Feb 4th, 2013 publishUpdated   Jul 18th, 2013, 9:48 am

The digital revolution is upon us, my friends. The Wii U launched with nearly a full catalog of retail titles available for download directly to a hard-drive and the 3DS is seeing more of its releases available directly in the Nintendo eShop. The age of waiting in line at GameStop or the equivalent is over unless you’re after those exclusive items, like the Fire Emblem: Awakening 3DS bundle, or various collector’s editions released with goodies for those games.

This begs the question: Are you more likely to buy a digital game if there are no bonuses to owning a physical copy?

I’ve thought about it myself and realized that there are very specific cases in which I prefer to purchase my games digitally. One of these is games on PC, where Steam is the leading digital distribution platform. Valve has used Steam to make obtaining games at a great price mean I can download and play a game with just two clicks of a button. The last time I purchased a hard copy of a PC product was when Spore came out in 2008.

Nintendo seems to be emulating Valve somewhat, as they have whole-heartedly embraced the offering of retail games through their own digital channel. Microsoft has allowed it for some time, but only for select titles that are deemed “best sellers”. Sony is considerably better than Microsoft at offering titles as I bought Far Cry 3 digitally, but they still lag behind Nintendo in their latest venture.

The pros of buying digitally are many. As soon as I complete the purchase, the game is mine and I can play it immediately. I don’t have to waste time going to the store. Additionally, in regards to the 3DS, I can download the game and save it onto my SD card and not have to worry about carrying a bunch of extra cartridges around with me. Portability is always a plus.

Of course, there are several downsides to digital purchases as well. As with the Xbox 360 in its early years, downloads on the Wii U are currently tied to the console and not the Nintendo account that purchased them. That means if something happens to your Wii U, you’ll lose your purchases. That’s a scary thought, considering the rate of console failure for last generation, where terms such as the Red Ring of Death and the Yellow Light of Death were coined for competitor’s consoles.

Nintendo could easily fix this caveat by tying purchases directly to a Nintendo account instead of the hardware itself. That’s the fix Microsoft employed with their Xbox Live Arcade and it has worked out well for people who have had to replace consoles due to failure.

Another issue of digital distribution is price. Retailers such as Walmart and Target often offer great deals on discs simply to move some of the stock they have. They certainly don’t want it sitting on shelves for six months after release, so it’s common to see sales of $10, $15, or even $20 off relatively new games. This isn’t something that occurs with digital distribution very often.

Steam has perfected the art of the sale when it comes to making sure games are both affordable and accessible, but neither of the big three players in the console market have come close to offering what it can do. The Wii U and its digital functionality hasn’t been around long enough to judge the sales that have been available on it, but they’re comparable to the $5 and $10 off indie titles that we’ve seen offered on Microsoft and Sony platforms. Only Sony seems to understand what benefit putting your products on sale can have, as PlayStation Plus members receive an additional discount beyond what the sale price offers.

The problem for consumers when it comes to digital distribution is a plus for developers and publishers. When a consumer buys a game disc and finishes it, that consumer can take it to GameStop or sell it on eBay to recoup some of the money invested in the product. This leads others to buy the product at a discounted rate, but none of that money goes back to the original publisher or developer. Many publishers consider this double-dipping and have condemned the practice of selling used games.

With digital distribution, the game is tied directly to the consumer’s account, so once they’re finished playing the game, it sits there as it can’t be unlinked. This keeps the publisher and the developer happy, since no new sales can be generated through used games, but it also keeps the consumer’s wallet empty, since many people rely on being able to trade in their games to play all the latest hits.

Losing the ability to trade-in games that they no longer want or didn’t enjoy is a deal breaker for many people. One of the loudest cries of people in discussing digital distribution is that once bought, the game should be yours to do with as you please instead of operating like a license that can be taken away at any time.

With all of these points considered, are you comfortable buying games digitally or would you rather have physical copies of your media? What changes would you like to see made to how Nintendo distributes their games for the future? Let us know in the comments.

local_offer    3DS  eShop  Nintendo  wii u  
  • Ford Crews

    Yes, but they need to be playable by me on any console, in case mine dies, I’m at someone else’s home, or on vacation.   And they need to be the same price or lower than physical copies, since I can resell physical copies when I’m through with them.

  • Seth S. Scott

    I will always prefer to have a disc and a case for my game. I pride myself on my game collections and owning the games that I love. Having them on my system is ok if its the only way indie games can afford to be released but I would never want for all game distribution to go digital. never. 

  • Laud

    I like having the boxes on display so physical.

    I do like to buy indie games though so I guess I don’t really mind digital either 😛

  • HylianHero7227

    I am game fore digital downloads. Favorites such as Zelda, Mario, ect. will be physically bought because i like to collect them. The only downside to me, like everyone else, is the inability to trade in.

  • Jess Purdy

    I don’t sell my games anyway, as i like to hold onto them to replay down the road.  I much prefer digital distribution in general, and between the Wii U and Steam on my PC, I haven’t seen the inside of a Gamestop in a long time.

