Physical Games Still Preferred Over Digital Copies

The NPD Group has released their report on core gamers for 2014.

With more games available via download, more people each year are turning towards digital and not a hard copy. Digital demand goes up 5 percent year to year. Still, three out of four gamers still want discs. For some, the perks of physical discs is enough to tempt them to buy those instead of buying the digital downloads, such as the Imperial edition of Elder Scrolls Online.

According to a survey completed by the NPD Group, the Core Gaming 2014 Report, the percentage of core gamers in the US that prefer real discs opposed to digital is at 74 percent, considering they are similar in price.

A Preference for Digital

I find myself being in part of the 26% that prefer to download their media. I have two children that have a habit of not putting discs back into their game case. This leads to scratched or ruined games.

On top of that, I like being able to instantly access my game as soon as it goes on sale. I don't have to wait in line or wait for shipping that could be delayed. Anyone with kids knows that a trip to the local game store can take three times as long when you have to travel with the horde.

Internet is Split

Gamers of all shapes and sizes have their preference on the medium they prefer. For many, it has to do with either hard drive space and/or physical storage space for the games. Some gamers prefer not to clutter or fill up their console's limited hard drive space. Some also like have the look of their collection on display, or be able to share games with others.

Physical copies do not have to deal much with DRM (or digital rights management) that prohibits gamers from playing their game on other systems than the origin system. 

About the Core Gaming 2014 Report

Conducted in March, the survey consisted of 7,900 core gamers, ages 9 and up. The panel defined core gamers as people who play five or more hours on any platform, but only in certain genres. These genres include:

  • Action
  • Adventure
  • Fighting
  • Flight
  • MMOs
  • Racing
  • Real-Time Strategy
  • RPGs
  • Shooters
  • or Sports Games.

With their totals of 34 million people who fall within this criteria, the average of playtime a week is 22 hours. A sample of this report is available on the NPD website.

What do you prefer, digital or physical copies?

Published May. 15th 2014
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