Video game sales continue to skyrocket with people all over the world staying home to follow social distancing requirements due to the coronavirus pandemic. First-quarter financial results released by Sony today reveal that digital sales of PlayStation 4 games surpassed those of their physical counterparts, marking the first time the balance has shifted in the favor of digital content. Whether Sony follows suit remains to be seen, but a partnership with Microsoft to make use of the Azure server network suggests digital content will form part of the Japanese gaming giant’s next-gen strategy. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare has remained among the top-selling titles since its release in October 2019 making it the best seller of 2020 so far and of the last 12 months. PS5 Digital Edition will be harder to find this holiday season than the standard PS5 with a disc drive, according to a number of sources and reports. September 23, 2020 UTC: 12:51 PM. VGChartz delivers comprehensive game chart coverage, including sales data, news, reviews, & game database for PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Series X, Nintendo Switch & PC That whopping figure puts the industry sales 6% higher than this time last year. Additionally, a homogenization of pricing needs to happen as well. PlayStation 4 Digital Game Sales Overtake Physical. Digital copies of video games are downloaded onto your video game system or associated storage device. In the third quarter of 2015, Electronic Arts, a massive video game publisher, made $666 million in physical sales and $480 million in digital, according to numbers provided by SuperData. Sony and Microsoft generally price digital copies higher, sometimes upwards of 10% compared to the physical versions – even on launch day titles. All rights reserved. Digital content won’t ever completely kill off physical media but will warp it into a niche product reserved for enthusiasts very much in the same way vinyl records are a collector’s item. Best answer: If you value convenience, Xbox Play Anywhere, or Game Pass above all, digital is your best bet. People are also buying more gaming hardware than compared to this time last year. The market for digital game downloads has changed a lot since then; Sony said a full 74 percent of its full game sales were digital downloads for … Physical game sales have been smaller and smaller each year, but are they still relevant? Between retail discounts, digital sales, used game deals from my local shops, and now subs, $60 day one purchases are rare for me. The real hurdle to further widespread adoption of digital games is the controversial topic of resale and trade-in functionality. | Source: Shutterstock. The allure of digital content needs no introduction; convenience plays a huge part, taking the need to visit a brick-and-mortar store or order online and wait for delivery out of the picture. Additionally, the ability to pre-download titles in the days leading up to release means players can jump into the action quicker. The data comes from the most recent earnings report from Sony, the Q1 FY2019 Consolidated Financial Results.This report covered the three months which ended on June 30 th, 2019.According to the data, Sony sold 42.9 million PS4 software units. NPD’s Group’s report states hardware spending for April grew by a massive 163% compared to 2019, from $160 million to $420 million. If you pre-order a digital copy of a video game you will either be able to download a copy immediately (being able to play it once the game is officially released) or download the game at the moment it is officially released. To them, it signals that physical, tangible games are going by the wayside. Faster than both the PS2 and Wii which were just behind. But as the RIAA notes, the industry’s revenue is still 40 percent below peak levels, and physical sales and digital downloads still have farther to fall. Digital PlayStation 4 games have seen steady growth over the past few years, rising from 32% of total sales in 2017 to 37% last year. A digital equivalent of what dying stores like GameStop have based their entire operation around will need to be ironed out to convert physical media devotees. From simple one-time purchases and single player experiences to full-priced and free-to-play games, the gaming industry has been completely reshaped throughout the last decade. | Source: Shutterstock, WTF Call of Duty? The best-selling platform was the Nintendo Switch, which continues to hold onto its top spot as the Sony and Microsoft’s competitors age out and prepare for the next generation to release later this year. If there’s any doubt about Sony winning this console generation, then today’s figures put the matter to bed. We don’t exactly know what they will sport under the hood, and although digital will continue to overtake physical media, it’s unlikely the