  • Mr. Nick

    I like owning the physical copy. I like holding the box and disc in my hands. That’s just me though.

  • Robyn Hermann

    I was home in the snow and almost bought zombie U in digitally format because I was bored, but what stopped me is that if the wii u breaks, I’m out of that money.

    • Actually the game is tied to your Nintendo Account just like XBOX does with XBOX live purchases or Apple does with iTunes purchases.   In the event of the Wii U fails or something it can be re-downloaded.

      I know in the article it says the downloads are tied to the console and that is partially true.. If you contact Nintendo they can move your account and allow downloads to a new console. I know this because my brother had to have it done when his new Wii U hard locked up. It actually locked up with a game inside and Nintendo took care of him, assigned his ID to the new console, allowed the downloading and even replaced the game that was stuck in the drive when the Wii U died.

      • Metal_Man_v2

        Can this be redone indefinitely? Or is there a limited number of times.  I ask because as a PS3 owner I know that Sony lets you redownload content from your account, but only for 2-5 consoles, or you have to pay for it again.

        •  That I do not know..  I do know that you can redownload your stuff though because my brother had his Wii U fail and Nintendo told him to return it and get a new one since it was within 30 days.   They had to do some stuff on the back end since it was a different console but he was able to download all his old Wii games he purchased on his old Wii and all of his new Wii U stuff again with minimal issue.

          I am not sure if Nintendo limits it to one console or to a certain amount of times.

  • I’m 100% for digital downloads that I’ll keep for a while and replay (e.g. Mario stuff, strategy games I’d revisit etc.) – for games I know I’ll play for a couple months only (e.g. most sports games, etc.) I’ll buy hard copy so I can trade in.

    Bought/downloaded Fire Emblem on 3DS last night and lovin’ it (before retail buyers 😉

    • Glad to hear that! I’m planning on downloading Fire Emblem tonight. Grats to all those who got that shiny Fire Emblem 3DS!

  • Russell Thomas

    the wii u eshop is hideously expensive compared to retail channels, so i will not go digital until ninty sorts out the pricing. however, if its the only way to get certain titles then i have no other option…

  • TheLordOfDarkness

    I like owning a physical copy. There’s just something different about actually owning it amd physically holding it. With digital games, I can’t return them (even though I keep all my games).

    For the Wii U, though, I’d rather the physical copy. Having only 32gb is not a lot of space when some games, like Arkham, are 15gb in size. I’d much rather my games be physically lined up looking more like a collection or display, and then some of the space is just smaller things like a N64 or Gamecube game, other Wii U apps, screenshots and replays (SSB4 will likely be able to save replays and again take snapshots).

  • Despite the few inconveniences of digital purchases, I prefer to purchase my media in digital form. I already have too much physical clutter in the house and I don’t want to add more.

  • RetroSquid

    So, games straight from eShop £54.99, or buy in store for £34.99… 

    I love having a substantial collection of actual games to display and rummage through. actual space is a hell of a lot cheaper than more HDD space…

  • DemonRoach

    I will buy digitally if Nintendo provided me a 160-320GB HD on my Wii U.  I am certainly not buying a dedicated HD for games.

    • Fred

      That won’t go very far NBA 2K13 was almost 25GB I bought a 2TB hard drive

    • EvanescentHero

      Buying an external drive of that size is cheaper than if Nintendo had packaged it with the console.

    • Zelly Jeffers

      Why not? I got my drive through Amazon Warehouse Deals. 1 TB for under $70. It was returned or something. The box had been opened before but they bundled it up securely with everything, the drive looked like new and works perfectly.

  • Fred

    I love the digital distribution. Right now on my Wii U I have BOTH downloaded games and discs and the downloaded games get played more often. What can I say, I’m lazy and my games are hard to get to (I have 2 little kids) Also I love knowing that my kids can’t scratch/break/lose my new super Mario bros disc or my nba 2k13 disc cause they are both downloaded. 

    • Fred

      The only reason I bought sonic racing, and scribblenauts, on disc is the toys r us buy one get one half off sale

  • Sdudyoy

    Physical, it comes with Boxes and does not take memory.

  • AAAkabob

    I intend on downloading solo games and buying multiplayer games (smash bros) through retail. Easier to bring a CD to a friend’s house than a console=

    • Sidney Majurie

      What’s this about gamers having actual flesh and blood friends that force you to go out into the sunlight to interact with them personally. LOL. Nintendo understands that some people like playing games with actual people they know in the real world…

  • NintendoNoob

    Well in the case if I had to buy a new Wii U and since I don’t have the games connected with my account no, I would not want to download games digitally only unless they were tied to my account and offered me club Nintendo coins

    • Fred

      They do offer you Club Nintendo Coins. Just as many for the Nintendo branded games and more for the 3rd party games (I got 70 coins for downloading NBA 2K13)

      • NintendoNoob


  • fireheartis1

    I’d rather go to the store and buy a physical copy of the game.  It feels so awesome to have the game in your hand while walking out of a store.  I’d rather do that then download a retail game.  I save my memory for indie games, game saves, and virtual console games.  I like having the box on hand when I want to play my games it feels to amazing not to want that.

