As gamers, we all would love to have our games straight out of the packet ready to play. Sadly, with the current market, it’s becoming more common to press the ‘final discs’ with a portion of the content and just patch it in later – forcing your first experience with a game being long waiting times. Digital methods are much better at handling this issue with pre-loading, but for me, amazing digital games don’t fill the void. Don’t get me wrong, I love all gaming, digital or physical – and in such, there are a plethora of games that were only released digitally and I’m more than happy to pick up and support games digitally if there is no physical counterpart (In fact, I very commonly double-dip on games that were digital only, I purchase them digitally and once again if a physical copy gets released.) Some games are even lost to the digital void, with the most popular choice being Scott Pilgrim Vs The World: The Video Game. Too many licenses and parties were involved, leaving the game locked to Xbox Live and PSN accounts who had previously purchased the game before it was taken down.
Pictured: Japanese Exclusive Skylanders: Spyro’s Adventure for the Wii U
However, the question still remains, What will become of physical gaming media in the future? I personally think we have a few more years left in the fact, even if the loading times before being able to play a game are becoming longer – and Japan is a big part in this. Though Japanese locals don’t like having big boxed collector’s editions or larger items, they are all for physical discs and cartridges, which is why they seem to get more western indie games physically in their shops. They do occasionally even get big boxed limited editions and releases that are hard to get for collectors, though in some cases, they will sit in shops, not being sold, due to their size and the limited space in a Japanese home. That’s not to say they don’t do digital, in fact last year they trialed out Resident Evil 7 and Phantasy Star Online through digital streaming, exclusively for the Nintendo Switch- but the main staying power of owning a piece of media seems to be locked in, at least for a few more years and at the very low end, one more generation.
Pictured: All current Super Rare Games‘ Releases
Physical media has always been something that I strive to get, not only to own a piece of history without contracts ended and the game being taken away, but also to preserve the data. If all discs and cartridges included the current patch and even DLC, it would make the game on disc the most accessible version, with no need for extra download time, especially since not everyone’s internet is the fastest (with mine coming in on the very low end.) There is a place for digital – and I’d never want to see that end, but I will be holding on to my physical game collection and hope that definitive versions will be pressed to disc to keep gaming alive, even when the servers go down in decades to come.