in my PC anymore and I haven't for months. Physical media is still going to be around for the consoles but I can't wait until I don't have to worry about it on PC anymore. Someone gave me Singularity on DVD and I can't play it since the game wasn't the DVD in the drive, such an old and antiquated protection method.

    It's ridiculous that digital downloads aren't cheaper than the boxed copies - in fact, with regional pricing on Steam, they're often MORE EXPENSIVE.

    I'm not paying you the same when you don't have to pay for a middleman, physical media, packaging, transport, storage, shelf space etc. And when I lose then right to onsell my game when I'm finished with it.

    The publishers are ripping people off when they buy digital copies. Greedy bastards.

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