  • EvanescentHero

    Basically the only reason I would buy a game physically is if it came with extras, such as the Zelda Wii remote and CD that came with Skyward Sword. That’s a tremendous plus for the Wii U for me; being able to buy digitally saves space in my house, and I’m not one of those people who likes to display my games collection. The boxes just end up in a drawer and discs go into my CD wallet. Besides, with downloaded games, you don’t have to worry about the disc breaking. Now, say Smash Bros. Wii U and 3DS are bundled together physically for cheaper. I plan to get both versions of the game, so if it’s cheaper physically, I’ll do that. And maybe for a game I feel really strongly about, such as Zelda U, I’ll get it physically. But other than that, I prefer to download games, as it’s more convenient to me.

  • guest

    i bought a console so i could own physical copies of my games. The only digital games i like are dirt cheap durring sales, and the fact that most digital copies cannot be traded or resold is a deal breaker for me when it comes down to it. If they changed the digital market place to trade games or sell them then i would be willing to pay 60 dollars for a game, otherwise no.

  • Metal_Man_v2

    For me, there are no perks to digital copies.  It takes longer to download an entire game than to run up to my local Gamestop and actually pay for a copy.  You can’t lend the game to your friends to let them try it, and you are limited to how many consoles you can play the game on after you buy it.  With all of these downsides, it’s absurd that digital copies don’t cost significantly   less than physical games.  

    Obviously this is directed toward console games, as Steam seems to do a pretty good job with digital distribution. 

  • Sidney Majurie

    “Would you rather buy your games digitally?”

    No. If it’s not in your hands and you can’t touch it… you don’t own it.

    • Jimmy D. Fugate

      Really good insight.

    •  I agree! Plus, I would rather spend 5 minutes at retail buying a game than “X” amount of  hours downloading a game!

    • Well said, good sir.

    • val berger

      Wrong. No matter if it’s stored on a BluRay Disc or on a Flashstorage, in both cases you only buy a digital copy. Of course I do know the benefits of the Retailversion, but in both cases you don’t ‘own’ anything but the storagemedium. It’s a stupid thing with digital content in general.

      • Sidney Majurie

        I can sell, return, give away to a friend or relative, or trade in my physical copy. Try that with a digital copy…

        • val berger

          I have never claimed otherwise.  Still if you buy a retaildisc of Super Mario, you don’t OWN Super mario, you only own a copy. And if you give it away or resell this copy, then only because publishers aren’t really able to stop you from doing that (although they are trying really hard with online activation and stuff like that) not because it’s a promoted feature.

          I am absolutely aware of the benefits of retail games and I myself prefer buying those over digital stuff, mainly because of Nintendos ridiculous pricing model, where digital content is far more expensive than retail games (doesn’t really sum up, does it? ). I just wanted to clarify the fact, that you don’t own anything but the storage-medium in any case. 

          Now that I’m thinking about that, I’m asking myself if it’s possible to plug the harddrive with my bought game content to another wiiU and play my stuff there. But I guess, that would be too cool to be true. I guess its all bound to the original WiiU’s user account so noone takes any chances, duuuuh -_-

          • Sidney Majurie

            Never said I owned the entity because I own a copy. I own that particular physical copy. You’re not refuting my points. No matter how many paragraphs you write. As of today, I can buy, sell, trade, and give away my used copies of music cd’s, movies on dvd, bluray and vhs, and that will change with account locked digital distribution…

          • val berger

            I think you misunderstood what I tried to explain. Yet I agree with your last sentence, as things are gonna change, like they already did with music, movies and books. 

  • Zelly Jeffers

    Yes! Digital, please. Only reason I haven’t bothered to buy Black Ops II or Mass Effect 3 yet. I never sell my games and I’d rather not have to stack cases. I use a CD case to house all my Wii games and try to pack the cases away in a storage closet. I’d rather not have to do that. I fell out of love with cases years back when I moved out of an apartment I’d lived in for eight years. So many DVDs, GameCube, and Wii cases to pack. Ugh. Waste of space and plastic. Since then, I’ve taken to purchasing movies digitally. BluRay player not even needed since you could download HD.

    There’s also the added advantage of not having to swap game discs. I’m able to just sit and play Assassin’s Creed III, then switch to Trine 2, then some Little Inferno. All without having to get off the couch.

    I bought a 1 TB drive JUST for my Wii U. If I could even buy a download code at GameStop I’d be more than happy to. In fact, I wish I could trade in my Nintendoland (bought deluxe), Arkham City and ZombiU discs for downloads.

    • Fred

      I would also love to trade Nintendo Land disc for a free download!

