Among current platforms, it seems that PC players are the most comfortable with the concept, with 84 percent of respondents saying they purchase downloadable games on PC. That's perhaps not too surprising given the popularity of services like Steam, GOG.com and Desura. The balance shifts as we move down the line, with almost 72 percent purchasing downloadable games on consoles like Xbox 360, PS3 and Wii U, while only 62 percent of respondents download games on handhelds like the 3DS and PlayStation Vita.
The reason for not buying a downloadable game was split between two choices. 39 percent prefer to have a physical product, while 38 percent think downloadable games should be cheaper than their retail counterparts. Meanwhile, 12 percent worry that their games might disappear if services like Steam, XBLA or PSN ever shut down. A small number of respondents, 7 percent, worry about games not transferring to the next generation of consoles (spoiler: They won't). Very few, only 3 percent, are concerned about the cost of hard drives and memory cards.
Commenters also shared their opinions, offering more nuanced points of view that are tricky to convey in a static poll. This is one of the biggest questions of this generation – on consoles in particular – and people have lots of reasons for making the choices they do. You'll find some of these opinions after the break.
Many commenters won't make downloadable purchases on certain platforms, while they're perfectly happy to do so on others – PC especially. Some commenters noted that their region doesn't offer good internet connections, making downloadable games a difficult prospect. Others prefer to download smaller, cheaper indie games and wait for downloadable retail games to go on sale. Steam sales, GOG.com sales and indie bundles in particular are a driving factor for many readers. Limited and sometimes expensive storage media is more of a concern for those buying games on handhelds. Many dislike the lack of a unified account on Nintendo platforms, notably that 3DS games are locked to the console on which they are downloaded.
Among those who prefer physical copies, many enjoy the act of creating a collection. Many others like to know that they can sell a game whenever they're done with it.
There was also at least one comment thread that turned into a Pokémon recommendation conversation. The consensus seems to be Bunnelby.
Thanks to everyone who participated, and feel free to start the conversation all over again in the comments!
- Key specs
- Game format Downloadable, Cartridge
- Screen size 3.53 inches
- Online features Multiplayer, Store, Browser
- Direction control D-pad, Thumb stick (1)
- Motion controls Accelerometer, Camera / optical
- Dimensions 0.8 x 5.3 x 2.9 in
- Weight 8 oz
- Released 2011-03-27
Sony PlayStation 3 (late 2012)
Nintendo Wii U
Microsoft Xbox One