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Survey: 64 Percent Of Gamers Still Prefer Hard Copies To Digital

A new survey finds video games are the leading area where people still prefer discs over digital -- demonstrating the value users derive from the pre-owned market, according to research firm Ipsos MediaCT.

Leigh Alexander

July 6, 2010

1 Min Read

As media of all kinds goes digital ever more rapidly, much discussion has taken place around the value of physical product to consumers -- and a new survey seems to demonstrate that video games are the leading area where people still want discs. 64 percent of 1000 people surveyed by research firm Ipsos MediaCT would rather have a physical than a digital copy of a game -- a higher percentage than would prefer the same for newspapers, music or movies. According to the firm, it's the strength of the used game market that helps drive that preference. Ipsos MediaCT director Ian Bramley noted that gamers derive a great deal of value from the ability to re-sell and trade their games, and to buy used at lower cost. "This is unlike the music and film markets,” he noted. "Physical games discs have a long and well-established history, which is a deep mindset to change – particularly when gamers build a physical collection as they fear losing digital versions," he said. "And in-store browsing is also important to buyers." Media in physical form was second-most important to newspaper readers; despite much talk about the death of print, 63 percent of newspaper readers would rather stick with the hard copy. Consumers are more comfortable with digital music and film, as only 51 percent of movie-watchers said they require a disc-based version. The music industry in particular has seen rapid, explosive digital adoption driven by online stores like iTunes, portable players that synchronize with music files, and blogs and search tools that let users find and download new music online quickly. Only 45 percent of music fans want a hard copy of their tunes.

About the Author(s)

Leigh Alexander


Leigh Alexander is Editor At Large for Gamasutra and the site's former News Director. Her work has appeared in the Los Angeles Times, Variety, Slate, Paste, Kill Screen, GamePro and numerous other publications. She also blogs regularly about gaming and internet culture at her Sexy Videogameland site. [NOTE: Edited 10/02/2014, this feature-linked bio was outdated.]

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