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Reader Comments (60)

Posted: Jan 3rd 2010 10:40AM (Unverified) said

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Boxes are unnecessary and there time is fast waning. I suspect that games stores are not long for this world either.

Companies should be clever and charge less for the box-less version. The fact they charge the same is just daft.

Posted: Jan 3rd 2010 5:43PM RogueJedi86 said

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"Companies should be clever and charge less for the box-less version. The fact they charge the same is just daft."

I agree with that last part, and that's why I prefer boxes. After being charged the same retail price for my digital download of WoW's Burning Crusade expansion with none of the nice frills, I made sure to buy a physical copy of the "Wrath of the Lich King" expansion, complete with an install disk and game manual and fancy box art. If they're gonna charge the same damn price for the version without all the physical frills, I'd rather go with a box copy.

That's just ripping people off. If you're selling a digital version, there is no manufacturing costs for the disks, manuals, posters, etc that are normally in a box, so the price should be cheaper. But when they charge the same price, you really feel like you're not quite getting your money's worth.
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Posted: Jan 3rd 2010 11:15AM LaughingTarget said

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Digital for me. As time goes on, the advantage the disk has turns into a disadvantag. If you reinstall a two year old MMO from a launch disk, it'll take more time to install off the disk and patch than it would to just download the complete, current install.

Posted: Jan 3rd 2010 11:23AM Daala said

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Box!

And the CE if there is one.
Going to the store is much more fun then waiting for a download...

Posted: Jan 3rd 2010 11:38AM Askgar said

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Box for me, and usually CE, although after some recent purchases I'll be scaling back my CE purchases to GW2 and thats it currently, if there are any other games that I feel are worth the CE purchase price I will go for them but I've wasted enough money on CEs now that I won't be again!

Posted: Jan 3rd 2010 11:44AM (Unverified) said

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My early digital purchases were mostly for MMOs. Now I buy 90% of my games online. For me, it's a matter of convenience.

Posted: Jan 3rd 2010 12:02PM Wensbane said

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I buy all my games digitally now. The boxes take way too much space and instruction manuals are unnecessary these days.

Not only that, but I can get some pretty awesome deals off Steam, like Mass Effect for... 3€!

Posted: Jan 3rd 2010 12:32PM Cendres said

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Rarely do I need the box, and I actually never NEED the box I just want it for games I really, really, really, love. But for most games it's steam and D2D for me, I often pay the price of renting a movie.... Hard to beat that. :)

Posted: Jan 3rd 2010 12:56PM myr said

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What's a "box"? Is that some newfangled contraption for storing data? What's its capacity? If it's under 2tb I'm not buying one.

I hate stores. Maybe that's because I worked retail for a few years.

Posted: Jan 3rd 2010 1:32PM Crsh said

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I'm torn personally. While I usually find boxes just hog up space and are generally useless, downloading 6-9 GBs for a game can be annoying due to crowded servers or the inability to back them up locally after the first download.

Posted: Jan 3rd 2010 1:42PM Sam not Spam said

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Moving towards digital download. Box items are simply taking up too much of my limited physical space. Just this weekend I had a fairly big "de-crap-ification" spree, even throwing away items from collectors editions from various games!

Of course, I'm also now looking at e-readers and the like, contemplating not buying books or magazines if there's a digitial edition available. I've bought 90% of my music digitally for the past two years. Same enjoyment of the stuff, but it doesn't take up any space outside my computer and harddrive space is dirt cheap anyhow. With services like Steam and Impulse, along with the companies themselves (for MMO's) allowing you to download and redownload, its very appealing.

Posted: Jan 3rd 2010 1:44PM Sam not Spam said

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And I suppose I should mention: the risk of the download service going belly up is far, far lower than my physical disc getting damaged or losing the key somehow. I don't know how many times my friends and I have rebought games because of that!
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Posted: Jan 3rd 2010 1:51PM EdmundDante said

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Usually can't wait to get game - and it is far more convenient to digitally download as soon as available.

Path of least resistance.

Posted: Jan 3rd 2010 1:52PM (Unverified) said

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Digital download all the way. If I never have to put another disc in my dvd drive it is too soon. Sitting up in the middle of the night and purchase a game, to have it within a short time beats waiting for days for mail or finding a store that carries the game I am interested in (for the less main stream titles.) Services like Steam and GoG.com that makes copy protection hassle free or totally absent helps a great deal as well. Last time I installed a game from a disc, I had to crack it because the copy protection would not work with my system.

