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atarifan88

Physical vs Digital Switch Games

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I'm planning on buying a Switch later this year and was wondering about the advantages & disadvantages of buying a physical vs digital copy?  Which one do you prefer and why?  I'm also wondering, if I go digital, does the entire game get saved to my console or is it dependent on using an online service to access the game?  I'm thinking ahead when the Switch stops getting supported if I would be better off with a physical copy to play then?

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I always prefer digital these days, but on Switch, I tend to get the cartridges when available because even with a generous SD card, I'm concerned about space. It's really the only modern system I still favor physical cartridges, even though they're less convenient. I'm not really concerned about support being dropped for the Switch, or any system really, and even if it were, having a physical medium these days is no guarantee you'll have the complete game anyway. The Switch, like any modern system, has regular updates for all of its games, so the cartridge you buy today is almost never what the game actually ends up being.

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I prefer physical games as I will be able to play and trade these for as long as I like and will be able to use them on a replacement console should mine fail. All this regardless of what Nintendo chooses to do with their online store (although later updates will not be available once they close it and are quite substantial for some games - I do wonder whether these are eventually included in later re-runs). Digital prices not being substantially lower than physical copies is a factor, too. A lot of games are digital only, however.

 

The only drawback is that you need to carry the modules around (which isn‘t much of a drag given their diminutive size) and have to physically swap them rather than simply calling them up from a menu.

 

If other old consoles are a measure, fully updated cracks will probably be available once the console is no longer sold. 

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We have several Switch consoles in our household so we've adopted a hybrid approach when it comes to digital versus physical. 

 

Typically 'long' games like Square RPGs and similar will get physical purchases so that my wife and I can swap carts back and forth, or we'll pick up games that the entire family might want to play at some point ( like Mario Kart 8 ) as physical.  

 

Anything that's going to have limited appeal for the family typically is digitally purchased on the players' console.  As a general rule, I prefer digital more as of late because I don't have to futz with putting the carts in the console (or carrying them around, or worrying that I misplace one if I have to travel for work).  I'm not overly concerned with system support in the long-term when it comes to the Switch.

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10 hours ago, atarifan88 said:

I'm planning on buying a Switch later this year and was wondering about the advantages & disadvantages of buying a physical vs digital copy?  Which one do you prefer and why?  I'm also wondering, if I go digital, does the entire game get saved to my console or is it dependent on using an online service to access the game?  I'm thinking ahead when the Switch stops getting supported if I would be better off with a physical copy to play then?

As long as I can get it in any region (since there is wisely no lockouts) and its in english, or minimally is like a shooter or something that doesn't need dialogue to play -- I buy a real copy.

 

The advantages really are kind of simple:
-You own it and therefore control it

-You can trade or resell it

-You can loan it to a friend

-As long as it's not botched or cheap corner cutting partial game on card (rare for NS due to limited system storage by default) they work on the card without some big download first just to play or fix it to work right

-If you're a dick or get hacked by a dick and get banned from services, you still have your game, you don't lose your rights and therefore your money

-When an online store dies, then storage is aged out over time, your download is gone if you ever lose the system, it breaks, or just your memory card its on fails.

-If your card does break, you can go buy another, it's a real copy, not digital vapor

 

The ONLY benefit of digital -- Speed of firing up the game, and not having to store and put the game into the system to use it.  Basically, laziness and lack of space wins out there.

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The only reason I buy physical releases is they are often cheaper on launch than the digital version. There's also the memory space problem, but that's not really a concern anymore for me (I haven't really bought a "big" game for a long time).

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Im probably at a 50% digital library and that will increase Im sure. Im all for physical format but its hard to pass up the crazy deep discounts digital can offer.

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Posted (edited)

As I'm making a game list for when I buy the system, I'm noticing only 2 of the 25 games on my list have a physical release.  It looks like I'm not going to have much of a choice!

Edited by atarifan88
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21 hours ago, atarifan88 said:

As I'm making a game list for when I buy the system, I'm noticing only 2 of the 25 games on my list have a physical release.  It looks like I'm not going to have much of a choice!

I guess it really depends on the game and region.  :) 

 

Since the Switch isn't region-locked, an alternative is to check out a store like Play-Asia and import an 'Asian' region version that has English language as a physical release; I did this for Final Fantasy X/X-2 because I thought it was dumb that the FFX cart had a download code for X-2.  The downside is you can't redeem Gold Points for a region outside the one your account is setup for, but the up side is you have a physical copy.  Importing also costs more, depending on where you are located.  

 

Chrono Cross has a physical release date of 4/26 so I'm tempted to import from them to have a cart.

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I've done the same...later some after purchase did get some limited release, but being english and I'm not an ESRB lover, I don't care. ;)

 

I am Setsuna early on got an english-asia release that was with shipping same price as the download rental...I bought the real copy.  I've gone and done this with a few others like Capcom Belt Action, but ultimately got rid of it, easier to play on my computer for coin munchers.  I had FF9 but just didn't keep it because I hadn't the time, kind of wish I kept it but not because it just sat after some play.  There are a couple playasia games out though with Chrono Cross and Pocky n Rocky coming out in a couple weeks.  Lodoss War I've got coming too, but that made a weird round about to an english release but it's in english.  It's great having no region lock on Nintendo handhelds again since they got all cowardly and spooked with the DSi and 3DS systems.

