Second-hand beats digital in games war

closeThis article could be out of date, as it was published 1 year 6 months 26 days ago.

New market research has revealed second-hand games are still more popular than digital-only games, despite all this new-fangled technology.

A report from NPD, market research group, found 78 per cent of core gamers (that’s those who spend at least five hours a week playing traditional genres on a console or PC) frequently purchase used games, while only 70 per cent of gamers buy full digital games regularly.

Surprisingly (to me, anyway, but that’s because I have very little money because I’m underpaid) the research also found that the vastly most popular way to buy games is brand new and in physical form, with 88 per cent of those surveyed saying they regularly buy brand new games at retail.

They even got figures on spending – according to the survey, in the last holiday period the core gamers spent an average of $129 on new physical games, an amount that completely dwarfs the amount spent on used or digital games.

NPD analyst Liam Callahan says the popularity of digital gaming will continue to grow as it becomes further perfected. “Digital purchasing among core gamers has plenty of room to grow.

“While many core gamers indicate they are purchasing full games and digital add-on content frequently, there are those that stated they have never purchased digital content.”

The strength of digital downloads will grow as the technology surrounding them does – I’d be much more inclined to purchase a game digitally if it didn’t take three days to download because New Zealand’s internet is notoriously slow.

As broadband speeds increase, so will digital download sales. See that? Free industry analysis from a man who knows very little about it.

Welcome to university. Actually, the best use I can see for the digital platform at the moment is the PS and PS2 Classics section on the Playstation Store – if they uploaded NFL Street 2, Monster Hunter and Madden 08, I would never need to buy a physical game ever again.

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