    • Bill Bong

      FYI a downloaded “HD” movies is not HD. Movies on Blu-rays are 25 – 30 Gigs. Downloaded movies have mush lower bit rates. Nothing above 10. Blue-rays are over 20.

      • Zelly Jeffers

        They still look gorgeous on my TV though, and that works for me. 🙂

    • Lazara the Last

      the only game that I would like to have on my Wii U hard drive is Nintendo Land, because that’s the game I play the most with friends and family. Otherwise, I like to have the option to return the game and see my collection. Virtual Console games and Indie games is okay, because you can’t buy them at a store anyways 😉
      And I have a question about pre-paid cards. I can’t find 3DS/Wii U pre-paid cards anywhere here in Norway (Europe)! For some reason, my new credit card is taking way to long to arrive. Does the DSi/Wii/3DS cards work on the Wii U?

      EDIT: the cards looks like these except they don’t have the artwork on them: http://www.zeldadungeon.net/wp-content/uploads/2011/10/Prepaid-Cards.jpg

      • Einar

        I know SPENDON giftcards won’t work. I think there are separate cards called eshop-cards but I don’t know if others work. You can buy them at Narvesen or Gamestop. Scroll down to Norway to see availavle store you can get eshop cards from: 

        Hilser fra Norge 🙂

        • Lazara the Last

          Takk! Skal se om jeg finner noen slike kort, men har ikke sett noen på den nærmeste GameStop’en min 😉
          Prøvde et 400 kr SPENDON kort en gang, pengene forsvant, men fikk ikke noe poeng for det … 😛

  • Guhtere

    I like feeling Nintendo’s smooth, soft discs…

  • indirect76

    Yeah, I’ll take the physical copy thanks. I never sell my games, but I like having the option. Also you have the benefit of trading/lending games with friends.

  • Ken Seymour

    Garauntee all the digital games I buy will always be there for every new console from that console maker for the rest of my life to download for no further cost or else I get monetary compensation and I might consider it, but probably not even then. Think of it this way, that copy of Stadium Games for the NES that some guy bought over 20 years ago and sold it on ebay for $30,000, if digital versions were available back then and you bought it digital instead, wouldn’t you be a little pissed off right now?? You’re damn right you would be!!! So I rest my case, very little benefit to digital over physical.

  • Sydney Ultrasyd

    I like the boxes (and manuals but there is not much with wii u games), and be able to collect / sell / buy used games. Moreover if digital is the very same price ! And while it may take hours to download a big game, it’s only 2 mins to go to the nearest shop. So only indie games for me.

  • I lose or break psychical game discs so digital would be really welcome for me

  • Dylan Tosti

    No, I would rather have a physical copy. I’ve heard industry people talking about games becoming digital only, and that thought frightens me. There are many a people, myself included, that don’t have access to a credit card, or their parents don’t let them use the credit card. This is my situation, in which most, if not all of my games come from me going out to Gamestop or Best Buy with my own cash money and picking up a copy. 

    Until I’m a little older to have my own credit card, I cringe at the thought of that future…

    • Fred

      Go to best buy and pick up a eshop card

  • Mickey Mouse

    I have three boxed games, and 1 is Nintendo Land that was a packin game, the other 2 I got on disc because I got a lot of NSMBU as a bundle with the system and Sonic Transformed was half the download cost with shop loyalty credit. If the eShop full retail releases were a lot cheaper I’d get the download version, not worried about not being able to trade in, and I have a 2 TB HDD anyway so space isn’t a problem. I will always get the boxed version if there’s a gift with it, like the Chase McCain minifigure with Lego City Undercover.

  • AstralShane

    Only if I can redownload the product unlimited times as you can with iTunes and the App Store. If they’re tied to the console in any type, way, or form, then I’ll go physical. I’ll also go physical on games I’m not sure of so I could always sell them later and use the sale to “convert” it to digital if I like it.

  • Yngve Elstad

    as a video-game collector there’s no substitute to physical copies. the only games I won’t buy as physical copies are the once that are e-shop only

  • diqus sucks

    heeeeaaall noo!!

  • HELL NO!!! I want a phyisical copy and will always choose this over a digital even if it costs less for the digital if there is either option. The game companies want you to buy digitial because it costs them less to make and you can no longer resell them to get back some of your money. Its rediculous to be asked would I prefer digital over a real copy of a game what do you think I’m dumb? Its like asking hey do you want less for your money and having less power over your game. Another thing SOny and Microsoft better make games tradable as well or I simply wont buy there machine or anyone’s who dont alow trades. Ok I said my peace and dont bring it up again because it pisses me off! When you pay $60 out I better have something I can hold in my hand that I can resale atleast its a peace of plastic!!! 

  • MetroidZero

    It’s quicker to buy the physical copy, put it into the console, and play; in contrast to downloading a 5 GB game for 3 to 5 hours (DSL connection). I guess it depends on internet speed for me.

