I find myself asking this a lot lately. Why am I just wanting games digitally?
Even though I can save a few pounds buying a game physically from Amazon, or other independent retailers, in recent months I have found myself simply opting for digital releases.
I suppose part is just being on-board with the inevitable digital only future of gaming, and having an internet speed to sustain it. Plus, the only games sold in my town are from supermarkets, which is generally limited to the major annual releases like FIFA on PS4 and Xbox.
Speaking of those systems, honestly I want to move to full digital anyway. Discs are simply an inconvenience, as they install to your storage space anyway, leaving the only difference being the speed at which they do so, and limiting how freely you access your game – a disc must be inserted to play the game if it came from a physical copy.
In those cases, I would go digital not just out of convenience of having everything there at my fingertips, but to dodge an inconvenience.
On PC, well you don’t get much choice there. Digital only.
On Switch is where this dilemma has arisen. Limited storage aside, I find myself toying with digital more than I anticipated. Convenience is again the main factor. Don’t need to fiddle with boxes and game cards, just tap and go. Fast, simple and easy. Plus pre-loading gets your games at midnight with no fuss.
Of course this is true for any system – convenience.
The bulk of my move to digital is in fact due to other circumstances away from the consoles themselves. Delivery times are getting longer and in the past year there have been many instances of games having incorrect tracking for delivery, going missing, being late, and other errors from online retailers.
Of course why go online? I could go to a store, but the nearest one is 12 miles away.
Let’s start with Amazon. They give you discounts on pre-orders for games, and that’s great. I attempted to order Kirby Star Allies but was informed delivery would be past the release date…a bit odd.
Of course I expect this from Amazon now, as the past few games from them have been late. Pokemon Ultra Moon had incorrect tracking that stated it was delivered, but didn’t show up until 4 days after launch. Sonic Forces didn’t dispatch until launch day due to an issue with payment that I wasn’t notified of…until launch day.
The Nintendo UK Store isn’t absolved of this either. Usually very good about games on time, though Metroid: Samus Returns arrived late, as did Paper Mario Colour Splash in 2016. Xenoblade Chronicles 2 almost came late, and via a different tracker, but arrived on the correct day.
The big mark on them though, is the launch of Nintendo Switch. Here in the UK order tracking was incorrect, with orders not arriving until the day after launch…with no indication, from a different carrier.
This has been a recurring trend around me lately, with orders missing, errors in transit, or straight up delays, and after a while consumer confidence will be knocked. Many have had great results with retailers getting games on time, but for me it has been too many too frequently, and so just like the PS4, I would rather dodge an inconvenience.