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Querch

Gaming Digital purchase of games

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OK, first off, I'm no PC gamer and I've been sticking with Nintendo since ever. I've always been on a rather strict budget so it has never been practical to own more than one console for every generation. That said, I'm next to completely ignorant about PC gaming and what Sony and Microsoft have been doing in any comprehensive detail so correct me in any place I slip up.

 

So, digital purchases is becoming more of a thing now. I only first started seeing, hearing and caring about it since the whole WiiWare, Virtual Console thing. Well, nowadays I'm hearing about Steam. Digital purchase of games is more common on PCs these days, isn't it? Speaking of PCs, the used games market on the PC front is pretty non-existent these days.

 

Well, that's kinda the problem I have with digital ownership; you can't lend it out to friends or borrow from another. For one, I am friends with someone who is a Nintendo fan with every cell in his body so it gives me a greater feeling of freedom to look for games that seem more at the fringes that I think I'll like because I can count on the fact that I can turn to someone else for my first party games.

 

As more and more games become available for purchase digitally, well, it throws a wrench into the whole process of lending games. So then since I don't own a 3DS or a Wii U of my own, I've been wondering if it would be practical, let alone possible, to temporarily trade systems to access each other's digitally purchased media. Any thoughts here?

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That's the frustrating thing about DRM and why a lot of people hate it. I don't have a Wii U either but from what I've heard, playing someone else's console is the only way to share downloadable games. Same for the 3DS. So I think the only limitation here is whether or not you're wiling to let your friend borrow your console.

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Well, I can't deny the fact that you can't lend games with digital distribution. But there's no need when both can buy the game cheaper. Let me explain something that has been part of digital gaming and consoles don't have:

 

A lot of people complain about the fact that you can't lend or rent digital games. As a matter of fact, people say that they want to own their games, which you might already know that you will never do. You DON'T own those games, you just bought a playable copy of that particular software, but most people don't know that the game will never be owned by them.

 

Now, once you get that out of the way, there are great benefits in digital gaming. Well, at least with Steam (consoles really need to step up in this distribution platform):

 

1) Digital distribution reduces costs: While most disc based games for consoles costs $60 brand new, the moment they arrive digitally on PC they cost between $50 or $40.

 

2) More games for your money: If you wait a little, the console version will cost less, sometimes even $40 after two months. But if you wait on PC, you can get tons of Steam sales and the prices drop drastically (I can get a $50 game for $30!). This of course depends on the developers and publishers, but why would they do this? Well...

 

3) More money goes for publishers and developers: Something that people have not understood is the fact that buying used games is hurting the developers and publishers. This is due to the fact that used games market is not regulated. You'll see people buying used games for $55 instead of $60 for a brand new copy. They save money, of course, but this only benefits the distributor. Not even one cent of that money goes to the publisher and developer of that game. You might remember Square Enix stating that they lost money with Tomb Raider. This is because a lot of people waited for the $10 price drop or to buy used copies of that game. Since there's no such market in digital gaming, they can afford to reduce the price from time to time. See the recently released MK9: Komplete Edition on PC, costing $30 (and soon it'll cost even less!).

 

4) Your digital collection is stored: You say that you want to own the copies of those games and that with digital gaming you can't. Well, the problem is that if you scratch, lose, drop or do something bad to your disc, then you'll have to buy another copy of that game. With digital distribution (or at least with Steam) you can access those games anywhere. Did you buy a new computer and you want to play your games on it? It's ok, download Steam, log in and your purchased games will be available to download and install in any computer you want. The only way to access those copies is with your account. What about game saves? Cloud System. You just have to sync your save files (which is done automatically unless you configure it differently) and download those files on your other computer.

 

5) What about DRM?: Well, you can play offline (as long as the games are not always online, of course) for a month before having to use internet again. You don't need to be online all the time.

 

That's the frustrating thing about DRM and why a lot of people hate it. I don't have a Wii U either but from what I've heard, playing someone else's console is the only way to share downloadable games. Same for the 3DS. So I think the only limitation here is whether or not you're wiling to let your friend borrow your console.

 

Or you can let your friend log in with your account. But is not the best solution. Sadly, consoles need to figure out a way yo be more attractive to consumers. Right now, Steam is way more attractive. But you need a decent PC, though :P

  • Brohoof 1

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If you game on a PC, yeah, you're pretty much just going to have to purchase digitally. There are hard copies of PC games, and some games that only came out as hard copies(Silent Hill 2), but for most games, you'll be downloading digitally and probably through Steam.

 

That said, there is reason to believe Valve is developing a lending system for Steam, and it could be coming soon with future updates.

 

And, yes, the future of gaming, console included, is almost certainly going digital, but, for now, hard copies still have a significant presence in console gaming and for good reason.

 

As for your question regarding the 3DS and WiiU, I have no clue.

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Well, that's kinda the problem I have with digital ownership; you can't lend it out to friends or borrow from another. 

 

 

not true, at least on the PC front.

Consoles.. yeah, no go.

But on the PC its easier than ever, even with steam.

As long as they keep it in offline mode they could keep whatever games they installed too. But STEAM intigrated ones won't have MP.

I do it for my laptop, and that once a month call in stuff is crock, or just never affected me somehow.

more and more digital copies are also ditching DRM alltogether, GoG has created a wave of such alongside their owners at CD Projekt Red.

So many more devs are self publishing and skipping DRM unless you buy it from other sources like steam.

 

As for the used market on the PC, while low, its also making a slight come back lately.

GMG offers trade ins on many titles, and many titles on steam can be traded/sold to other players right from your account.

Edited by GrimCW

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