Survey finds gamers prefer discs: 4 reasons they’re better than downloads

Brittany A. Roston - Oct 18, 2016, 4:03pm CDT
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Survey finds gamers prefer discs: 4 reasons they’re better than downloads

Buying a game disc or buying the digital download: it’s a decision gamers face with nearly every game purchase. There are upsides and downsides to both, as with most things in life, but the trend isn’t split equally between one and the other. A new consumer survey out of the UK has found the vast majority of gamers (at least among those surveyed) prefer to buy physical game copies over downloads, and for good reason.

The survey comes from a UK organization that asked about 1200 people whether they prefer physical game discs or digital downloads. Of those respondents, 77.1-percent said they prefer physical games versus the 22.9-percent who prefer digital. That’s not surprising to most people, though, as there are some distinct advantages to buying physical copies versus digital ones:

You can resell them

The biggest reason most people choose the physical disc is because you can resell it and recuperate some of the cost after you’ve finished playing, assuming you don’t want to keep the game forever. Depending on how quickly you finish the game and how popular it is, you may be able to resell it for a large percentage of what you paid…meaning you have more money to pick up the other games on your list.

They’re (possibly) cheaper

If the game’s brand new, you’re probably going to pay the same regardless of whether you go physical or digital. However, after a while the physical games tend to be cheaper than the digital downloads, especially if you don’t mind buying a copy that doesn’t have its case or that is missing its artwork. The digital copy may have dropped from $60 to $25, for example, but a bit of hunting may turn up a used physical copy for as little as $10.

Less downloading

If you have an Internet cap, buying a physical game disc means having to download less, though there is still usually some downloading involved. Considering that a single major digital game download can be 50GB, that’s a pretty big deal for people who have slow connections or data caps…which, for those in the US at least, is quite a few people.

Sharing is caring

If you buy physical game discs, and assuming you don’t sell them when you’re finished, that leaves a large library from which your friends and relatives can borrow games. Maybe you’re not the sharing type, and that’s fine. But if you are, there’s really no easier way to let someone spend a weekend experiencing a new game than to grab it off your own shelf and hand it to them.


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