Digital v. Physical - Equal Value?

Discussion in 'Debate Corner' started by Hayabusa, Aug 24, 2015.


How do you prefer purchasing media?

  1. Physical

    2 vote(s)
  2. Digital

    0 vote(s)
  3. Either, depending on the circumstances (collector's edition, price, availability, etc.)

    5 vote(s)
  1. Hayabusa Venomous

    Feb 3, 2008
    Cisgender Male
    (admittedly, kinda copying this thread, and was inspired by this conversation.)

    Though I intend the discussion to be mainly about purchases of video games, I thought it'd be interesting to open it up to things like film, books, music, etc.

    Does the physical or digital release of a piece of media hold more value to you, or are they about the same?

    Personally, with how specifically the world of software has mostly migrated to a market focused on licenses to access provided content rather than having full access to that content via disks, I mainly buy my games digitally now, whether it be on the PC, PS3, or PS4, mainly due meaningful discounts being much more prominent for digital releases. There's little reason for me to want to pay more for a disc if I'm simply going to be installing that content on a hard drive anyway, and I could always print out my own cover art for the game (that is often far more impressive than the retail version's art) and get a blank game case for it if I feel so inclined to have a physical backup. Nintendo, however, has the only systems that I almost exclusively buy physical copies for, but mainly because their digital licenses side is pretty archaic compared to Sony, Microsoft, and PC counterparts.

    I also no longer resell my games, mainly because I don't buy games I regret owning anymore, partly because it's hard to get any worthwhile money back, and partly because I enjoy having large collections.

    With books, specifically college books, I'm kinda torn on the subject. I far prefer reading books digitally because of the image clarity of screens and being able to just scroll down a page (sounds very lazy, I admit) but I also like being able to resell a physical book once its served its purpose to me. However, many college courses have done away with this question by simply making the mandatory text exclusive to that course in a digital form. I don't buy many books for leisure admittedly. Text or comic, but I like having them physical if possible.

    Music is something I feel weird about, because I almost always prefer to have a physical copy of albums I buy. In fact, the only album I recall buying digitally was the Bloodborne soundtrack, because it was a weird PS4 app thingy that let me download the music to a hard drive. For these, I like being able to just bring a few CD's on road trips and pop them in.

    Movies are pretty much the same as music for me.
  2. CloakedThunder Destiny Islands Resident

    May 28, 2015
    For video games I prefer to own a physical copy of the game .As for other types of media, I don't mind either way, I tend to go for whatever is easier to get at the time.
  3. Arch Mana Knight

    Oct 5, 2007
    Music pretty much requires me to have a physical copy, no matter how expensive it is. Or at least get the option to download an album in FLAC. I prefer games to be physical and also physical but for PC I think digital is the only way to go.

    As for books and movies...well, I don't see myself wasting hard drive space or whatnot for a movie I'll watch maybe twice. Books on the other hand I'd also go for physical. I like how hardcovers look. Plus it's awesome to be able to look at my collection of school books and see my many math, physics, and engineering books lined up against each other. Selling books you used in classes for your field of study should only ever be done if you're desperate for money or if the book was really terrible. Dammit it's cool being able to have reference books lying around and it's less cool to have them on a tablet or something.
  4. Sebax Avatar by Xerona

    Mar 4, 2013
    Wonderful World of Disney
    Particularly with movies, I like having collections of certain things. For instance, I have collections of movies from my favorite Actors and then there's things like Disney. It's nice to organize, have, and just look at, really; although, my Adam Sandler collection notably does NOT have many of the... more recent additions. I don't have a complete Robin Williams collection, nor is a complete Disney collection, but that just makes it feel all the more personal, and it fills me with a similar sense of Pride to see a full collection in someone's possession. Oddly enough, it invokes a feeling of validation, rather than a feeling of envy. I study movies pretty regularly though, so really any way I come across a movie is a good way. I just prefer to have a collection of favorites.

    With music, never really could do albums. I prefer the fact that you can be listening to Ke$ha on Spotify, and then hop directly over to Vivaldi with only a few clicks. It's fluid, and just the way I like to listen. The opportunities to creates playlists in the digital format are endless, as the tracks aren't nailed to one physical copy that has to be changed; it also lacks the arbitrary track-list order, where you have to strategically press next, back, or repeat (if there is a repeat button on your CD player or other audio-device) in order to listen to only the songs you like. Who has ever been fully satisfied with every track on an album? The only people I know who would answer in the affirmative either found one album they REALLY liked, or they are devoted to a particular artist/band/genre on a near-religious level.

    Books are a toss-up. There's something satisfying about reading from a printed page, and something of a chore about trying to read from an electronic device. I have found certain devices that do their best to emulate the engaging quality of reading from a book, without necessarily having to make you turn digital pages; I personally prefer scrolling to flipping, because the touchpad can be a bit sensitive. Still though, I do enjoy an audio book if the device is designed to make reading on it bearable.

    I own Pokemon Y digitally, and Pokemon X physically. I deeply regret all my digital game purchases for mobile devices like the 3DS or for consoles like the PS3. Given that one of my favorite PC games includes the Sims though, digital purchases for PC are DEFINITELY preferred.
  5. 61 No. B

    Jul 23, 2011
    let me put it this way

    I always prefer physical and get what I can afford, but I don't shy away from the torrents.