To CD-ROM or to not CD-ROM

9mak9

Senior member
Dec 3, 2007
494
0
76
Age old question...buy the disc or should I buy the download?

The last 5 years or so I've bought about 6 games via CD-ROM...Witcher 1, Fallout 3 and Starcraft 2 all at full retail. Assassins Creed 2, Rise of the Argonauts and one of the PoP games discounted on Amazon.

I've then bought around 100 games off steam (and a handful of D2D) in the same timeframe (only 2 of them games were full retail).

Now with Diablo 3, I'm torn if I should buy or download on the 15th. Any reason I shouldn't download it off blizzard...just stick with the times?
 

KaOTiK

Lifer
Feb 5, 2001
10,877
7
81
Last disc version of a game I bought that I can remember was World of Warcraft Wrath of the Lich King collectors edition. Before that, I don't remember.

Edit:

I take it back, I did buy Supreme Commander 2 from Gamestop (had a gift card), but I only bought it there because it activated on Steam. Horrible game.
 

nyker96

Diamond Member
Apr 19, 2005
5,630
2
81
I preordered D3 from newegg.com few weeks back, the rep says it's shipped version, so I assume it's DVD. I myself don't install stuff over and over so no biggie to get DVD, plus this time around I will back up the game as a precaution.
 

TheJTrain

Senior member
Dec 3, 2001
665
6
81
Simple decision for me (barring any desire for the Collector's Edition, as mentioned above):
- Does the DRM on the retail boxed DVD edition require irrevocable registration of the serial number with any online activation server (e.g. Steamworks, Origin, etc.)
If yes, then there's no additional value for me to buy it over getting it for some screaming sale deal on Steam if I'm willing to wait a bit (and I always am).
If no, then I'll go for the retail DVD, knowing that I can sell it used if I get tired of it/want to fund the next one/etc. That's additional value that the retail DVD will give you that a download never will (with the exception of, what is it, Greenman Gaming or something, where they trade codes in and out?).

But I'm old-school I guess.
 

Zenoth

Diamond Member
Jan 29, 2005
5,148
133
106
If you like the material (box, cover art, manuals if any, etc) then go for the physical version. Also, for collector's editions as well indeed, go with physical copies. If not, I'd stay with digital downloads, welcome to the present.
 

JamesV

Platinum Member
Jul 9, 2011
2,002
2
76
I used to be a die-hard physical edition buyer, but over the last two years I've changed. Never have to put a disc in, never have to go and download an update, never have to wonder if installing an old game off physical media is going to require hoops to jump through to get it working - near priceless.

Blizzard isn't going anywhere. In 10 years I'll still be able to log into Battlenet and download Diablo 3 and play. Much the same way I shop for physical goods, I tend to go with manufacturers with a long solid history.

Torchlight 2, since it is on Steam, is the same way, but if I had to buy it online from the devs and their own service, I'd probably buy it at the store.

However, I am proud to own the original X-Wing, still in it's original box and original floppy discs. Along with other games like Tribes, original UT/Doom/Quake/HoMM3/Baldurs Gate 2/you name it. The only modern game I've bought retail is the Witcher 2, because it is like a collectors edition for the regular version (extra DVD with art/etc, metal coin, cards, etc)... most modern games you are lucky to get a 10 page manual and a case sturdy enough to protect it.
 

imaheadcase

Diamond Member
May 9, 2005
3,850
7
76
I never even consider even buying a cdrom drive when building computers anymore. Have not for years.
 

Sulaco

Diamond Member
Mar 28, 2003
3,821
6
81
lol "CD-ROM". Is this 2002? :p

I can't remember the last game on physical media that was on CD, not DVD. I think my last one was NWN 2 or Far Cry...in 2004.
 

Elcs

Diamond Member
Apr 27, 2002
6,278
6
81
Diablo 3

Blizzard website: £44.99

Amazon UK: Under £33.00 (£35 to have it delivered on the 15th)

This time I've went for DVD even though I much prefer digital. The price difference is not enough to justify the benefits for me.
 
Nov 7, 2000
16,404
3
81
the only time i would buy retail is if the following criteria are met:
cheaper than digital download
arrives in my hand on release day
ability to register key for digital download & updates
 

Chiropteran

Diamond Member
Nov 14, 2003
9,811
110
106
I don't even see the point in having an optical drive in my computer anymore, so digital only.
 