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Posted (edited)
On 4/6/2022 at 12:25 PM, atarifan88 said:

As I'm making a game list for when I buy the system, I'm noticing only 2 of the 25 games on my list have a physical release.  It looks like I'm not going to have much of a choice!

I have like a monster sd card on mine. I do digital only unless the physical is cheaper. Really the only physical games I have are first party games, and FFX & X-2 (which I found on clearance at my Walmart).

 

I love the digital because I have so much at my fingertips. Don't have to worry about when I go to family what to pack since it basically all comes with me. We find that the casual games we want digital copies of.

 

If we could go back we'd get Animal Crossing digitally. But my wife loves having access to games like Clubhouse at any moment and we even preordered Switch Sports digitally. 

 

Digital is the way to go to get more bang for your buck. You can find crazy good deals sometimes and will practically get the best deals digitally.

 

Get a giant SD card and work on loading it up. I think I have a 500GB one and still have 286 GB left. That is around 120 games. A majority of which came in below the $5 mark and most likely lower than the $3 mark.

20220412_195317.thumb.jpg.9b15c1912374070b4a3da798e17245e1.jpg

Edited by MrBeefy
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I try and do physical when possible but I've bought a few AAA titles digitally when they were either on a big sale or if they're older and I couldn't find the physical copy cheaply anymore.

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I am physical only on Switch for the most part. 

 

The games are typically cheaper and you own them forever.  

 

If you are patient; pretty much all good games do eventually get a cart release through limited run games or a similar company. 

 

The only games that never will are the Arcade Archives, Sega Ages, and ACA Neo Geo titles among other lighter digital only fare.. 

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A good advantage of digital is if you have multiple switches in the house. I can buy something on the eShop, my eldest can play it on his profile (primary console) and my younger lad can log in as me on his Switch (secondary console) and play the game at the same time. Consequently, I have been able to duplicate some 30 games for them in this manner. I don't have to worry about him messing up my save data either as that is all set to manual via the cloud. Downside is if I feel like playing my Switch and he is on his as me then I get booted out my game 🤣

 

The Eshop does see some great sales too but be vigilant when looking at non discounted titles, I can buy digital Puyo Puyo Tetris 2 for £34.99 or I can get the physical off Amazon (brand new) for £8.99  - hmm... now which is better?!? 

 

Also with physical, I am seeing more and more "code in a box" which if you are into paying more (sometimes) for a plastic case but no physical cart then fine but it's a no from me.

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32 minutes ago, Zap1982 said:

Also with physical, I am seeing more and more "code in a box" which if you are into paying more (sometimes) for a plastic case but no physical cart then fine but it's a no from me.

 

This has to be one of the dumbest ideas/trends of all time.  Lets create more plastic waste for no reason whatsoever. 

 

You do have to keep an eye out; i was almost fooled looking for a copy of the Bioshock trilogy; which was originally released on cart, and then re-released as the "code in a box."  Jerks. 

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37 minutes ago, Rick Dangerous said:

 

This has to be one of the dumbest ideas/trends of all time.  Lets create more plastic waste for no reason whatsoever. 

That is a factor. I was always suprised by the Switch cases given the size of the content. I miss instruction manuals with games, they really could have made nice padding for the switch cases.

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4 hours ago, Rick Dangerous said:

 

This has to be one of the dumbest ideas/trends of all time.  Lets create more plastic waste for no reason whatsoever. 

 

You do have to keep an eye out; i was almost fooled looking for a copy of the Bioshock trilogy; which was originally released on cart, and then re-released as the "code in a box."  Jerks. 

They're annoying, what's really infuriating is the lie on the box, where it says download also required, but it's not an also, they sell you 1/2 a game so they can buy a cheapest storage chip then let you download another 10-20GB on the side just so the game starts.  That's the epitome of bullshit tactics.

 

Also some games that had been physical the companies are cheaping out and discretely going into the fake game in a box route you brought up with the paper waiver, Lego City Undercover I just saw at retail last week with no game, just an misfortune cookie sheet in there with your magic numbers. 😕

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19 hours ago, Rick Dangerous said:

 

This has to be one of the dumbest ideas/trends of all time.  Lets create more plastic waste for no reason whatsoever. 

 

You do have to keep an eye out; i was almost fooled looking for a copy of the Bioshock trilogy; which was originally released on cart, and then re-released as the "code in a box."  Jerks. 

I was surprised the Amico tried to pull that crap.  There was no way I was going to buy some empty boxes before the system.  Look what that got them!

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20 hours ago, atarifan88 said:

I was surprised the Amico tried to pull that crap.  There was no way I was going to buy some empty boxes before the system.  Look what that got them!

Yeah a box without even half of a game on it is a waste. 

 

I'm not surprised they did it because they had them made and needed money. It ended up getting them sales because people love the shelf decor.

 

The whole practice of selling a "code in the box" should just stop. It's a waste and they should just go the "gift card route".

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