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Physical vs. Digital Games on Nintendo Switch

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The world is certainly moving towards a more digital future for games, but why are some of us hesitant to embrace it? Twitter: https://twitter.com/JohnnyZaccari Discord: https://discordapp.com/invite/K8zzs5z
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Text Comments (832)
TheWitness (9 hours ago)
I’m a digital fanatic. Only game that’s physical is BOTW. It’s the only cartridge to occupy the slot on my Switch. As a launch day owner my 128GB microSD card has about 11 gigs left.
Little Swiss Kid (1 day ago)
With Nintendo products physical is the way to go. The games hold up after many years later and then rarely depreciate in value, many times going up. Single player games will always be physical for me and with Nintendo that's most of their first party games. The Destiny's and many other sever based games may live and die on their severs but Nintendo lasts as long as the console
Shawn Boley (1 day ago)
Physical to me is still my go to. I personally dislike digital. My internet has a lot to do with that. Sometimes taking over 24 hours to completely install a game that is 30gb. Certain consoles also seam to be a factor my ps4 downloads things much faster then my xbox one. Not outright owning a game is also a huge problem for me. Pay 65 dollars for a new release and can't re sell it really sucks. Gamestop might not give the greatest trade ins but it's better then zero
Brian Mosley (2 days ago)
Subbed for the Indiana Jones / PS1 Reference. Great content!
Riz2336 (2 days ago)
Personally I like physical copies more, I do have 2 digital downloaded games for switch though Sonic Mania and Part 2 of Resident Evil Revelations
Ilovemoney godden (2 days ago)
physical games are good theres a shop around my area that costs 30.00 not 60
phil mckrotch (2 days ago)
digital all the way with PS4 physical with the switch.
Gremlech (2 days ago)
digital games; impossible to eat physical games; taste bad tough choice.
David Nesbit (2 days ago)
"im a big physical guy"
Rick Doll (3 days ago)
Only own 1 physical which stays in the switch all the time, everything else is digital.
sunsbookishgamesx (3 days ago)
I used to be so against digital now I'm all for it. Perfer physical.
Saif Chowdhury (3 days ago)
I wish games were priced based on their quality
SafetySkull (3 days ago)
If you lose your switch you lose all your digital games. If they release a new console you're going to have to re-buy the port anyway even if you bought it on digital. Why can't they learn from Steam and PC? Just have a unified account with all your games on it and unlimited access and downloads. In my opinion the total lack of backwards compatibility on consoles is the biggest ever reason not to buy one over a PC. I've had a look on the Switch store and they're selling Super Mario Bros. 1, a 25-year-old game, for $20. It should be $2 or, realistically, free (like it is on pc ;) ). At a lean 31KB, thats 64c/KB and you get to pay that every time they release a console
akii saki (3 days ago)
Im digital + physical.
MrMekmek29 (3 days ago)
Jailbreak that sytem once it gets phased out. Dnt hack now though.
Joel Rosario (4 days ago)
This shouldn’t be a debate. Just go with whatever you like... must gamers debate everything?
c0mpu73rguy (4 days ago)
When I can, I always buy physical copies. Mostly because my internet speed is very slow.
King Ditto (4 days ago)
“Sea of Thieves” 😂 😂 😂
ben31uk (4 days ago)
I never buy anything from the eshop not even dlc. Physical copy's are the way togo
Greg J. Hedlund (4 days ago)
You missed a very important point: performance. Both system-memory and SSD cards are much faster than carts. I'm digital all the way - convenient, more Nintendo gold points, better performance, easy to backup the SD card. There was a time when I liked to collect things... now I'm looking at boxes of CDs and DVDs, old PS1/PS2 games and I would like to just get rid of the clutter.
John Squarez (4 days ago)
I prefer digital. Especially for handheld games. With physical, you run the risk of loosing your games. And with switch games being so pricey, loosing a case with Mario Odyssey, Skyrim, breath of the wild, splatoon 2, doom, and mario kart 8 could mean having to spend $240+ just to replace them. If your switch gets stolen with digital, you can just call nintendo and transfer your account to a new system. Just get a 200gb sd card and delete what you don't play. You can redownload them easily. Physical releases these days won't have much worth since you'll lack the downloadable content and patches need to get the full experience
Milton Messimer (4 days ago)
Physical all the way! I feel more satisfaction and appreciation in the all the work that goes into it: Manuals, Artwork, Music, Videos, Stories, Maps, Guides, and etc... I just wish there was a digital to "media" option?!
