Should You Buy Digital or Physical Copies of Games?

Posted on July 23, 2015 by Noah Bucci

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There has been a lot of “debate” about whether you should buy digital copies or physical copies of games. This debate has been circling around for years, but it recently kicked off with the announcement that Halo 5 Collector’s Edition being shipped with a digital version of the game instead of a disc. It has caused so much hubub, that 343i announced that there will be a Limited Collector’s Edition that comes with a physical disc.  So let’s settle this debate once and for all. What are the Pros and Cons of buying Digital games and Physical Games?


Pros of Physical Games:

  • Actually going to the store to buy it/ Midnight Releases

I don’t know about you, but I love the experience of going into a game store and purchasing a game. I get to make a connection and friendship with the staff, as well as talking to other people in the store. Plus, I enjoy going to Midnight Releases.  I like standing in line and the feeling you get hyping up the game with other people in line then finally getting the game.

  • Pre-Order Bonuses from Dealers
  • Rewards Such as Gamestop Power Up Rewards Programs
  • Bringing it to friend’s houses

Even though you can sometimes download digital games to download and play on another console. But sometimes, due to the magic forces of the console ether, you can’t. With discs, this is never a problem, as it will always work, so long as the disc in in the console.

Cons of Physical Games:

  • Having to go to the store to buy games and having to physically switch games

Sometimes you feel lazy and just don’t want to leave your comfy couch.  Not only do you have to go to the store to get the game, but if you want to switch from one game to another, you have to get up and walk across the room to switch out discs. Such work…

  • If You Lose the Disc, the Game is Useless


Pros of Digital Games:

  • Pre-Downloading

With digital games, you can usually pre-download them so that you can play them the minute they come out. That way, you don’t have to wait an hour or so for the game to download after waiting forever to get the game.

  • Convenience

It is easier to just buy a game from the XBL/PSN store. You don’t have to worry about it being in stock, going to the store and it’s easier to buy games on the fly. Plus, console stores are always having sales so you can get games cheaper.

Cons of Digital Games:

  • Cannot Sell Games

Sometimes you want to sell your games. Whether you get bored of it, hated the game, or even if you just want to give it to your friend, physical copies of games allow you to sell them. Even if you may not get a lot of money for it, you can still use it toward other games you would rather play. With digital games, this is just not possible.


So which is better? It’s really up to you. I enjoy buying both, it really depends on what game it is and when I choose to buy it. I like going to my local Gamestop and talking to the employees and discussing upcoming games and such. But sometimes I also want to  get a game for free or for a discount, and for that I digitally download. Either way, we are all getting to play games, let’s just enjoy playing them.


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