New research shows that while a significant number of gamers favor digital distribution, gamers still prefer physical media overall.
64% of gamers prefer to buy their games in a store, rather than download them, according to a survey conducted by research firm Ipsos MediaCT. Ipsos asked over a thousand people about their favored format for games, newspapers, music and movies, and found that of all media, the preference for physical media was strongest for games.
Ipsos says that the reason that the more gamers don't download their games is the inability to resell downloaded games, and the long-standing history of physical game media: "I believe the preference for physical discs amongst next gen gamers reflects the potential value they derive from the pre-owned market, which is holding up the preference for physical - this is unlike the music and film markets," said Ipsos MediaCT director Ian Bramley.
"Physical games discs have a long and well-established history, which is a deep mindset to change - particularly when gamers build a physical collection as they fear losing digital versions. And in-store browsing is also important to buyers."
Games are a bigger investment that music and movies, so trying to maximize their value makes sense. A physical copy can be traded in against the cost of a new game, or bought pre-owned at a lower cost than a new copy, so it makes sense that so many consumers would prefer them.
What's interesting though, is how large a share downloading has. While it's true that the majority of gamers may prefer physical copies of their games, that remaining third represents an enormous number of people. Considering how recent an invention digital distribution is, it's impressive how many people have embraced it.