Sunshine Starcraft (5 days ago)
Only cons for physical apart from having the physical game and lower price on amazon.
Jason Snyder (6 days ago)
Well me personally I'm a big-time game collector I probably have 3000 games on tap probably 300 downloaded games for me I just care about playing a game I could care less about a piece of plastic on my shelf but the downside is is I've already had a PS3 dump on me and I've been having a hard time getting my downloads back especially all my movies I can get any of them back
YoukaiBuster (6 days ago)
I buy the cheapest version, wherther that is physical or digital
KICKBACK BOYS (6 days ago)
I buy cartridges not only because the Nintendo shop is expensive but I can easily sell them pretty much close to rrp on eBay
immatoll (7 days ago)
My problem is: Nintendo’s online services and shops are so proprietary and expensive. I buy most of the games between 30-50% off the eShop price as physical. I can sell them if I want (so I did with some Wii U games i‘ll buy on switch again) and i do not need to delete games for space. Although I have an 200GB Card. I have about 30 retail games on the switch right now. Even 80 retail games on the PSVita. I‘m more a collector, True, but besides the PC: I will never buy overpriced AAA Titles as digital as long as Sony and Nintendo do not deliver any kind of guarantee that I can play these games also in a couple of years. I have steam games that are more than 10 years old and sometimes I play them.
South African Doozy (7 days ago)
Nice vid
Adam B (7 days ago)
I go all digital because I travel a lot. I live overseas and sometimes can’t count on the games being around, also very little resale market (not to mention I rarely sell my games). So I go all digital, and that’s with knowing it might all go away. At the moment I got 22 games on my Switch on my 256 gb card and I got 170 gb remaining. And that’s with having Mario Odyssey, breath of the wild, Splatoon 2, mario Rabbids, Doom and a bunch of eshop games.
krum1985 (7 days ago)
For my switch I prefer physical, but for PC and PS4, I have gone purely digital for years now. I think physical is nice, and I do buy physical collectors editions of some games (usually those I'm really looking forward to and have some cool CE bonus I want, or MMO expansions to MMO's I play), but where do I store them all? most of them end up in a box in my store room because I don't have space to put them anywhere else...
Tony Melo (8 days ago)
You cant let a friend use your digital copy of a game on playstation or xbox, you make it sound like switch is the only one. Now, you can play those games on more than one system on these, but that's not the same thing as say, letting my brother "borrow" it.
Chris chibucos (8 days ago)
Always digital if it’s a game I know I’ll want to keep a long time, physical if I think I might be done with it after one play through cause then I can sell it or trade it in to Gamestop for credit towards my next game.
David Navarrete (9 days ago)
I live in Mexico, so let's do a little exercise that would help many people outside USA: Physical price of a game. USA: $60 USD. México: SRP: $1,600 MXN ($80 USD), but some stores (like Amazon Mx) sell them at $1,200 MXN ($60 USD). That means I get the original price by buying physical Digital price of a game. USA: $60 USD. México: $1,600 MXN ($60 USD) just to make it match the SRP of the physical version. BUT, as I'm using MORE STORAGE on my Switch, I also need to SPEND MORE MONEY for a bigger MicroSD. Also, if I don't like the game or find myself not playing it quite often, I CANNOT just sell it because it is tied to my account Conclusion: If I buy physical, I get the price to match USA prices, and I don't use much storage on my Switch/MicroSD. Also, I can sell it later if I don't play it that much. In contrast, buying digital means I pay way more for the game and I need to also pay more for a bigger MicroSD… So… Physical for almost every game
djk4candey (9 days ago)
Im a physical/digital guy. (mostly have physical though.)
Ochemypie (9 days ago)
I sold like 5~6 switch games and 2 xbox one games on gamestop and got enough money to buy wii u and plus used game. Digital? not possible
Will C. (9 days ago)
i don't trust nintendo to go fully digital lol
Ontspandude (9 days ago)
It depends on the price. I prefer digital but usually it is more expensive so I buy it physical anyway.
Carson Brooks (9 days ago)
I like physical better. botw download uses 16gb and you can play botw cartridge right when you put it in your switch
darksaintcj (9 days ago)
I prefer digital because of my lifestyle. I travel light and dont like the idea of being tied to many things
MrGamersedition (10 days ago)
I buy physical so I can sell it later
vicma praur (10 days ago)
I prefer physical games, mostly for the collectibility.
