Arguments against digit only consoles.

Categories: Games
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Published on: January 19, 2021

I know people are excited about digital only consoles, but there are many good reasons to avoid them.

First what do you do when the store closes down? Try to go download a game you bought on a Wii from the digital store now. You can not as it is completely shut down, you can not even download games you bought.

Second, games can be delisted and you will not be able to get them if they are digital only. With physical games you can always get them (they might cost a lot but they are still there) with digital only the game is gone, look at the game PT, even people that got it when it was available better be careful as they can not even re download it if they loss it off of their consoles.

Third, as technology moves on and better security comes in will your old digital only console be able to connect to the internet? I have a PSP, great system, but I can not connect it to the internet as it does not understand WPA2 nor WPA3, it can do a version of WPA1 but my router does not have that, nor does my cell phone in tethering or my Mobile Hotspot. Sure I could turn off the security but that not a good idea. So sure while you can still download a PSP game (even if you can not buy them anymore) you might not be able to connect to the internet to do that. Good for me is I have a PSP 1000 not a go, so I can still get physical games.

Fourth, you own a physical copy of a game of which the licence can not be revoked. or “lost”. There have been reports of people losing access to their whole EA game collection (if you ask me not much of a loss but still) good news is they were able to get it back, but lets say for some reason EA decided not to help they would be out all that money they paid for, for the games.

Fifth, You don’t like the game or finished the game, well with digital only to bad, you can not get any of that money back, with physical you can always give it to a friend or sell the game as used (no I am not talking game stop, they will not give you much money for it) you can sell it on many of the online market places, or at a garage sell, or a flee market.

Sixth (this is a bit related to the fifth) you can not loan a game you have to a friend, with physical I can let a friend borrow a game I have to see if they like it. (you could also make an argument along this line about game fly also)

Seventh as hard as it is to belive there is still a sizable number of people even in the US that don’t have access to high speed internet (see https://www.statista.com/statistics/185532/us-household-dial-up-internet-connection-usage-by-state-2009/ for states as of Nov 2019, sorry could not find anything more recent) about .6% of the use population is on Dial up still (US population is 328.2 million) so that is about 19.5 million people still on dial up. So to download a very small game by today’s standards (20GB) it would take 852 hours (or 35 days) True they will never be playing on line games, but there are many great single player games (this is also an argument why game companies need to have a complete game that works from start to finish on day one on disc non of this stupid 20GB day one update) I am lucky I have a 1Gbit connection, my PS5 sees 800Mbits during off peak times and only 600Mbits during peak times so I can not imagine the pain of trying to do the internet on dial up, but those people exist, and those people are probably most likly the ones that feed us out in rural America that it not feasible to send cable internet or fiber out to those area as the population density would not make it worth it, and 5G has a limited range so that not a great option, and satellite internet usually have hyper low data caps, 12GB to as “high” as 150GB. See https://www.satelliteinternet.com/resources/unlimited-satellite-internet/ (this could go and probably should go in Eighth but here i am talking about those in rural america, I will leave data caps for the rest of us separately)

Eighth is data caps. (true this is more of a argument against streaming game services like stadia, but I will focus only one downloaded games here) Some ISPs have data caps (looking at comcast here) download CoD and from what I can find 190 Gb, so if you have only 1TB as your data cap you have used up 19% of your data there. Now do you like streaming videos? Youtube, netflix, Hulu, Disney plus? 4k streaming takes about 7.2GB an hour lets assume 3 hours of videos a day, that is 21.6 GB a day or 648GB a day, so now just downloading 1 game and 3 hours of TV a day we are at 838 GB leaving 162 for everything else, telework, how much data does that take. you are not left with only 162GB for the month or 5.4GB a day, oh you said there is a 20 GB update to a game you have. Oh on Saturday and Sunday you watch a bit more TV? You don’t live alone, you have a family of 4, that only 250Gb for each person a month? You want to buy more then one game this month? Well I hope you are not on comcast, I am lucky I have verizon with no data cap on my home internet I blast pass 1TB easly each month.

I am not saying there is no place for digital only games, it is a fine option for online only games, games like CoD, Battle Front 2, and Overwatch, games that when the game servers shutdown, the game is dead and unplayable, game that require an internet connection to play. But for single player games that can be played off line, games like Boarderlands, DragonQuest, and other Story based games Physical is probably the best way to go. And we need to push to keep physical games.

Also if you like digital only I am not bad mouthing you, if that what you want that fine, I am just saying a digital only future is not a good think for the above reasons, true I hope (and pray) reason 7 and 8 will someday go away, but some of the reasons above will stay, and need to stay such as the progression of security that will prevent older consoles (even the ones coming out today) to be unable to connect to the internet, we must keep progressing security. And loaning and selling a digital game there could be technical solutions, and I hope they do come up with it, but I doubt they want to there is no money in the big corporations in it, I just hope MS’s dream of preventing selling and loaning physical games that they had at the start of the Xbox One never comes true.

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