  • Wow just read a bunch of you other peoples opinions and I am a bit shocked! First thing goes through my head is what the f is wrong with these people. Why would you pay the same amount for a digital copy of a game or a phyisical WOW. Now if the dig was less money then I would understand but really. Lets say you buy a Wii U and you downloaded 10 $60 games and a year later your Wii U crapped out what then? with the way Nintendo makes it so its a pain to transfer to other consoles like the Wii that was a nightmare and you coudnt even do it if you wanted a new Wii like me when I upgraded to a black one and I couldnt even transfer my Wii shop games to the new console! I GUESS PEOPLE ARE JUST LOSING THERE MINDS ANYMORE!

  • Jéssica Storgatto

    I like to have it in my hands, have the disc. Digital… is just a bunch of digital thingies, lol. I prefer the disc.

  • This is just a ploy to give more power to the big guys and less to the gamer. Nintendo, Microsoft and Sony want you to buy the digital copy ever time so you cant resale it but what if you have 2 Wii U’s what then gee that would be a good time to have the real copy wouldnt it! Or if you want half your money back sale it on Craigslist cant do that with dumbass dig!!!

  • Legion6789

    There’s really no advantage to buying a game digitally on the eShop. Having it tied to the console instead of your account opens you up to a big risk if your console dies.  You can’t bring your digital downloads to a friends house. There’s no price difference. You’re getting less than a person who bought the physical copy, but paying the same.

    Lastly, if Nintendo was really serious about digital distribution they would have put more than 32GB on the console.  Yeah you can hook up a USB drive, but why should I pay $50 – $100 for a drive just so I can download games at no discount? If I buy the disc I don’t need an external drive, it’s portable, it isn’t gone if your console dies, and it costs the same as buying from the eShop.

    When the eShop is more like Steam, the console comes with 250GB+ and purchases are tied to your account, I’ll take another look. Until then, it’s discs all the way, excepting digital only indie titles and virtual console.

  • Matt Lambourne

    Buying a physical copy is still cheaper than a digital copy.  Until that changes, I’ll stick to games on disc.

    •  Unless you’re buying said digital game on Steam. Steam is the cheapest way to game.

      • Matt Lambourne

        True, but we don’t have Steam on WiiU.

    • val berger

      Agreed. Nintendo’s pricemodel is a complete fail. 69 Euros for digital copies which I can buy for 39 Euros in retail? I don’t think so, Nintendo. 

      I would’ve LOVED to have at least one game like Assassin’s Creed 3 on my WiiU’s storage so I can always hop into the game, no matter what disc is inserted, but not for that price.

  • Takarashi282

    Now, I rather physical copies of games instead of downloading.  Although having a physical copy might have some faults (Can be lost, broken, or scratched beyond imagining, and can cause clutter), but if there is a fatal system error, I most likely cannot recover any of my data to put on a new version of a system, where with a physical copy you still have the game. And that’s only one upside.

    But the only reason I’d buy a digital copy of a game is for the convenience of buying software on my couch. 

  • NintendoNoob

    I’d buy digital if steam games like portal, Left for Dead, and Team Fortress 2 were downloadable

  • Scott Duperree

    To me the physical copy is worth more, because of the resale possibility.  Having a copy digitally and physically that I can’t resell as a result would be acceptable too, as long as it was done via an account, and not a console specific system.  

  • I prefer digital downloads, but only if the savings (in terms of distribution and inventory costs) are passed on to me. $60 for a digital download is too much.

  • Holyfire

    Im surprised everyone thought digital distribution would wipe out physical media. The next gen consoles will use up to 100 gigabyte discs. I live in Australia where the average net connection has been (and still is largly) pathetic. We have full fibre optic coming, but will take a decade to complete.I buy WiiUs disc games on disc, and indie releases digitally.
    I am happy with Nintendo’s current persuits. And purely for game swapping hope they continue to offer physical media. As mentioned in a recent article, I think it will be to Nintendos benefit if they allow game swaps. If Msoft n Sony go the other way. They’ll kill themselves.
    PS I hate Steam. Its made my games run faulty on PC (locking my game inside a window), and they suspended my account even though I hadnt touched it for months, asking me to jump through major hoops to get it back. Never bothered. Not to mention some games I had used a Live account. So to play a single game, i had to do a steam log in and a live log in within the game. Confusing system. Steam bites and was never necessary in my opinion.
    I dont have a lot of hope in the steam box. I dont think it’ll be close to wiping consoles out

  • Cole Holbrook

    I’d rather buy physical copies but if they went digital only I would still buy games.

  • RonaldRayguns

    There should allways be the option to buy the physical copy of the game, if they make it so you can only buy your games in digital form the future will suck. Talk about a negative utopia.

  • I like a tangable copy… but I just recently started to like Digital download. My nearest game retailer is like 6 miles away. saves a lot of gas.

  • No, scratch that. I like disc copys better…… although im still not sure. hmmm.

  • ok, ok. I prefer a disc copy. End of discussion.

