Let’s Go Digital with Games!

Nintendo has announced that digital sales across its platforms are now higher than ever thanks to consumer trends. Over the years, the sales of digital content have been rising steeply. And with the release of the Switch, they saw the biggest rise in digital sales ever.

Now, I’m in favor of buying my games digitally, though I do see why a lot of gamers strongly oppose to the idea. A couple of years ago I made an article about this, summing up the pros and cons of digital versus physical. Today, I’ll write about why going digital is a good idea. Tomorrow, the case will be pleaded for sticking to physical games.

Fast and Easy

I’m a bit impatient when it comes to gaming, and I love to be able to download a new experience first thing in the morning. And in some cases even in the middle of the night (but that was for Animal Crossing New Leaf, which is a special case)!
You can even pre-load a game before release. It’ll stay locked until release date, but still, you’ll be the first to get your hands on it

Convenience Above All

My main gaming passion lies in handheld gaming, and I tend to take a 3DS and a Vita with me everywhere I go. Whether it’s on my daily commute to work, on holiday, or simply to a doctor’s appointment.
With digital copies, there’s no need to bring a small container with my favourite games and risk losing or misplacing them. Instead of thinking ahead about what I will want to play, I have an entire collection at my fingertips.

No Fear of Losing a Game

I bet that if I take stock of all the DS and Vita games I have played it would be a real shock (for my wallet). And out of all those games over the years I lost only one game, and I’m not even sure if I lost it or if my daughter took it with her on a sleepover and didn’t bring it back. (not pointing fingers, mind you).
While this applies more to handhelds, it’s quite easy for even the most careful person to lose a cartridge. Then again, losing your 3DS or your Vita with all you digital downloads might be even worse.BC0BA044-76A4-4751-B020-CE0513AAF8AC

Updates, Added Content, and DLC

I know that physical games can add updates and DLC too, so let me clarify. If you dislike going digital because of the extra cost of memory cards (or bigger hard drives), keep in mind that you may still end up needing that extra memory for updates and DLC.
Not to mention that, in an effort to battle piracy, some publishers have taken to not putting the entire game on the disc. Like in Fallout 4, you still have to download a chunk of the game before you are able to play it.

No Need to Find a Store That Stocks Your Game

Even though I live in one of the largest cities in the Netherlands, it’s still not always easy to find the handheld game I want. Of course, I don’t know how it works where you live, but I’m guessing everyone has experienced this to some degree.
I remember looking far and wide to find Shin Megami Tensei IV. And don’t get me started about the PS Vita games. The one store that even has PS Vita games has had the same handful of games on their shelves for months now, collecting dust. Sure, I can order the ones I want online, but in my case… not a lot of patience, remember?

Many Games Are Available Only as a Download

The threshold to publish a game digitally is much lower, and its given Indie studios the opportunity to push out unexpected and daring titles. But even the bigger publishers sometimes offer digital only. Rune Factory 4, the swan song of bankrupt studio Neverland, was available in Europe as a download title only.

Digital Download sale trends
FY= fiscal year, from April to March

So there you have it, my 6 reasons why digital is the way to go when buying games. Are you a digital gamer? Which of the reasons mentioned are most important to you? Or have I even missed a good reason why downloading games is best?

Join me again tomorrow to see what reasons there are to buy physical games!


  1. I am all for physical. Unless digital is half the price of a physical, I will not support it for full price as retail. It don’t matter to me about inconvenient for having to carry the cartridges along. I just don’t see the reason why we should pay the same price for digital ( companies and/ or developers/ publishers not willing to spend for stock cover photo, discs/cartridges, casing.. ) and yet we pay them as much as those who willing to make the effort to sell us the physical items. ) I can do without them spending on hiring voice actors/ actresses to “dub” ( because I dislike dub ), but not skip out on making the game physical. I rather not play them and (what some would say) “missed out on good games” , then support greed.