Martin nuñez (10 days ago)
in Latin America, digital games are up to half the cost of digital games, for example zelda: digital 59.99 physical 130 or more
Anthony Frank (10 days ago)
I want the physical item in my hand. To buy, sell and trade. It holds value, I like the experience of going to a store, opening a package, looking at a manual...reading the box art. Reminds me of a time when my parents used to bring me to a game store to buy NES games.
Cameron Porter (10 days ago)
Absolutely digital. The convenience of not having to bring game cards around with me outways everything else. The switch's main selling point is its portability , so physical for other consoles (if I had any) but digital for switch.
Zach Campbell (10 days ago)
I've been thinking, I wonder what it would be like if Nintendo had their games set up this way, you can preorder games for more money to have it show up at your house day one, but you can use your gold? Or whatever the points you get for buying games. To bring the price back down to normal price I'd say that would be great for Nintendo because then people would buy the game at normal price after spending a lot of money already on other games allowing people to play through the game or not like the game and sell the game online at a higher price than 60 dollars to make a profit off people that waited for the game to come out for the reviews and such, buying from the people who can send it earlier than the current orders can, sounds complicated but just think about how you interpret all that, it makes sense, you spent a ton of money to buy a game cheaper and faster, play or hate the game already and sell it online for more money than what you bought it for, everyone wins
DevTek Ve (10 days ago)
And they say piracy is bad? I see a solution to a problem they don’t want to fix so we gotta fix it ourselves.
Geo Catez (11 days ago)
I choose digital. Never a risk of losing anything ever..ever. unless you forget a password. Everyone has an obsession and people will always find a way to capitalize on said obsessions.
PeachyBear (11 days ago)
I'd never buy a digital games from Nintendo until they have a good system in check for transferring my games to another machine, the current one is a hot-mess, I don't see why I have to go through such a hassle just to transfer my account over.
logicalfundy (11 days ago)
For big titles that I'd like to keep, I've gone physical. But it is a tad annoying to have to change out the cartridge. I do wonder - can you actually buy both physical and digital, and will they share savegames? For indie titles, I've gone digital - partially because that's the only way to get some of those game, and partially because I do want some convenient titles I can play any time without switching cartridges. I do have a 200 GB SD card, and I do put everything I can on it.
Marsmallow Taneh (11 days ago)
physical games can be traded in for big money. got my switch for free trading in old 3ds games
jackthegamer (11 days ago)
i would stick to physical as...come on the cartridges are small enough to fit anywhere' the other thing is that...is that such a burden to just walk in a store and buy a game ? i can understand that you might not if said store is located far away from you but if its not than its not an excuse to buy digitally also space, i can understand that stuff like that can take space but here the thing, when its about the switch, its so small and compact and just like i said for the cartridges, they are compact and doesn't even take that much space anywhere !
Aaron Fullbright (11 days ago)
It's a really difficult discussion with no right answer. It really depends on your lifestyle and needs. I -want- to buy all digital but several factors make physical purchases a necessity. My household has two switches, some single player games I absolutely don't want to purchase two copies of, other games that I know we will both play, Digital makes the most sense.
Craig Sutherland (11 days ago)
I prefer physical because I just think it's good to have a little collection and have something to show for my money spent
CadenLisa (12 days ago)
MOST OF PHYSICAL GAMES NEED A MICRO SD CARD SO WHAT'S THE POINT
TheEpicPancake (12 days ago)
I think a mix is better for this. If you plan on playing on tv then physical isnt gonna be a problem, but if you play on the go then not having to lug around a case is pretty good.
Carlos Rios (12 days ago)
you should have talked about transferring games. that is different on switch from what i heard. i am use to playstation and xbox. where you can jsut sign in and download your purchases games. i had the same 360 games on both my 360 and xbox one. no problems. but with nintendo, its not that easy allegedly. like if you lose/break a switch, you can just buy a new one and re download you purchases. since they are tied to that switch. i mean it can be done, but you have to contact nintendo i heard. i hope they fix that, and how saves work. so you can transfer games and saves more easily.
Joshua Nicholas (12 days ago)
Physical games because they take up less space on the system
IMDARKFIRE007 (12 days ago)
Physical simply so I can play the games I truly love again in their original form without the updates.
Tsukinotaku (12 days ago)
I just feel like if you buy it physical you should have the right to unlock the digital version too.... I mean my fat ass can't bother myself to switch mario kart to Zelda....
Ness Pyrosa (12 days ago)
Why should I pay the same price for a temporary license when I can actually buy the real game? Maybe when they give 75% off for digital like Steam does then I'll switch to digital copies. Pun intended.