  • Jizz Beard thePirate

    I like buying the Digital Copy cause i usually either lose my discs or they scratch up to the point of no return howeverrrrrrrrrrr, considering physical purchases for the wiiU will give me nintendo club points so that one day i can get my golden wii numchuck to go with my golden zelda wiimote, I will buy the physical copy instead. PC is a different story however… all my 300+ games are all on steam

  • Hmmm… good question. I have an external hard drive connected to my Wii U and have downloaded at least one game to date. Its still more practical to carry a hard copy of a game to a friends home then your external hard drive. 

  • Cold Heat


  • I can’t stress this enough…..but *HELL NO!*…I *HATE* Digital downloads…..unless you can offer a NetFlix Streaming but for video games….I will not use it….Even though I have to drive to the store and buy a game that i could have just downloaded while laying in the bed in my underwear, i’d still rather go buy the physical copy…I have NEVER bought a digital download game and never will unless its the ONLY way to get it….

  • Depends if i don’t feel like driving to gamestop or waiting in long lines or even when you can’t even find the game you want you have the option of buying it on the eshop which i have a huge hard drive  so if the game is something i really want i will buy it

  • JumpMan

    i’m on the physical side… i love to have a pile of video games that i can rummage through to see what i’m feeling that day… but, of course you can do that digitally, too. i’m gonna say, Zelda, Mario, etc. (games i want to keep forever) = physical buy, because it will be like a collectable, recommended games = physical, so i can return/trade in if i don’t like, and indie games = download, because most are only that way.

  • There is nothing like owning a physical copy of a game. The moment you by a new hit game that you rip off the plastic and hold the box in your hand is something traditional. Not to mention that there ARE people out there such as myself that have our own customs for the sort. I really do appreciate box art as well. 🙂

  • Jocko May

    i like having a physical copy myself that way i can trade the game in later and all.

  • Sean Jacobs

    I love the digital only future! I mean as long as its tied to a unified account through generations of a specific company i e. Ps3 ps4 etc. I do love the nastalgic properties a disc has but besides that i perfer digital. Discs scratch, disc drives go up, plus i just like the convience of pick up and play on the fly too.

  • I am torn between these two choices! I bought the deluxe version and they have that special deal going. Buy from eshop and get some Nintendo points back into your account. I like buying physical copies, buuut my main reason for buying the deluxe was for that promo (I buy a lot of indie/arcade eshop games). I tend to do a little bit of both. Goes i’ll download single player games that I want to horde to myself, and buy multiplayer as physical copies. :p

  • Justin Lee

    I like to unwrap the plastic when I get home from the store. Makes me feel like a kid again. 

  • Johny

    i like physical discs…it would be cool and i wouldnt have a problem with purchasing games online… but NOT at these prices…. hell naw…its pretty much more expensive than the general retail price

  • Jeffrey Debris

    I’m a bit 50/50, it all depends on how the game is distributed. Since I play a lot of indie games the only way to get most of them is through digital download. But the bigger games, I prefer to buy the physical copy. Also so friends can lend them from me and decide whether they should buy the game themselves.

  • john madsen

    actually in my case i purchase digital and disk because remember not all games work well in digital a great example of this is assassins creed 3 on disk it runs slower then a model t and this sucks while the digital version on a 2 tb hard drive smokes loading times so i guess it really depends on the games 

  • Ryan House

    Rather Own Physical Copy.

  • DESS_M_8

    DIGITAL DIGITAL DIGITAL. The only physical disc in my house is skylanders giants on wii u for my son. My entires collection across ps3 and wii u is digital. I order it in every way. Takes up zero physical space, I don’t have to change discs, I can boot any game I want straight from my bed which pays dividends when the wii u is in the lounge and I take the Gamepad up at night for a couple games before sleepy time. There’s no noise of the disc drive running which was massively noticeable during battlefield 3 on ps3 and ninja gaiden on wii u. Discs are now out of date and digital is the future. Make it more available now, make every game available then people have both options. I will be gutted if Aliens colonial marines doesn’t see a digital release on wii u, my funds are sat in my account ready to download at midnight, the minute it’s released.

  • Juan Manuel Hornos

    Well, in my case its better to buy them online instead of buying them at a retailer shop. Im from Argentina, and games here are nowere cheap, to put it this way: If i want to buy a wii u game at a retailer here, it’ll cost me around 550 PESOS, and if i chose to do it online, around 360 PESOS. It is, in fact, a big difference. 

    I still havent bought anythig in nintendo network though, im a little scared of the fact that the purchase is not linked to my nintendo account.

  • Destructonator 101

    Why use up monthly internet downloads with multi-gigabyte games if you can buy them and not have to wait for the download? For 3DS, I would go digital for portability. For home consoles though I would stick with discs.

    But I would rather discs just because auto isn’t always better than manual. Same with cars.  You probably don’t want auto for racing, or fast acceleration.

