Physical Media vs Digital Media?

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Xbox One Digital Downloads Xbox One Digital Downloads Flickr: Kalleboo

Over the past few years streaming digital content to your home has become common place, from Lovefilm & Amazon to online TV catch up the UK has embraced the next generation method of acquiring content, so it’s no surprise to see that Microsoft has too. They plan to offer two options for purchasing games.

The traditional physical copy option

Althought it doesn’t really need explaining; you visit your local retailer and purchase a copy of the game on a Blu-ray. Some consumers still feel they prefer to have a copy in their hands; there is nothing like breaking the cellophane packaging and holding the shiny new disk. Good news for these people, there’s not much change here, the only difference is you will now be required to install the game on your Xbox One before you can play. However as a nice bonus once the game is installed Microsoft will hold in their cloud, allowing you to play you games whilst you’re at a friend’s house. This is AWESOME.

Then for those of us who have a decent internet connection and   it is quite likely you will be downloading your games from Live.

The modern digital streaming option

Again anyone who has an Xbox 360 or a Playstation 3 will be familiar with the idea of digital downloads; basically it is Microsoft’s way of cutting out the middle man retailer.  From what we know about the Xbox One most of its titles will be available to download directly from Xbox Live, and again if you want to play these games from a mates house, that’s not going to be a problem!

Personally I prefer digital downloads, I am lucky enough to have a reliable, speedy internet connection and the idea of not having loads of Blu-ray’s cluttering up the place appeals a lot. However, its unclear how selling the digital versions will work, I expect it might fall under the rules we outlined in our previous article:

"There are two requirements: you can only give them to people who have been on your friends list for at least 30 days and each game can only be given once."

Physical copies will also have new rules/charges applied to them but this will be determined by publishers and trade-ins will only be available with participating retailers, we do wonder if this will include Ebay?

As more news is released we will let you know, in the meantime we are left wondering what this will do to all the retailers in the UK who’s business revolves around physical media, it’s certainly going to be a time for change in the UK gaming market.

Image credit: Kalleboo

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