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PlayStation 5 owners prefer boxed games to downloads

Topher

Gold Member
PlayStation fans across Europe and beyond heavily favour retail for their game purchases, with more than ten million boxed games sold in the console's first ten months on sale.

The figure comes from Global Sales Data's presentation at GI Live: London last month, where the firm's video games consultant Sam Naji took a deeper look at the console's cumulative sales from its launch in November 2020 to the end of August 2021.

GSD tracks full-game boxed sales from 23 countries and digital sales from 49 and covers all the major publishers.

The company found that retail has consistently outsold digital, with 51% more boxed games sold than downloads by the end of August.

November 2020 was the only month where full-game downloads have outperformed retail sales at 950,000 units compared to 840,000. After this, PS5's retail games have consistently outsold digital every month.

And the gap has widened over time. In December 2020, five retail games were sold for every four downloads. By the end of August, this had increased to three boxed games for ever two digital.


In total, 10.14 million boxed games were sold for PS5 between launch and end of August. December, January, June, July and August all saw more than one million games sold within the month.

Meanwhile, 7.51 million digital games were sold during the same period -- and no single month saw more than one million sales.
The highest performing months for digital game sales were December and January at 870,000 each. But this falls short of retail's lowest performing month, with 880,000 sales sold in March.

Given the increasing shift to digital purchases across the industry, Naji offered four factors that may explain why PS5 owners prefer box games to downloads.

Firstly, the high price tag for new PS5 titles -- around $70 -- means consumers prefer to invest in a physical item. This is combined with his second point: that console owners like to build a physical library of games for their new device.


Naji also pointed to the ability to sell and lend boxed games as a factor, before adding that download sales typically favour back catalogue titles. Since the PlayStation 5 is only a year old, there is not an extensive digital catalogue of past releases to choose from.

You can read more about digital sales and the preference for back catalogue games in our full write-up of the GSD presentation, in which the company explored the impact of COVID-19 on both 2020's growth and 2021's muted release slate.

Somehow I missed the end of the article when I copied and paste:

Elsewhere in the presentation, GSD's senior games analyst Aidan Sakiris compared PS5 software's retail performance to that of Xbox Series X|S.

Sony's console shifted 1.9 million boxed games from January to August 2021, compared to 400,000 Xbox Series X|S games.

Sakiris added that, while all four Sony and Xbox consoles -- PS5, PS4, Xbox Series X|S and Xbox One -- have helped grow the industry, this has been hindered by a lack of key releases due to COVID-induced delays.
 
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DJ12

Member
As a European ps5 owner its more realistic to say I prefer paying less for a game than I do paying more lol

I had every intention of going digital, but psn games cost at least £10 more than disc versions. Disc versions are also usually discounted beyobd this also unless they have only just come out.

Until Sony knocks money of digital purchases I do t think I'm going digit this gen.

Which is a shame as putting the disc in is a chore, but money is money lol
 

SlimySnake

Member
I bought Demon Souls, AC Valhalla and Spiderman Miles at a buy 2 get 1 sale at Target. They cost me only $45 each. Then I traded them in after 2 months for around a $100. So they only cost me around $50.

Gamestop also gives me $5 to spend every month so I use that to buy new games like Ratchet, RE8 and Returnal. I dont think i have paid full price for a new game in a year. I was even able to get $45 in trade in credits for all these games because Gamestop gives extra credit if you put it towards new games or preorders.

The only good thing about digital is that I dont have to get my lazy ass up off the couch to change discs if i want to play something different.
 

bellome

Member
I never spend more than 20eur on a digital game. More than 90% of my games are physical and often i would like to play a game but i end up not buying it because it is not available boxed. When boxed games will not be available anymore i will spend in gaming a fraction of what i spend today.
 

Punished Miku

Gold Member
I bought Demon Souls, AC Valhalla and Spiderman Miles at a buy 2 get 1 sale at Target. They cost me only $45 each. Then I traded them in after 2 months for around a $100. So they only cost me around $50.

Gamestop also gives me $5 to spend every month so I use that to buy new games like Ratchet, RE8 and Returnal. I dont think i have paid full price for a new game in a year. I was even able to get $45 in trade in credits for all these games because Gamestop gives extra credit if you put it towards new games or preorders.

The only good thing about digital is that I dont have to get my lazy ass up off the couch to change discs if i want to play something different.
Do you ever plan on buying them again down the road to build a collection? Do you factor that in the final price too?

Not a bad strategy though, clearly.
 
Europes small sample size is indicative of all PS5 owners...UK box sales forever.

queen elizabeth news GIF
 

Certinty

Member
I definitely do.

I bought Far Cry 6, Deathloop and Guardians of the Galaxy all at launch for £36-40. If I went digital it would have been like £55-60 each.

And the best part is once I complete the games I buy physically I sell them on and in the example of these three games I lost a grand total of £2 by doing so.

Can't stand digital games.
 

ethomaz

Banned
Zhuge already debunked this report. Tons of data missing. This is misinformation.
Like he debunked his own over 8 million Series sold?

The data is actually correct… it is missing downloaded only titles that makes no sense to be included for that comparison.

BTW Sony own 70ish% digital is heavy weighted in digital only titles.
 
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SlimySnake

Member
Do you ever plan on buying them again down the road to build a collection? Do you factor that in the final price too?