Bryan Leong (13 days ago)
I paid HK$420 for box Zelda, while Digital cost US$ 59., its HK$ 480.
misterkeebler (13 days ago)
The older i get, the less i've cared about obsessing over physical. I still prefer physical because i do often like the box art, and they are often way cheaper between Best Buy 20% off and more frequent sales. But nowadays i sometimes buy digital as a second play copy for my most frequently played titles. And physical storage space for games eventually becomes an issue for any gamer who buys a lot like i do, no different than digital storage space. Both formats have pros and cons.
Captain Omega (13 days ago)
For me it depends on the game, if it is a small game 3GB or under, I download it. If it has a physical and/or big memory, physical it is.
Marcixchu Marcixchu (13 days ago)
I go physical and digital so yeah :D i share both sides
Yusuke Kitagawa (13 days ago)
Meh, I don't need a microsd card, physical all the way.
Jay WingsOfFire (13 days ago)
Physical simply because you could spend the money that it'd take to get a micro SD card on another game. Also used games and trading in games you don't want anymore is a plus.
igounfazed (13 days ago)
I've mentioned this on Spawn Wave: I don't see why buying the cartridge can't let you install the game onto your Switch. Similar to a PC install. I can't see why updates or DLC can't be added onto the game cartridge (other than space on the cartridge). In this day and technological age, I think it could be easily done. Hell; they could just as easily include an SD slot on the cartridge itself so we can have the option to buy our own SD cards and have all updates and DLC on the cartridge instead of the Switch. Ps: Physical is *always* better than digital purchases. People just need to know how to read the EULAs and TOS.
Xsroa12345 (13 days ago)
You didnt mention the collectors aspect of psysical games. Most the people that I know that take video games more seriously than just a game buy games psyically, because having the box and disc/cartridge is more collectable. Someting about having a game on a shelf is more satisfying than just having it some some consolse home screen.
Bose-Einstein (13 days ago)
I prefer physical, because putting all my eggs in one basket has fucked my over numerous times.
SUPER MARIO (14 days ago)
for me, the games that you will be binging for hours are physical (odyssey and zelda) the games that you will play for a few minutes at a time or can still get progress out of 10 mins of work (mario kart and mario and rabbids) are digital
Noobulon (14 days ago)
Noteably the switch has an option to update games via other local users. So you can get updates as long as someone else has them. Also, longevity becomes less of an issue when you look at how far emulation is coming, at least in the scope of several years down the line. Once they get game dumps figured out on switch you will probrably be able to have the updates backed up into your game rip. I plan on getting physical copies for anything other than small party type games or indie games (think snipperclips or overcooked) id rather keep up with some game cartridges than manage console/sd card space and I'd imagine the rom chips in the cartridges are a bit more durable than an sd card
Percy Possum (14 days ago)
Physical is all fun and games until your switch/house gets robbed and you lose all your games. I would buy physical for sure if it worked like steam does where you buy physical and it becomes bound to your account, so even if you lose the physical copy you still can play.
Joberg (14 days ago)
I prefer to have multi-player games as a digital version, so i can switch between games easier when I play with friends, but for single-player games I don't mind the physical copy, because I usually don't switch between those. I play them until I'm done and then I take on the next one.
Zman_- (14 days ago)
How to fix all problems with digital download games, use a unified store, create a backend, then have seperate front-ends, keep legacy code in there for old front-ends to work, and have new code for new frontends to work
SamuFinland (14 days ago)
I go for digital, I've had the Switch since launch, I don't have a single physical game. Why? I hate swapping cartridges around, I hate finding my physical games, I hate the extra space the boxes take, I have a big bag full of my empty Wii, Gamecube, Wii U, DS and 3DS game boxes. I can download the games I want immediately after they've launched, no need to go run around shops or fight for preorders, the servers might be slow around big releases though. The physical copies need their Day 1 updates anyway, and will probably get more updates, using your storage whever you go for physical or digital. Sorry for long comment, I don't dislike people who prefer physical games, I just prefer digital
CapCrumbs The Mighty (14 days ago)
Because those AAA titles will fuck your GBs to shit.
Satria Sutena (14 days ago)
I do prefer physical because of... I don’t know actually
Jonas _00_ (14 days ago)
I usually go physical when it comes to console gaming, because it allows me to keep the cover of the game, which means I can collect the covers. and they usually look really nice too. On pc however, I ALWAYS go digital, because it’s just so much more convenient.