next-generation will be the first to forego a disc drive entirely. And while 6% might not immediately translate to significant growth, this year’s quiet release slate, already mired by delays and disruption caused by the coronavirus, combined with Sony’s PlayStation 4 and Microsoft’s Xbox One end of lifecycle lull makes just about any increase notable. Mid tier stuff is … It’s followed by the long-running favorite Call of Duty: Modern Warfare and this spring’s massive hit, Animal Crossing: New Horizons, which was the top seller for March. Late 2020 will see the releases of the Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5, and both systems will support digital and disc-based games. In Q1 2018 Nordics was the only market to have a higher proportion of digital sales than physical sales, at 53% digital. Perhaps most interestingly was the finding that 2014 was the first year so far where digital* sales were greater than physical sales (52 % vs 48%) * Digital format sales include subscriptions, digital full games, digital add-on content, mobile apps and social network gaming pic.twitter.com/g4Bk8sckYf. NPD Group uses data from both physical sales and digital downloads of games. Game sales for 2020 have already topped $2 billion — and that’s for software sales alone. For consoles games are often indeed cheaper in physical form, even in the long run. The message is clear: physical games are now a high-end, optional part of the console gaming experience. I still try to lean toward physical for games I will want in the collection 20 years from now. Digital downloads on the platform accounted for 53% of full game software sales from the start of the year to June – a 10% jump on figures for the same period last year. One super interesting section that VG247 picked up on is the one about digital game sales versus physical game sales. And I'm running out of room to put physical games. While both digital and physical games go on sale often, you'll typically find the best discounts on physical games. Historically, users are unable to resell or gift games bought on console storefronts held by Sony and Microsoft – except under specific circumstances. Become a Patron, so we can produce more of the content you enjoy! The two franchise top performers are joined by 2015’s Call of Duty: Black Ops III on the list of the Xbox One’s top 10 for April. And both Sony and Microsoft are willing to subsidize the move to digital. Here, digital game copies have the consistent advantage of being available on the web, and can offer as many sales or bundles it takes to make a buzz overnight, which just is not as simple to do with physical copies. Serving as a surprise standout is Just Dance 2020, a yearly franchise that hasn’t often gained much attention since it debuted in 2009 among the advent of motion-controlled play for the Wii and later the Xbox Kinect. Sales of CDs continue to slump as consumers turn towards music streaming services rather than owning physical media. While physical game sales are declining, PwC noted that digital will only be around a third of the console game revenues generated in 2020. Both physical and digital versions of Nintendo Switch games have their perks as well as their shortcomings. By: Thomas Bardwell | Email. It took PS2 a total of five years and 9 months. The number of subscribers to Sony’s digital PlayStation Plus service also rose from 33.9 million in Q1 2018 to 36.2 million in the same time frame this year. This makes PlayStation 4 the fastest home console to reach 100 million unit sell in. Going into 2020, game streaming will undoubtedly be a topic of interest. That companies are trying to replace their beloved, collectible physical games with less tangible alternatives they don't fully own. First-quarter financial results released by Sony today reveal that digital sales of … PS4 was just 5 years and 7 months. Physical vs Digital—Why Physical Video Games Are Better. Meanwhile, Animal Crossing: New Horizons had a record launch for its exclusive Switch platform and quickly outpaced its predecessors. A group of analysts believe that video game revenue will come entirely from digital sales by the year 2022. We assume the physical sales to be 60% of GameStop’s overall new video game software sales, which translates into $1.4 billion in physical sales. The biggest surprise was the reveal of two PS5 consoles -- a standard version with an optical drive for physical games and 4K Blu-ray discs, and a digital edition that lacks an optical drive. What’s more, digital games are … That means that gamers need to start working on upgrading hard drive space on their PCs and consoles because there will come a time when video games are no longer available in physical … Rumors emanating from the Microsoft camp suggest Project Scarlett already has two models dubbed Lockhart and Anaconda that fit the description. Regardless of