Posted: Jan 3rd 2010 1:52PM Pingles said

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Box: no
Disc: Yes

Sorry, I've had three bad experiences with digital downloads and will resist as long as possible. The worst was a program that cost hundreds of dollars and then after switching computers twice was no longer available to me. If I'd had the disc there would have been no problem.

The saddest part: Pirating the software I'd still be using it but because I was a paying customer I could not. Ridiculous to punish the user that way.

The way some vendors use loaders/background downloaders, etc. make it hard to copy some downloaded content to disc for backup.

I'll stick to discs, thanks.

Posted: Jan 3rd 2010 2:02PM engrey said

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Most games ditigal for me, for an MMO just due to the size I always go with disk. If I need to reinstall for some reason downloading 10gig+ is not a fun experiance, I could always get all disks installed and patched up in WoW within an hour on the CDs.

I also prefer DVD to CD since have two or thee disks is a lot easier to manage then 6-8 CDs.

Posted: Jan 3rd 2010 4:23PM Tizmah said

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I believe there should still be the option of having both a physical copy and downloadable one. I personally love collecting the Legend of Zelda and Final Fantasy. It's much more impressive to show someone the physical than just a "list" of games you downloaded. The games look great when have their strategy guides and different figures to go along side them and such.

However, if it's a game outside of those two or a game I know I really don't care to perhaps collect and keep, then downloading is fine. I love Team Fortress 2 to death, but would I care to own the box and manual? No, not at all, I prefer it just downloaded. So it all depends on the game and how I feel about it.

Besides, we can't be so totally dependent on the internet, not anytime soon at least. There are tons of people who live out in the country and can't get GOOD broadband (Satelite sucks!).

Btw, the case and manual are not that expensive. If anything, downloadable copies should only be 5 dollars less max. Which most downloadable games are if you pre-order or wait a few months and there is always a nice sale.

Posted: Jan 3rd 2010 2:08PM Sean D said

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I need the box. It's a symbol of ownership for me and gives me direct control. I can install or uninstall the game and update it as I wish without having to install or uninstall Steam or a Steam-like service and keep track of yet another key. If the developing company or downloading service fails or dissolves, I still own the CD or DVD and can play the game anyway, albeit without updates.

I had a problem with Steam's version of a patch (or lack of a patch) for Mass Effect and it's configuration utility. It made the game unplayable for me for a time, which was very frustrating. It's like being forced to stop reading a book mid-way. When I was finally able to play the game again, I had to start over. Too much time had passed and I couldn't remember the details of the story. As I understand it, had I bought the boxed version of the game, I would have had no problems updating the game to fix the problem I encountered at that time. It was this issue that gave me pause to consider the implications of downloading games versus purchasing the boxed versions.

If game developers were to forgo the box, would this mean a decrease in the prices of games? I doubt it.

On occasion, I do purchase games via Steam, but I restrict myself to those that cost less than $20.00 and only consider them initially if they are recommended to my by someone I trust. I have purchased a total of 7 games via Steam, the majority of which were purchased before I hit the problems with Mass Effect.

Posted: Jan 3rd 2010 2:12PM Sean D said

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It's worth mentioning that using downloading services become a very questionable thing for me when I consider updating or purchasing a new system, a process that is necessary every two years or so to keep up with system req's for the newest releases.

That being said, using downloading services often also requires users to input their personal information. To what end, I don't know, but each time I do this, I feel like I'm increasing the odds that that information will be misused. Unfortunately, nearly every website out there requires this information anymore and it has become a necessary evil for me to enjoy my hobby. Buying the box offers me a way around this...inconvenience.
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Posted: Jan 3rd 2010 2:50PM (Unverified) said

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for me D2D is a rip off from these companies. They charge $50 for the box in stores and it comes with all the stuff in the box, but if you D2D it still costs $50 and all they do is allow you to copy a source file... If D2D was a cheaper option since you are bypassing all of the production costs for the box etc then that you be one thing. Since you are not getting the physical items but paying the same it just screams rip off to me.

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