Best answer: Ultimately, the choice between digital and physical formats is a matter of preference, but digital is the way of the future with increasing benefits, and you don't want to be left behind.
Digital gift giving: PlayStation Store Gift Card (opens in new tab) ($10 to $100 at Amazon)
What are the benefits of going digital?
There are a few key benefits to going all-in on digital games right off the bat, and this list will only keep growing as the industry shifts toward digital marketplaces.
Saving space: If you are a gamer with an unending thirst for new games but a finite amount of space, then digital may be the way to go. You can build a massive library of games which only consumes space on your hard drive. With hard drives that take up barely any room, your library can continue to grow without needing to make your space do the same.
Get games sooner: If you want to start playing a game the very second it launches on release day, then you probably want to go digital. Often with digital releases you can pre-install the game, and the moment midnight strikes, you can start playing. Your friends that play physical games will have to wait until the store opens in the morning. And even if there is a midnight release at a local retailer, physical gamers will almost always have to download some updates before they get started.
Monetary savings: If you're looking to save some bucks, you may want to look to the PSN Store. In what seems to be an obvious attempt to compete with Steam, PSN has offered some pretty incredible sales and discounts over the last few years. Brick and mortar retailers are often unable to offer such deep discounts, especially with a great membership like PlayStation Plus. If savings is your number one priority, then digital may be your best solution.
Are there benefits for still purchasing physical games?
Sure! Physical game purchases may grow less popular as the years go on, but they aren't completely obsolete like CDs from your favorite musician. Can you even remember the last time you went into a store and bought a physical album? Probably not.
Visibility is key: Some of us love seeing all of our games stacked up in neat little rows, and this is an itch that a digital library simply cannot scratch. It's a great way to show off all of the options you have to visitors, and you can look pretty cool with physical games. If you like having a visible library of games to look at and show off to your friends, then physical games are going to be the choice for you.
Resale value: One thing that digital games simply cannot offer (for now) is the ability to resell your games. If you're the sort of person that finishes a game and never picks it up again, then it might make sense to take it back to your brick and mortar in order to make a dent in the cost of your next purchase. You might also be able to send it to a friend or family member for the amount you bought it for, breaking even on your game. Who doesn't love sharing games so others can feel the way you do about a game?
Buy local: Another upside to buying physical games is that it offers you the opportunity to support local gaming shops in your area. If the ability to go into a store and browse games is a thing that's important to you, then it's important to remember to spend some money there. If you want to ensure that game shops don't go the way of the video stores, then this is something to keep in mind.
Expand your library
Going digital is the perfect way to save money and space while fueling your gaming habit. Don't get stuck in the past if you don't need to be.
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