Downloading games online is easy and does not require you leave the house. You can just click on a few buttons and your game is already purchased. Not only that, but there’s no fear of the disc getting scratched as the game is conveniently stored on your hard drive. But there are many negative factors in exclusively downloading games and here is why.
Internet Data Cap Is Full
A friend from USA told me that his monthly internet data cap is a whopping 250GB. The average plan here in New Zealand is only a measly 20GB per month. The Xbox 360 offers gamers to download full games onto their hard drives via its Games on Demand service. The problem about this for gamers in NZ is that Xbox 360 games are usually 6GB big.
That’s a whopping 30% already used for the on my monthly internet data. Also some people (like me) own an older model of the Xbox 360 which only has a 20GB hard drive. Consumers with this type of model will not be able to store all their games onto that amount of space. An extra 120GB hard drive costs around NZD $149.99. I’m sure others would want to spend this money on more games in lieu of a new hard drive.
Plug in and Play? Not!
When you buy a game on a disc you can always just open the disc tray and start playing the game immediately. Although PC games and some PS3 games require an installation, the waiting time is not as long as downloading a full game online. Not only this, but if your internet connection gets cut off midway through downloading you have to wait even longer.
Sometimes this could even corrupt the data and you have to download the game all over again. Here in New Zealand a game 1.5GB in size takes around 2 – 3 hours to download. I find it’s less time consuming for me to go a store, buy the game I want and then come back home again.
No Refunds Or Trade Ins
One of the major disadvantages of purchasing a downloadable game is that you cannot refund or trade in the game. You cannot simply go to a store and ask for an alternative nor can you sell it if you become bored with the game. You purchase for the game is final and it’s simply stuck there. Not to mention it’s almost always cheaper buying game second hand rather than buying them via Sony’s PlayStation Store or Microsoft’s Xbox LIVE.
What Are They Good For?
Downloading games aren’t all that bad but I would not exclusively alienate buying games from a store in place of it. They’re good if you wanted to buy rare titles that are hard to find such as PSOne games like Final Fantasy VII or Metal Gear Solid. They are also great if you want to buy something that is cheap. The PSP Minis range offers a lot of games for a budget price and a miniscule download size to go with it as well. Xbox LIVE Arcade offers a ton of great little games too that are cheap in price yet still fun to play. They are also small in download size so you won’t have to wait too long to play the game you purchased.
I highly doubt most consumers would fully download PS3 or Xbox 360 games in the near future. It’s more expensive buying games via Sony and Microsoft and not to mention you’ll have to wait hours for the game itself to download before you can even play it. Downloadable games are good only for small purchases such as an arcade game or a rare PSOne game you never got the opportunity to play.