Now that Cataclysm has a release date, I'm starting to wonder if people prefer the boxed game or the digital download. In recent years, downloadable games have started to gather steam (forgive the pun) and it's within the realm of possibility that in a few more years most games will only be available through a download.
As a 100% PC gamer, I've always loved the shiny new boxes in which games come. In the digital age though, I don't care about them anymore. I just want to play the game, not stare at the box. The only thing that a box brings to the table is the nice artwork and... that's about it. Game manuals these days are puny and probably obsolete by the time they leave the factory. No one needs a manual anymore, what with all the info on the internet.
The biggest disadvantage of boxes is the space they take. A game collection takes up much more space than a music or movie collection. Not to mention that most people probably don't even play older games anymore. Case in point: I have a Diablo Battlechest (or whatever it's called) that I've never opened. I just keep it for nostalgia sake.
As you can tell, these days I'm a digital download man. Why bother going to a store or ordering the box online when I can just download the game and be ready to play it right the moment it is launched? I do understand the other side though. People like going to the midnight launch, to socialize with like-minded geeks and what-not. I'm just glad that technology makes it easy to skip all that. It's not like I'm a social person anyway.
I'm certainly glad that Blizzard are making the digital download of Cataclysm available from day 1. If I'm not mistaken, Burning Crusade didn't become available for download until a few weeks had passed. In the meantime, Blizzard have come to their senses. After all, what would be the point of delaying the digital version since it costs the same as the boxed version anyway. The only reason I can think of is that digital downloads from day 1 tend to piss off retailers for the boxed version. Oh well, that's progress I guess.
I do have a couple of WoW boxes though. One is vanilla WoW. Back then I don't know if they had digital downloads but in any case I was running on dial-up and would never have dreamed of downloading it. When Burning Crusade came out I tried buying the game from a BestBuy but all the boxes they had seemed to have been tampered with. Knowing that all you actually need to play WoW is the code, I made the smart decision and decided to just buy the downloadable version instead. I don't know why I bought the WotLK box but since I have it, I must have bought it for some reason or other.
For Cataclysm though, it's the digital download all the way for me. While certain geeks will be freezing their butts outside Gamestop, I'll be loading up the game, warm and comfortable with a cup of hot chocolate in my hands. But hey, more power to you geek bros! I still respect you!
Patch 1.0.5 commentary
4 years ago