Texashiker

Lifer
Dec 18, 2010
18,811
197
106
No reason to buy physical copy unless you want the collector's edition.
Sometimes the store is cheaper then online.

Best buy had left 4 dead on sale before steam did.
Black ops was cheaper at walmart then on steam.

Besides games, I still use my optical drive to make mp3 cds for my truck.
 

sandorski

No Lifer
Oct 10, 1999
69,415
4,795
126
Last disc version of a game I bought that I can remember was World of Warcraft Wrath of the Lich King collectors edition. Before that, I don't remember.

Edit:

I take it back, I did buy Supreme Commander 2 from Gamestop (had a gift card), but I only bought it there because it activated on Steam. Horrible game.
Indeed. Only paid $8 for it and the expansion, so I don't feel ripped off, but if I paid full price I would be pissed. Gameplay is meh and the "Story" is one lame cliche after another and the dialogue is even worse.
 

KaOTiK

Lifer
Feb 5, 2001
10,877
7
81
Indeed. Only paid $8 for it and the expansion, so I don't feel ripped off, but if I paid full price I would be pissed. Gameplay is meh and the "Story" is one lame cliche after another and the dialogue is even worse.
lol we tried to warn you in the daily deal thread :p
Wasn't worthy of the $8 you thought it would hehe (I laugh but I feel your pain)
 

JimmiG

Platinum Member
Feb 24, 2005
2,024
112
106
The last game I bought as a boxed copy was Skyrim. It was cheaper to buy a boxed copy at a physical store, with a printed manual, map, and physical disc, and then register it at Steam, than to buy just the digital download at Steam D:
 

crownjules

Diamond Member
Jul 7, 2005
4,858
0
76
Last physical media game I bought was Mass Effect 1. I wouldn't bother unless you really want a Collector's Edition (aka. trash you'll want to throw away in 5-6 years).
 

TheJTrain

Senior member
Dec 3, 2001
665
6
81
Blizzard isn't going anywhere. In 10 years I'll still be able to log into Battlenet and download Diablo 3 and play. Much the same way I shop for physical goods, I tend to go with manufacturers with a long solid history.
"isn't going anywhere" isn't really the operative question though. Microsoft certainly wasn't "going anywhere", and it didn't stop them from just shutting down the entire MSN Music Store (their attempt at competing with iTunes), stranding all of those nice, convenient digital-only downloaded music files on whatever device they happened to be on at the time, never to be moved or re-installed/re-downloaded ever again, because the authentication servers went away without the *need* for them being removed.

It's a smaller subset of the issue, but publishers like EA and Activision aren't "going anywhere" but it's not stopping them from taking down multiplayer servers for games less than two years old in some cases - and it's an easy extrapolation to see them taking down authentication servers for something they don't feel like supporting anymore.

To which the digital adherents will say, "But Microsoft and EA are evil, while Valve and Blizzard are good." All fine and good if you're comfortable with trusting that they will *always* be good, and there will never be a business reason to change their strategy WRT this issue, or a change in leadership who *wants* to change their strategy WRT this issue, etc.

I for one do not have that level of trust, given the steady erosion of consumer rights WRT First Sale and Fair Use. Buying digital is akin to relinquishing all of those rights that one would, by law, enjoy when one buys physical media (paper, CD, DVD, etc.) and doing so intentionally. And even old-school curmudgeons like me have no argument with that arrangement on its own - we wouldn't expect those rights on a digital purchase, and for bite-size games on an iOS device or a fire-sale price on Steam (Deus Ex:HR for $8 for example) we don't have any heartburn over giving up those rights (if I may be so bold as to generalize for the other curmudgeons). But it's a different story on full-price, AAA, no-going-back, chain-the-disc-to-your-ankle-with-Steamworks games.
 

Madia

Senior member
May 2, 2006
487
1
0
just download it. its better saved on you HD then to brake or lose the cd
I've never used battlenet before but once you register your product number from the physical copy can't you just download it from battlenet from then on?

As for physical vs. digital copies I usually buy whatever's cheaper. The main attraction of physical copies for me would be physical maps, manuals, etc. rather than pdf files. For example, if Civilization V came with a physical copy of the Civopedia (which it doesn't) I'd favor that over the digital copy. The main annoyance of physical copies for me are the games that require you to insert the disc to play.
 

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