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Jeff 04-06-2009 01:32 PM

Boxed Copy or Digital Download?
Well there's been lots of talk about OnLive recently and that has kind of got me thinking of the way the PC gaming industry is headed. So I'm curious, currently do you buy your PC games from a retail store like GameStop or Amazon, or do you prefer digital downloads from services like Steam or Direct2Drive?

Personally I still like having a boxed copy, but it seems like that is quickly going out of favor and it's probably also not as smart as you're not guaranteed that any potential DRM will let you play it, seems like it's all too common to hear about draconian DRM not allowing a game to be played at all. But seems like that is not an issue with Steam in my limited experience with it.

Also, I will not be so foolish to buy a boxed copy of something if it is cheaper on direct download. The only game I've bought from Steam is Left 4 Dead and I got it on the half off weekend.

Sabretooth 04-06-2009 01:39 PM

I get my games in the *cough* digital format *cough*, as I've found that its cheaper than the alternative.

Seriously though, I'd support digital downloads over boxed versions, as the former stay forever, are a better deal if cheaper and have a lot of potential in the future (think OnLive, awomo and Steam Cloud).

leXX 04-06-2009 02:23 PM

I do prefer a boxed copy, but I'll download a good Steam deal.

Miltiades 04-06-2009 02:37 PM

I can't get games in digital format that easily (not having Visa/credit card makes it apparently impossible), so I buy the boxed versions at the moment. I'd rather have them in digital format, though. And the fact that it's supposed to be cheaper (although it isn't in Europe, I've read) makes even more attractive.

jrrtoken 04-06-2009 03:47 PM

Boxed; That way, I can always have an archive that will last me forever, and can be resold, and does not need a constant Internet connection and background app to "authenticate" my copy. Steam is okay, but the constant need for it to run, and the price for retail games the same as the downloadable version annoys me.

Case and point: I still have the original Windows CD of Dark Forces, circa 1995. I bought it right when debuted via preorder, February 15, 1995, at my BestBuy. My CD has never been corrupted, scratched, or suffered any other misfortune, and even if it did get scratched, there's no DRM to restrict me from creating a backup archive. That's the beauty of a physical master copy; I can do whatever I want with it.

On second thought, there are a lot of older games that I want to play, but I'd have to buy a copy from a possibly unreliable secondhand source, which may charge a ridiculous amount for a CD. In that case, I would most certainly enjoy buying a digital version for, since it is DRM-free, and runs perfectly on modern systems.

Astor 04-06-2009 04:05 PM

Always boxed - I had the option to buy Empire: Total War through Steam, yet the boxed copy was cheaper, and the full game is 15gb - well above my bandwidth limit.

I'm not against digital downloads, but, like PastramiX, it's nice to have collection of hard copies. Although, Steam does well with this because you (or rather your account) will always be able to play the games that are on it.

RoxStar 04-06-2009 04:17 PM


Originally Posted by leXX (Post 2611406)
I do prefer a boxed copy, but I'll download a good Steam deal.

This. Spending 40 bucks on a game to have it digitally versus 50 for a physical copy is worth the lack of box any day. Plus with MMOs even if you do have a boxed copy, it would take forever to update it anyway :p

Mav 04-06-2009 05:33 PM

I usually buy a boxed copy, and keep it shrink wrapped, and then procure a digital copy as well... in one way or another....

Pho3nix 04-06-2009 06:20 PM

Boxed copy!

I like boxes!

Darth Eclipse 04-06-2009 06:30 PM

I voted whichever is cheaper, but I do like having it in a box. It feels more like you actually bought something and it's somehow more exciting to me. But if I could get it with the same quality or whatever, I would choose whichever is cheaper.

Darth Avlectus 04-09-2009 07:57 PM

I'm prone to ****ing things up either way so, just whatever. If I download, it will be put onto hard copy, stored and forgotten.

If I buy'll sit around awhile, get used and all screwed up, then og back to sitting.

HK-42 04-09-2009 09:53 PM

Box Pros:

Carry with you, back up, collect


I dont feel like doing digital, but whatever. Boxes for the win!

ChAiNz.2da 04-10-2009 05:37 AM

Really depends on the type of game for me. Single player/RPG/Shooter etc I'd prefer a boxed copy.. just for ease of installations, backups and whatnot..

For MMO's I actually prefer Direct Downloads (DDO does this) since they constantly update, It's usually easier to download the entire thing, updates and all with one fell sweep should you uninstall it (by choice or forced by crash). Plus, if an MMO tanks.. I don't have useless disks lying around cluttering up my already cluttered computer room.. hehehe

Since I backup everything anyways.. direct downloads have an equal opportunity to get mucked up just as much as me scratching a disk :lol:

Sith'ari Darth Bane 04-10-2009 05:50 AM

I always buy mine at the store. I don't like waiting on large downloads, especially when my connection cuts out forcing me to start over.

Fiestainabox 04-10-2009 07:47 AM


Originally Posted by maverick187 (Post 2611467)
I usually buy a boxed copy, and keep it shrink wrapped, and then procure a digital copy as well... in one way or another....

I prefer this method too, I got a small scratch on my Fallout 3 disk, if I didn't "aquire" a second copy I would be in pain right now.

It's prefer the boxes, direct downloads are subject to the venders competence, I prefer the boxed disks anyday.

I think the reason why things like Onlive are getting so popular is because of pirates, it's often much easier to pirate something than to suffer the consequences of DRM. Which can be crippling. I've heard stories of people having their CD burners completely disabled just because they installed Spore.

I'm not much of a PC fan, mainly because of having to suffer the adverse effects of wanting to use a laptop rather than a desktop.

Serpentine Cougar 04-12-2009 02:57 AM

I like boxed copies, because it feels more like I actually own something; and it won't get lost as easily if my PC gets reformatted or something. But that's not to say I don't back up my games....

LordOfTheFish 04-12-2009 10:35 AM

Box copies. Keeps my game safe and clean. :indif:

Darth Avlectus 04-14-2009 12:36 AM

I'm a probably end up getting boxed copies lately because BofA F***ED me over for my credit card and won't reverse ANY of it, despite my perfect record of payment. So for the forseeable future, whatever I can purchase in person. Though I already voted. >_<

Life is so unfair.

stoffe 04-14-2009 07:47 AM


Originally Posted by Darth Moeller (Post 2611393)
So I'm curious, currently do you buy your PC games from a retail store like GameStop or Amazon, or do you prefer digital downloads from services like Steam or Direct2Drive?

I prefer getting my games with a box and manual (even though those tend to be more useless pamphlets stating the obvious than anything handy nowadays). Easier to keep track of where the game is and install/uninstall as needed. And for games that turn out to be classics you can replay every now and then years or even decades later you never know if the digital store copy is still there when you need it. :)

adamqd 04-14-2009 08:09 AM

I want a hard copy as it will be 100 times faster to install, but my Location in middle England dictates I will maybe have to wait for my copy, so I'll probably download anyway.

TheRogueForums 04-28-2009 04:41 AM

I'm going for the boxed copy, definitely.

M@RS 04-28-2009 07:35 PM

I'm a mix, I'd probably go for whatever is cheaper.

Serpentine Cougar 05-01-2009 12:02 AM


Originally Posted by M@RS (Post 2619275)
I'm a mix, I'd probably go for whatever is cheaper.

But what if they're the same price?

Cookies 12-28-2011 10:05 PM

Digital download, because I'm too lazy and usually digital download versions cost a bit cheaper.

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