the hurdles still marring digital game sales, exclusively cloud-based gaming platforms like Google Stadia and Microsoft’s Project xCloud will stampede onto the gaming market shortly. That’s a First, Sony's Q1 financial results reveal digital sales of games surpassed those of their physical counterparts for the first time. To determine which route is right for you, you'll need to weigh the pros and cons of both physical and digital games against each other while considering how you plan on playing your games. The video game industry is constantly evolving and inspiring innovation. All images not from Shutterstock.com has been sourced by NTB. On the PC, unless you pre-order or have to play everything at release, sales make digital much cheaper. Game sales for 2020 have already topped $2 billion — and that’s for software sales alone. In Benelux, for example, 33% of AAA game sales were digital in Q1 2018 but 43% were digital in Q1 2019. This brought it up to the third highest-selling game of 2020 so far and the best-selling gaming on the PlayStation 4 this year. Upgrade your lifestyleDigital Trends helps readers keep tabs on the fast-paced world of tech with all the latest news, fun product reviews, insightful editorials, and one-of-a-kind sneak peeks.Digital Trends may earn a commission when you buy through links on our site. Only vinyl records are holding their own in … Joost van Dreunen, CEO of SuperData, told The Huffington Post that digital game sales are trending upward while physical purchases are trending down. Sony's Q1 financial results reveal digital sales of games surpassed those of their physical counterparts for the first time. It's also easier to travel with a digital collection. Copyright ©2021 Designtechnica Corporation. Call of Duty has another game among April top sellers with Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2: Remastered coming in as the seventh-highest title. The Xbox marketplace has crazy good deals. 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For example, in Australia, Sony’s latest big release, Ghost of Tsushima , costs around $71 in the PlayStation Store, but retailers are selling physical copies for as low as around $49. Apart from Google’s Stadia, details about Microsoft and Sony’s upcoming consoles are limited to speculation and generalized comments about using custom-designed AMD Zen2 Navi APUs and boasting X-amount more graphical processing power than the current crop of consoles. But often times, the digital sales really rival the brick and mortar stores. Still, the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One also did well, with sales of the three consoles increasing by more than 160% over last year. A luxury. For over half of the 42.9 million units sold, consumers opted to download rather than invest in digital copies. A tranche of people will continue to find pleasure in the simple act of carefully pulling the plastic off a new game, catching a whiff of the factory-sealed PlayStation 4 box, and inserting a disc into a console. Because Amazon, Best Buy, Target, and Walmart compete with each other, they often have sales, making physical games cheaper than the digital versions. However, Just Dance 2020 is climbing the ranks, and it’s the fast-selling entry since Just Dance 2014. Physical sales of CDs and vinyl took a massive hit to an already rocky foundation, down 23% for that time period. I have a CD case for my physical games, but it fills up quickly, so it's much easier to travel with a hard drive. Game sales were up 55% compared to April 2019, reaching a total of $662 million, according to NPD Group’s latest report, with Final Fantasy VII Remake taking the spot as April’s top-selling game. April was a record year for game sales, according to analyst company the NPD Group. Digital Sales are Beating Physical Sales According to the Latest Sony Data. PlayStation 4 Digital Game Sales Overtake Physical. Browse Xbox sales and specials for deals on the latest Xbox games, consoles, accessories and more to take your play to the next level. Like our content? France showed even more startling growth, with a jump from 31% digital in Q1 2018 to 47% digital in Q1 2019. Email me | Bug me on Twitter. More realistic is a tandem of models for each console: one offering a purely digital experience, the other a more powerful device capable of reading physical media. July 30, 2019 UTC: 2:45 PM. The report also shows that the PlayStation 4 passed the 100-million-units-shipped milestone, seizing the coveted spot as the fastest console to do so, according to Niko Partners analyst Daniel Ahmad. Digital Copy. Amazon Prime members get 20 percent off new physical … New Killstreak FORCES Gamers to Commit War Crime, Zinedine Zidane Scores FIFA 20 Ultimate Edition Cover, Hacked.com - Protection against online abuse and cybercrime. 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