Landfantasia (15 days ago)
I buy ALL my games physical when I have the choice and this is my preferred way to own games. im never moving to all digital.
Najib Mauthoor (15 days ago)
Well you have one available slot on your Switch, so I say buy one very big game on a cartridge like BOTW and the rest could be downloaded
Damion Lawson (15 days ago)
i do both. digital when I'm home, but I'm an over the road truck driver, so ill grab a physical copy if I'm on the road and a game releases
Jesus Yeahyeah (15 days ago)
🎤 Let’s get physical physical... is what I sing to my Nintendo Switch.
AngelGel01 (15 days ago)
I have 3 switch on my house so digital is out of the question
Nix 41 (15 days ago)
The fact that nintendo carts holds only 80% of the game and you need to buy expensive sd cards is absolutely laughable.
Advanced Gaming (16 days ago)
I think digital because the switch is meant for portability and I like to have all my games with me st all times.
Shawn Wesley (16 days ago)
I don't really care, physical or digital are both equally fine for me. Whichever I can get the best deal on, though it is nice not having to switch out games when you go digital. Something I don't even consider for physical is borrowing. I do not lend out my games. I learned a long while ago that other people simply cannot be trusted to keep thing I lend them in good shape or not to lose it or forget for months on end to return it. Even my closest friends... no. Either you can play it while I'm there watching you, or you can get your own copy. My closest friends I may go ahead and buy a copy for them if I can afford to do so that week/month. Either way, I only own 4 games on my switch right now, having bought it only a couple months ago. 3 are physical, one digital. Still gotta get one of those big SD cards, _and_ the pro controller.
Copy (16 days ago)
So with the physical game you can sell of exchange games? This are not very clear to me.
likeleon (16 days ago)
All of my main titles like BOTW or Mario Kart 8 are physical copies. Mostly because of my bad internet and not wanting to download a game for 11 hours straight. But i still have a few digital games, which are mostly indies or smaller titles that also haven't taken that long to download.
Melinda Boomer (16 days ago)
Honestly, although digital games are great, but you can’t sell it after you’re done With it. You cannot sell what you do not physically have.
Paul Lavoie (16 days ago)
digital games and stuff is a way that the company is taking pride of ownership away from you. If you want to trade it or sell you can't. Not only that their are instances where sony shut people down on their network and they lost all the money they sunk into it.
Tiffany Chen (16 days ago)
u got a card, u can give it to your friends to play. if u got Digital ones from nintendo Eshop, u can only play the games with your own switch! and none of your friends can play your games without your switch.
HeSeesHisVictory (17 days ago)
for price it also depeneds. there might be sales at gamestop or something but with nintendo points...
Blood (17 days ago)
Unless you've got access to multiple terrabytes or you're a casual who only plays a handful of games in general then digital isn't worth it. Anything less than 3TB isn't good enough for reliance on digital. I'll always take physical over digital for that reason alone but there are countless other reasons too.. including the fact that I want to continue growing my physical collection which i've been collecting for almost 30 years.
Marcel Buntaran (17 days ago)
Physical..just like it
Thunder 55 (17 days ago)
My philosophy is to buy something I can resell. Now, I do flex that rule (I buy Pokemon Virtual Console games for my 3DS) occasionally, and will go digital if there is no physical release. But I am a collector and barterer at heart. I use physical games as barter bait, as I can use games I no longer play to get discounts on games that I do want to play. I will also buy cheap at garage sales and second-hand stores and re-sell to get money for games I want. I cannot fathom a future with digital only. When that happens, I don't know what I'd do.
ikaruga24 (17 days ago)
For the Switch, just like my 3DS i like a mix of physical and digital. Truth be told, the Switch just for the purpose of saving space i prefer physical copies and i have to admit that i like the work many of them do with the packaging. Not every game does this but many of them do and i love it.
Unity (17 days ago)
Not buying any digital downloads since I enjoy collecting the games - playing comes second :)
mark murkve (17 days ago)
another issue i think that made the wii shop channel short-lived was due to the rampant ease of use of homebrew, which let's face it, leads to piracy. after putting up with this tidal wave of thieving for years, nintendo finally said "screw it, if people would rather pirate our Wii games than buy them from stores/off our shop channel, let's just discontinue those functions."
chang jeffrey (18 days ago)
for me it depends on the game. Single player digital, multiple player physical. It works fairly well for me.
nukejello (18 days ago)
one you get the Best Buy GCU discount on and the other you don't :)

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