By using this site, you agree to our Privacy Policy and our Terms of Use. Close

Forums - Gaming Discussion - Are physical games eventually going to die?


How do you get your games?

physical only 9 13.04%
Mostly physical 26 37.68%
50-50 11 15.94%
Mostly digital 15 21.74%
Digital only 8 11.59%

As a PC gamer, from 2013 onwards, I get my games from Steam. Back in the late 2000s, I was a huge defender of physical games, but after feeling how fast and easy it is to get your games from digital stores like Steam, I kinda accepted that would be the future.

We have the Playstation 5 All Digital and the Xbox Series S as two systems without physical media support, and if the recent leaks are true, then we'll have another Xbox focused on digital games.

Internet speed is always getting faster, and more accessible to people. Most indie games are also download only. This was already a thing on Xbox 360, Playstation 3 and Wii. and it only got stronger.

So, I know this is a uninspired question, but let's begin another discussion: Is physical going to die faster than we thought? Do you see people still collecting discs and cartridges on next gen?

Around the Network

I don't think physical is going away anytime soon. It'll always appeal to a segment of gamers. If most platforms/publishers ditch it, this would create the opportunity for the remaining platforms/publishers to capitalize on it and use it as a selling point.

For the last few years, I've been gaming mostly on PC and my brother's PS5DE. TotK is the last game I bought physically. I lean towards physical whenever available, but I do also like the convenience of digital. When I get my own PS5 and Switch 2, I'll probably buy smaller games digitally (be it on PC or consoles) and larger games physically.

Consoles ditching physical altogether would only lead to PC eating further into their marketshare. There is very little that sets home consoles apart from PC these days.

Last edited by Kyuu - on 21 September 2023

Definitely. MS is trying real hard to make it happen sooner and Im sure others will follow if it works out for them. More and more gamers are growing up with games on their mobiles and PCs, so for them its already something they are used to. Not sure when, but Im thinking next gen is going to be even more focused on digital only consoles with larger price differences between digital only and disc drive consoles. I think we have about two more gens with physical media as a choice.

Not completely since there will always be a portion of gamers into collecting physical games for retro systems but the portion of gamers into physical in general is shrinking to the extent that it's gonna mostly go away at some point. I do think it's likely that the average console gamer will view physical games the same way the average PC gamer does in 10-15 years so even if gen 10 consoles have a disc drive it should be the last gen that offers that option though it won't matter that much if they do since big games being digital only will probably be common by then. Alan Wake 2 is gonna be the start of a trend I imagine.

Physical video games are in an awful situation where the market is completely at the mercy of what just three companies decide to do. If all three decide to not bother with it any more when it becomes a small enough slice of the market then it'll be completely dead outside of collecting for old consoles. Nintendo will probably stick with it the longest but that would still mean tons of popular game series don't get physical releases any more. Cause of this I expect that the physical market for film is gonna have modern releases for longer than video games.

Go to any Hard off in Japan and most of the store is filled with physical games. Asia loves physical. If Records and record players are still being made and sold. There is a market even if not the majority for games as well. We still see Blu-Ray films. Still large enough to support. I need something tangible and something I can own. Too many times things get removed from digital storefronts.

Bite my shiny metal cockpit!

Around the Network

Physical is going to be relegated to special and collector's edition. Outside of that, It will go the way of the dodo. 

Physical will be around but will likely get less and less available as digital gets bigger.

As for me, I'm 99% digital.

100% digital on PC and Xbox, 75% digital on PS4/5 and 70% digital on Switch.

The only time I get physical is for games I immediately plan to play and when they go on sale.

Everything dies.

I buy physical for some games but less and less. It is more convenient to buy digital. If digital matched the price of physical I would probably only by digital. But games are often cheaper. And adding the fact that they can be sold later makes it a far better choice economically.

It will die outside being a niche offering. I could see it dying completely in 15 years. Physical is more expensive for developers and isn't ESG friendly.

Outside Nintendo I'm 100% digital. Not just for games but also music and books. Never had an issue and it is superior in convenience.