Storage is a non issue, really. Nobody, no matter how much they pretend they do, needs to have 20 games simultaneously installed, especially not games that are 50GB. Games can be downloaded and uninstalled easily and quickly. Storage is a comfort that everyone wants but very few actually need.
If people can do without a headphone jack, they can easily do without having unlimited storage. In the end convenience will always win out and having 10 games locally installed will always be more convenient than lugging 20 cartridges around and sometimes having to download a game.
If anything the increased demand of storage will drive developers to do even less physical. The physical mediums are way more limited than local storage.
Well, I don't know where you came from, but download a 86 GB game like FF VII is definitely not fast neither convenient. I actually don't see how having to download and uninstall a group of games over and over is more convenient than just changing the cartridges when you want to play something, unless you're using a portable so maybe it makes sense that you don't want to walk with many copies indeed. I googled some reasons why people still buying physicals and I find this article, It was a easy but interesting reading: https://www.gamesindustry.biz/articles/2018-09-14-why-do-gamers-still-buy-physical-games
- 32% buys because they like the collection, these people will probably never changing their minds and will always side with physicals (even if they buy digitals, they will choose physicals when this option is viable)
- 31% buy because it was cheaper (either because it was a discount, or because it was a second-hand game). These people are very likely to buy digital if digital is cheaper
- 42% buys because they like to play in other console, OR like to lend it to someone, OR because they like to resell. So it's a consumer habit, and it's not likely to change
- Only 22% buys due to technical limitations like internet or storage
So you might be right, only a few (one out of five) european costumers will go for physical thanks to technical limitations. However, this only make physicals appeal stronger imo, you can have few workarounds for the 22% and make digital cheaper for the 31%, but the there is a huge chunk of people who doesn't care for this. I like the idea of borrowing my games, that's why I like Steam, it would be nice if I could do the same with my Switch games.
Good points, but it completely ignores a whole section of gamers, namely young people. These habits only come from people who grew up with physical games. Every child that was born in the past decade will already be accustomed to digital sales, both for games and any other media. Basically all of the "worries" posted can be overcome by technological advancement or the changing of habits. There is no rational need to buy physical very soon and suddenly convenience will overtake.
As for the convenience of downloading, having to juggle many games is a fringe case. Consoles have ample space for a number of games to be there at the same time. Even the biggest games can be loaded in less than a day for most people, which is faster than having it delivered and sometimes even faster than going to a store. Not to mention just downloading a game and having them directly there to access is so much more convenient than actually having to physically acquire something and then still having to install it for quite some time. I mean, please show me single person who constantly has to redownload their old games because they had to delete them constantly because they were downloading new games to play. That's not how most people consume games.
How is physical more popular than ever when the percentage of digital sales has been rising steadily for the past decade?
Just look at the total sales of physical copies in certain medium like here, with video games, in a good chunk of cases physical sales alone are sufficent to surpass previous sales numbers that were solely physical at some point.
You just looking at this whole thing from the ratio perspective alone while it certainly doesn't give the whole picture. Digital sales have been more acting like an aditive to the total of potential sales. They're not mutually exclusive.
Maybe you shouldn't just look at the increased sales of mega blockbusters and instead recognize that a good portion of consumed games today doesn't even have physical options anymore. There are way more games these days downloaded digitally than purchased physically.