    1. I hadn’t looked upon it like supporting greed yet, but I guess you have a point. I really think digital games should be a bit cheaper, look at all the cost they skip out of. Still, no sign yet of a cheaper price.

  2. I’m playing Stardew Valley (download, loving it, very addictive!) and my boyfriend Mario Odyssey (cartridge) and it’s very convenient that we don’t have to switch the game’s all the time.

    1. Great reasoning, Ronja! I do have BotW in a physical cartridge that’s constantly in my Switch, and I have Stardew downloaded as well.
      By the way, still haven’t caught a fish! The weird cart that sells all kind of stuff has a good customer in me, buying all the fish.

      1. I’m a good customer of the Traveling Cart to!
        Even though i like fisching now, i don’t have mutch time (patience) to do it.
        And then there’s the difficulty that most fish have specific time, seasons and places when only then you can catch them. (I still haven’t completed the fishing bundles)
        Fishing does get easier, but you have to catch some thing to get the ball rowling.
        Maybe you can start a new game just to practice your fishing? Then you have no time pressure. Take the lake by the mine’s. There are some fish there that don’t move that quickly.
        It feels great to catch your first fish!

  3. I buy most of my games digitally now. My local stores are terrible when it comes to stocking the niche games I like. Sometimes I have to wait weeks after release for them to bring a new game I want. Not losing a game is also a plus. I want to play Attack on Titan, but after moving house I can’t find the disc.

    1. Same here. Unless it’s a very well known game, I’m hard pressed to find it in stores. Of course, I can always buy it online and have it shipped. But, no patience…

  4. Yebba Dabba Doo, I only get things from the pterodactyl, but if the brontosaurus has it, then I’ll get it, otherwise, the velociraptor will have to bring it to me.

    In modern language, I only go digital, but if it’s available on disc only, I’ll have to get that, but I don’t like anything other than digital- all my games go with me everywhere on my portables, and are available to play on my system, without having to scan through them all at home to find their disc. Win-win!!

    1. Lol Fred, your impersonation is uncanny, before you know it you’ll run into Wilma and take care of Pebbles!
      I’ve got all my games with me all the time too because of buying digital. And as I always game where the mood takes me, I can always ‘ take out’ any game I want!

  5. I was formerly a digital fan. Then there was a malfunction when I transferred my data from my old 3DS to the new one. I lost _all_ of my digital data, from Streetpass games to my Animal Crossing town to my RF 4 progress and every other digital game save file. So now, I am all about the cartridge. I will never buy a digital game again. Even on the larger consoles, like the Switch, PS4, etc. When you download even one game that is also available on disc, it invariably take up most of your available hard drive space. No room then for the indie games!

    1. Really a horror story, Carrie. I came close too but was saved eventually. Seemed it was my own fault for not doing the transfer to a new SD card right. But your story is much, much worse. I shudder to think of losing everything…

  6. What bothers me about digital games in their current form is the fact that you don’t technically own the game itself; instead, you purchase a mere license to use it. If the provider decides to take that license away from you for whatever reason, you’re left with no game. There’s also the DRM issue, which restricts the number of systems you can play your games on. Like, I can play my Vita cartridges on any of my Vitas, but my digital games can be played on only two of them, and these two have to be registered beforehand in the PSN. And I’m asking: what will happen to my digital games if/when the PSN ceases to operate? I could end up with unusable games, and that’s not what I signed for.
    Also, digital games costing the exact same price as physical games is just ludicrous, all the more so as we’re not buying the game itself in the first place. Digital should be much cheaper, period.

    1. I totally agree, a lot of the way digital games are sold doesn’t make any sense. And the fact that I don’t really own them gives me goosebumps. And still, I buy most of them digital. Why? Mostly because of convenience but also because it’s difficult these days to get the physical game quickly. In my hometown which is the fifth largest city in the Netherlands the pickings are very slim. The selection of Nintendo games is marginal and Vita games aren’t available at all.
      Smart guys, those gaming companies!

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