  • val berger

    The prices in Nintendo’s eStore are absolutely ridiculous! I bought my AC3 Retail disc 20 Euros (about 25 $ !!!) cheaper than its digital copy. Yes, the digital copy, which I can’t resell, borrow a friend, and where I won’t have to call Nintendo to play it, once my WiiU gets defect. Nintendo and  other publishers don’t need to invest in the production of disc/case/booklets, so digital copies should be at least 20% cheaper than physical copies. So as long as Nintendo doesn’t change this absolutely stupid and customer-unfriendly prizingmodel, I won’t buy any digital copies, if there’s a retailversion out there. And I really wanted to buy only digital copies, but not like that. Nintendo’s gonna ruin the whole eStore experience, if they continue this shit.

  • Zombie_Andrew

    Nintendo digital copies are around £10 to even £30 more expensive. Why I’d even bother downloading retail games is beyond me….Steambox and gaming PCs are where digital copies are at…

  • Arthur Jarret

    I prefer physical, myself – then again, I buy almost half my games used – as I aim to have a huge collection.

    (I’m at ~870 games now, not including several hunderd point and click and text-based adventure games on PC)

    I will happily buy digital games that are otherwise unavailable as
    retail – just to be able to play them… but if I have a choice I prefer
    retail. I would even pay a premium to have it retail –  I would rather
    buy a game I really want for 60 at retail than 40 as Downloadable.

    An account system is FINE, sure – but what would happen if something happens to my harddisk on that system when the online service of the system is no longer supported?

    It might mean my Xbox live arcade games can no longer be played 10 years from now, when Microsoft has moved on to a new online system and no longer has any online support on 360.

    If I buy a game, I want to be able to play it with my grandchildren 50 years from now, too.

  • no disc its because if the wii u was broken then your game would be gone

  • Nick Post

    People only buy PC games because there is no used game market for PC games. Why would I pay $59 for a digital Wii U game and not be able to sell that game back at a later date to recover some of the investment. That is why full priced digital console games won’t catch on. Offering deep discounts for digital may push a few more units. 

  •  Ninty Sales : Look at our shiny shiny eShop.
     Users : Oooo, I love the idea of having all my games on a hard drive, no more disc swapping.
     Ninty Sales : And you can always download the games again if your harddrive dies … if a physical disk dies you’re pooched right.
     Users : Great idea, I’m sold… I’m giving up physical media forever 😀 .
     *internal* Ninty Techies to Ninty Sales : erm we’ll have to buy more bandwidth if people start actually using this, thats expensive you know! and the 3ds is nolonger s#!ting money :S, we didn’t expect this to catch on to be honest :S
     *internal*  Ninty Sales to Ninty Techies : We can’t afford more bandwidth crap ermmmm .. leave it with us.
     Ninty Sales : Errrmm the eShop games are full RRP  … so you can save £15 buy getting the physical version . even though there are little distribution costs , no printing of covers , no printing disks, making boxes etc. etc.
     Users : That seems a bit weak … but still no media etc. is a bit appealing anyway besides if I want to switch games whilst playing on the toilet £15 may be worth it ?
     Ninty Sales : Really ?  oh cr*p errmmm …. what about if we stop you downloading 18 rated games during waking hours, even though you need to be 18 to get a credit card to buy them ?
     Users : Eh , really .. that sounds plain retarded …. still, maybe I could flexitime at work or set my alarm to midnight just to set it off .
     Ninty : Really really ?? errm … what about if we made you buy credits to pay for the games … in multiples that don’t match the price of any game, you know … so we are always holding extra money from you that you can’t spend ?
     Users : Ah , that is a lot crap still I won £10 on a scratch card so cest la vie
     Ninty : *This guys really not getting the message*   … it will take 10 hours to download from us … during the night .. during the day you’re looking at 24hrs .. and don’t forget you can’t trade the game in as you don’t get physical media !
     Users : Maybe I could just leave it going while I’m at work … and then not touch my Wii U when I get home …. I’m too lazy to walk to a shop and trade-in anyway

     Ninty : errrmmmmmm .. aha !  Not all games will be available to download so you’ll have to buy some discs anyway so you’ll still need to get off your ass and swap discs like you have been doing for the last 20 years
     Users : lame  … think I’ll steer clear and save myself the cash.
     Ninty : Thank god for that !

  • Physical copy is better than digital.  When you purchase something (that’s not a service) you want something to show for it. There is no resale value in digital copies.

    But it also begs the question of what about those of us living in rural areas that have no internet access because the providers don’t think it’s worth the investment. It would be terrible to alienate those people. I don’t see digital only coming in the near future, but it will certainly be pushed.

  • Sami Rautio

    No way Digital downloads sucks bcos …U must wait …..and u dont actually own them ..physical games always better 🙂 and yes U can resell them thats +

  • DESS_M_8

    DIGITAL all the way.
    I’ve been digital only for the last 13 months. It is a much better way to buy and keep your games. They’re quiter, more accessible, no disc noise during play, console downstairs loaded with titles, Gamepad upstairs in the comfort of my bed an all my games at my fingers tips.

