NPD Group: 1 in 3 players choose digital downloads over physical games purchased at retail

1 in 3 players choose digital downloads over physical games purchased at retail

The inevitable march of digital progress moves forward! According to sales tracking research firm NPD Group, consumers are downloading their video games rather than buying them at a store with ever increasing frequency. According to one new survey from the firm, 1 in 3 players in the US now prefer to get their games straight from the Internet rather than buying them at GameStop or Walmart.

NPD (via MCV) surveyed 8,500 consumers for its Online Gaming 2012 report. When asked whether they would purchase a game as a digital download or the same game as a physical copy at a store, 35 percent said they would download the game and the remaining 65 percent said they would buy it at the store.

Retailers like Best Buy can take some comfort in the fact that the majority of respondents are still interested in buying games on DVD or Blu-ray discs, and that these buying habits appear static. Ipsos MediaCT conducted a similar survey in 2010 and found that 64% of respondents preferred physical media over downloads.

When will the scales finally tip in favor of digital over physical copies? That depends on how the next 2 years play out for the industry. Part of the strength of physical media is the purchasing power of minors. People under 18 years of age without credit cards tend to have to get their video games in a store.

Game publishers with huge all-ages audiences like Nintendo though are trying to bridge the gap between digital and retail sales models. New Super Mario Bros. 2 for example will be available day and date as a downloadable title and as a cartridge. To mollify retailers worried about losing sales directly to Nintendo though, Nintendo is selling cards at stores like GameStop that entitle buyers to a download of the game. They aren’t selling codes free of any physical object yet, unlike some companies—Microsoft, Sony, and others sell credits for their digital distribution channels right at the register at GameStop, no need to buy a card of any kind—but Nintendo’s strategy could tip the balance of consumers that prefer downloads over physical goods.

Then again, consumers may drift towards digital models without the influence of retailers at all. More tablet sales, more smartphone sales, and more cross-platform releases of games means that retailers role is diminishing exponentially with each passing day. The consumers of 2014 likely won’t be as similar to those of 2012 as today’s are to those of 2010.


The Nixplay Iris might just make digital picture frames cool again

The digital picture frame's popularity has fizzled because of time-consuming updates and low quality -- but can a Wi-Fi connected frame change that? The Nixplay Iris is an 8-inch smart digital picture frame that wireless updates photos.
Smart Home

Trulia enables homeseekers to know the neighborhood with a new app feature

Trulia Neighborhoods is taking a closer look at neighborhoods with a new digital experience, Trulia Neighborhoods, that aims to use multimedia to depict the local character of American communities.

Snap, print, and go: The 8 best portable photo printers

Printing your favorite smartphone pictures on the go is easier than ever with a portable photo printer. They are compact and easy to use, transforming your digital selfies into souvenir.
Home Theater

Here's how to preserve your precious VHS memories in a modern format

There's no reason you should have to lose those precious home videos just because VHS is a dying format. Here, we'll show you how to convert VHS tapes to a digital format, and save those memories forever.

The ‘Fortnite’ sky rift is closing and rumored to disappear next week

Fortnite's giant sky rift that has lit up the sky for the entirety of season 5 is slowly closing and is rumored to completely disappear next week. Find out what's happening and why it is here.

‘Call of Duty: Black Ops 4’ gets battle royale ‘Blackout’ beta September 10

Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 will hold a beta for its battle royale Blackout mode in September, and it will be available first to those who pre-ordered the game on PlayStation 4. The game releases October 12.
Product Review

Brutal and emotional, 'God of War' is everything a blockbuster game should be

In a new land, on a new journey, God of War evolves beyond the button-mashing action of its youth into an action game with engaging combat and an engrossing story.
Product Review

'NBA 2K19' will dunk on you, but don’t worry. You’re going to like it.

NBA 2K19 makes smart changes that force you to dig deep into your bag of tricks to succeed. This might be the most accurate virtual version of NBA basketball yet.

Steam survey shows PC gamers are still mostly playing in 1080p and lower

Valve Software’s latest hardware and software survey for July 2reveals that 63.72 percent of Steam’s registered members still play games with a 1080p resolution. Even more, only 1.14 percent are playing at a 4K resolution.

How to get ‘Fortnite: Battle Royale’ on an Android device

'Fortnite: Battle Royale' is one of the biggest games in the world right now, and it's finally on Android, even if getting set up is a bit long-winded. Here's how to play 'Fortnite: Battle Royale' on an Android device.

Storytelling masterpiece ‘Gone Home’ is headed to the Nintendo Switch

Fullbright's acclaimed first-person adventure game Gone Home will arrive to Nintendo Switch later this month. The game is available now on PC, Mac, Linux, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One.

‘Battlefield V’ pre-order numbers have been underwhelming, analysts say

Market analysts at Cowen have said that the early pre-order numbers for Electronic Arts' upcoming shooter Battlefield V have been disappointing. The game is scheduled to arrive this October.

Gaming on a laptop has never been better. These are your best options

Gaming desktops are powerful, but they tie you down to your desk. For those of us who prefer a more mobile experience, here are the best gaming laptops on the market, ranging from budget machines to maxed-out, wallet-emptying PCs.

Asus claims ‘world’s thinnest’ title with its new Zephyrus S gaming laptop

The Republic of Gamers arm at Asus is claiming “world’s thinnest” with the introduction of its new Zephyrus S gaming laptop measuring just 0.58 inches at its thinnest point. The company also revealed the Strix SCAR II.