Not a bad strategy though, clearly.
Yeah, i am waiting for Returnal to go on sale. I did the same last gen and bought back Horizon, Uncharted, and Killzone shadowfall when they hit $10.

Nowadays, most games end up on PS+ anyway. Thats how I got Bloodborne.
 

TexMex

Member
You can resell them and physical copies are, some some insane fucking reason, usually cheaper. PSN doesn’t keep up price matching major retailers either. Why wouldn’t I get a physical game for less than it costs digital?

I’m not completely opposed to digital only in the future, but they’ve gotta do something to incentivize it monetarily.
 

ethomaz

Banned
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SF Kosmo

...please disperse...
When I can buy or sell my digital games, they'll reach parity with disc versions.

I don't even like selling my games, but there's often a price mismatch with digital once games have been out for a while, and a secondary market would correct for that.
 

tommib

Member
You can resell them and physical copies are, some some insane fucking reason, usually cheaper. PSN doesn’t keep up price matching major retailers either. Why wouldn’t I get a physical game for less than it costs digital?

I’m not completely opposed to digital only in the future, but they’ve gotta do something to incentivize it monetarily.
Agree. I’m all digital on PS5 but it’s a hard pill to swallow when you see boxed versions with 10% or 20% discounts at launch day. I wish they would discount pre-orders on PSN for instance like they did with DEATHLOOP. It’s something at least.
 

FrankWza

Member
It's just fucking dumb to pay £20 more for a digital version of a game. Sony start pricing digital games competitively, and start being such greedy cunts... I'll buy more digital.
They can’t do this while they still need retailer outlets to move consoles and accessories.
 

KAL2006

Banned
Let me get this straight people prefer to buy cheaper games and be able to resell games, how shocking.

Also there is no difference between a digital game and a physical game as physical game will install and use the fast SSD. You probably save bandwidth not having to install the core game.

The only advantage of digital is to not have to get up and change disks, but I'm the type to focus on 1 game at a time other than a few multiplayer games I like which I do but digitally.
 

DeepEnigma

Gold Member
I'm all digital now for this gen. We've been doing it on the PC for well over a decade, so I see no difference here now.

Backlog is so large, I just keep games on the wishlist now so by the time I get to them, they have deep discounted sales. Used to constantly buy games, have them pile up, then kick myself that it's now $10-$20 by the time I play it when I paid full price for it. :pie_roffles:

Only the drop everything must plays that skip the backlog are day 1 now.
 
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Kadve

Member
I always buy my console games physically as i like to be able to own, sell and share them with my friends.

Don't really have the same issues when it comes to PC as games tens to be cheaper and more readily available. 99% of the time you can still find and download it even if it has been delisted after all.
 

EverydayBeast

thinks Halo Infinite is a new graphical benchmark
Is what it is I been with digital since psp go that said 100% disagree with $70, get use to sales if you’re digital
 

kingpotato

Ask me about my Stream Deck
I'm 50/50

It's nice having the flexibility to buy physical, but I buy digital when the price is right.
 

DarkMage619

Member
Isn't it true that Sony remains the only seller for digital PS5 games? If you are forced to pay whatever price they charge you'd get your games physical. I get my physical games from ebay on PS5 and get great savings and it's always less than what Sony charges for a digital copy. Here is a story about how Sony handles digital.

https://arstechnica.com/gaming/2021...ed-monopoly-pricing-of-playstation-downloads/

Part of the reason digital is more popular on Xbox platforms is that you can buy digital games from non Microsoft sources like CDKeys. In some cases you can get digital games for less than physical on that platform. Sony seems to be the reason physical is selling more on PlayStation.
 

Punished Miku

Gold Member
Isn't it true that Sony remains the only seller for digital PS5 games? If you are forced to pay whatever price they charge you'd get your games physical. I get my physical games from ebay on PS5 and get great savings and it's always less than what Sony charges for a digital copy. Here is a story about how Sony handles digital.

https://arstechnica.com/gaming/2021...ed-monopoly-pricing-of-playstation-downloads/

Part of the reason digital is more popular on Xbox platforms is that you can buy digital games from non Microsoft sources like CDKeys. In some cases you can get digital games for less than physical on that platform. Sony seems to be the reason physical is selling more on PlayStation.
It's a recent change too. Sony was crushing it on PS4 with frequent, almost Steam-like price cuts.
 
No shit, digital ps5 games cost about 100 dollars in my country, the same for boxed but at least they get discounted really fast down to the 80 dollar range. one of the reasons i actually sold my ps5.
 
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hemo memo

Member
People want to actually own things and buy the cheaper physical and have the option to sell them or give them to friends…
Funny Face Wow GIF by Tennis TV


Local store prices are ridiculous but the problem is local shops tries to match that and the end result pretty much the downfall of video games stores in the city and the remaining are only selling the likes of Cod and FIFA. Talk about running business like a lunatic.
 

sloppyjoe_gamer

Gold Member
I have a disk PS5 and up until recently (since i forgot i even have a disk drive lol) i've been buying all digital games. TBH, it's more convenient many times to just buy the digital version from PSN than going to the store
 

hemo memo

Member
No shit, digital ps5 games cost about 100 dollars in my country, the same for boxed but at least they get discounted really fast down to the 80 dollar range. one of the reasons i actually sold my ps5.
They cost 80$ here. Sony knows and give 0 fuck because people are so lazy to move their butts to buy from a store 20$ dollars cheaper or simply ignorant thinking this is the official price which is far from it compare to physical.
 
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