    I hope ALL wii u games will be available digitally, I already have a 2TB external drive hooked up ready for the next 5 years of great games and virtual console. Legend of zelda and mario from NES through to Wii u all on one console??? Mint.

    I will be gutted if Aliens: Colonial marines isn’t available digitally

  • Einar

    There’s something special by owning the physical copy of the game. I don’t really feel any sense of ownership if I just download it from the online store.

  • And then yes, there is the obvious “I have friends and don’t want to bring my Wii U to their house to play my games because they already have a Wii U.”

  • Rickard

    When I heard that Wii u would have its online store i thought I would buy all my games online. But when I got my console home and saw the prices on the non indie games I was stunned. The prices are 10 euro more expensive than buying them in my local store.

    So for the moment I buy all my games on disc because of the price. Digitally games SHOULD be cheaper. Because you do not need any transport costs, burning of media to disc, print covers etc.

  • DragonSilths

    I will say this. I would be fine buying my games from NINTENDO digitally allthough not via credit card. I dont like using my credit card. I would stick with Pre Paid E-Shop cards which I still havent found a Wii U one. But I would NEVER go digital only for Xbox. I want to support Nintendo. I wouldn’t trust greedysoft with my credit card info.

  • DragonSilths

    Overall though I prefer physical copies.

  • David Rampa

    yes to some games, no to most. one of the reason i quit pc gaming was because of the billion times you have to install games and uninstall if u run low on space. i like to just insert a disc and play. thats it.


    I like having an actual copy of the game.  Digital is ok for small games but any console games I want a hard copy.  Try not to fall into that trap because you will never “own” a copy of the game as more just the right to play it. This is what they want as it gives them more control over content and you less.  

    Just saying cause I still like to break out my NES and Genesis to play some classics every once in a while 

  • M_V_Allen

    I am going to say no because at the end of the day when you download a game digitally you dont actually own that game, you have merly purchased a licence for the game for a specific console. if anything at all should happen to your console then you could find yourself up s**t’s creek without a paddle as there is a possibility a new console would result in you having to pay for a game you already “own”

  • Like many of the people here, I’m a physical copy person too.
    They do take up space but I like to see my games lined up in the shelves,
    and I hold holding the boxes.
    And I think going to the store and picking up the games is part of the fun.

    I’m not an e-book person for the same reason.
    I like holding the books and flipping the pages.

  • Dominic Coradazzi

    Physical copies always mean so much more to me
    I’ve recently found that I’m much more compelled games that I physically own rather than ones I’ve downloaded (like Indie games despite their unique charm)
    I guess it goes back to those days when I was little and I got so excited when my mom or dad took me out to buy a game once I had gathered up enough money to pay for one (usually GBA games)

  • why waste 15gbs for a zombiu (an example) when you can download a bunch of indie games?

  • Perkoff

    I made the mistake of buying a digital copy of New Super Mario Bros. 2 on my 3DS.  I beat the game in less than a week.  If I had a physical copy I could have sold it on amazon for $30.  I’ll buy games that exclusively downloadable, or games that are much much cheaper than buying a physical copy.

  • wimpykid456

    I like owning the digital copy, because if you put way too many hours into it, like I will Smash Bros. 4, your disk can get seriously messed up and unplayable.

  • I prefer physical.

    – The pricing of digital is problem. Should be 20-25% less.
    – Digital increases the risk of losing your save data. You lose it if your hdd broken. You have no option to backup in your Wii U. Yes, that’s the same for both physical or digital if your Wii U broken. But your save data is stored with the digital game on the same storage. That means the risk is higher.
    – I own 2 Wiis and 2 houses. I bought 1 Wii U and will probably buy 1 more in future. I can take physical copies around my houses. But for digital, I need to take the machine. If NNID is like Apple ID which I can bought 1 software and share it on multiple devices. I would prefer digital copies.

  • Justin Gray

    I happen to like box art and having more than one console means I have to download more than one copy of a game. No way. That is another area where physical copies save you money.

  • Kyle Berger

    i prefer a hard copy but if I wanted to get Mario kart u on launch day, there are no lines on the eshop.

  • JVAN63

    Physical – so that I can rent before buying or try for a week from Gamestop and take it back if I don’t like it. I like to buy used, then sell it back when I’m done. Digital keeps the price up, and there’s no sellback and no rental. Keep the option to load it to disc, in order to reduce noise and loadtimes though. 

    Digital is better for the developer, not only for the reasons stated above, but they also don’t have to worry about distro costs and can pocket more cash. I buy most all media I can used. Why pay for new games, movies, etc. Let someone else eat the $$ for getting to take off the plastic wrapper. Once you’re playing the game, you won’t feel like an idiot paying full price.

  • Nope, I’ll always choose physical copies over digital. I have a few games on Steam, but that’s because they’re games like Gmod, and Limbo. 

  • Your physical copy could end up being a collectors item down the road that can make you a profit.  The same can not be said about a digital download.  I’ve made hundreds of dollars over the years selling games I don’t play on Ebay.

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