[youtube https://youtu.be/W181tSuWx8A]

It’s happened folks. I’ve been fully assimilated into the Cloud. I can no longer be bothered with the troubles of physical media. The convenience of digital media is far too powerful and I don’t think there’s any way to stop my descent in to extreme laziness. This was not a decision I made lightly, but my games catalogue from this point forward will be 100% digital. I’m saying farewell to the archaic ways of the past and diving headfirst in to the future.

My obsession with digital gaming didn’t truly start until about a year ago. For quite some time I was still one those folks who “just preferred having a physical copy.” I see now the error of my ways. I can understand the notion that owning a physical copy of game promotes a greater sense of ownership, but is this genuinely true? Many of the people I talk to who still prefer owning discs claim they enjoy the option of selling the games when they’re done and a large majority of those folks unfortunately do so at Gamestop (yes, Gamestop is a horrible company, but I’ll save that rant for another day).

Purchasing a digital copy of a game is a serious commitment, especially on Xbox One where I do most of my playing these days. There are no options for a refunds and no way to sell a game after it’s in your library. I fully respect the complaints associated with these restrictions, but for me personally this is a gift that forces me to be more educated about my selections. With physical copies I would catch myself buying a game completely on a whim knowing full well I could sell it back within a week if it was something I wasn’t in to. This bad habit just ended up costing a shitload of money in the long run and now that my purchases are locked in digitally, I find myself doing this a lot less. I’m shopping much smarter than I ever did with physical media. So I’d argue the fact that obtaining a digital copy of your favorite game delivers a much greater sense of ownership than buying a physical copy. After all, your digital library stays with you forever.

The biggest push for me wasn’t about a sense of ownership, however, it was about convenience. When my library was fairly mixed between physical and digital titles, I would find myself heavily leaning towards the games already available on the console. When it came time to find a new game to play, I would much rather play something immediately available than walk the 15 feet to my living room to grab a new disc. It’s now gotten to the point where I won’t even play the few games I have disc because it means I have to haul my lazy ass out of a chair and swap discs. So, sure, ultimately you could fault my outrageous laziness, but there is no denying the extreme convenience of digital media. I had Halo 5 pre-installed and ready to play the minute the game launched, while many folks were waiting in line at Gamestop for their copies only to come home and realize they needed to install 60gigs worth of data and updates. Players with digital copies literally had hours of play time on the folks who went physical.

I’m now an avid supporter of completely digital gaming libraries, but I’d love to hear your thoughts on the subject. Are you folks still clinging on to the nostalgia of games cases and discs or are you too embracing the ways of the future? Let us know in the comment section below!

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Written by Miles

Miles Dompier is the chief editor and founder of What’s Your Tag?. He is a Seattle native who recently moved to the sweltering heat of Los Angeles. He likes to ironically play Creed on the guitar and listen to terrible death metal. Twitter: @Mileson_WYT Xbox Live: I Mileson I

3 comments

  1. I’m starting to get there. Well, I’m already lazy to the point where I’d rather play games installed on my console than actually swap a disc, even if it means playing Crimson Dragon over The Witcher 3, but I don’t have an external HDD for any of my consoles. So basically it boils down to that.

    Handhelds are a different story, though. I lose stuff constantly, so I made it a point to slap a 32gb cart in my 3DS and a 64gb in my Vita. I own 1 physical 3DS game and that’s because I wanted the 3DS console case that came with the collector’s edition (Persona Q). I love being able to snap open my 3DS and pick from a library of games instead of digging through cases. Only buying digital, like you said, makes me think twice about buying games, so I’m only picking up things that are (A) drastically on sale, or (B) games I absolutely 100% want to play.

    I know PC gamers have been at this for ages now, but as a console gamer I’ve always liked having physical copies so I can sell them as a fallback. I’ve bought plenty of awful games on a whim (and some that I genuinely wanted that ended up being turds, like Watch Dogs) that I was happy to flip on eBay. I’m over that though. If I want a game bad enough, I’ll buy it digitally. I don’t see me buying a physical game any time soon, especially once I get externals for Xbox One and PS4. My goal for 2016 is to avoid that, unless it’s a collector’s edition.

    1. The handheld stuff totally makes sense. Those are typically consoles completely built around the idea of convenience, so swapping out cartridges for the 3DS just seems crazy, especially when it’s biggest competitor is the most convenient device of all time – the smartphone. I remember specifically telling someone a few years back that I would probably always buy physical copies “because I like having the cases,” but that couldn’t be any further from the truth at this point.

      1. Right? I have 2 older DS carts for Dragon Quest games and they’re always falling out of my 3DS case. My only other options are to either bring the physical cases around with me, taking away that whole convenience thing, or buynig one of those bulky plastic monsters that hold 20 games.. just to house 2.

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