Let’s get digital! Digital! I wanna get digital!

I’ve been thinking a bit about this new era of digital downloads lately. For a while now, actually – which is why many of the tweets in this post are old – and I’ve been slowly been accepting the idea that digitally buying and downloading games has great advantages over buying physical, specially when you live in a country that’s… not the best place to buy games in a store.

Most game stores around here sell current-gen games at around $85-90, and previous-gen games for $45-65. A few try to sell for a bit more but it’s rare (I once saw a store selling PS3 games for $110). There’s also the deal of having to go to said store. We rarely have midnight release events (only once did a Sony store had one for God of War: Ascension)  or any other kind of cool community thing surrounding launches. Stores are, all things considered, not a whole loot cool.

GO DIGITAL” they say. I have, mostly. Steam is obviously a digital platform and I have a decent amount of titles there (most from sales and bundles) composing an imposing backlog – a word that also applies to my PS+ games catalog. A sizable collection. Still, the only games I buy physical are those I “collect“: Final Fantasy (main numbered entries), Grand Theft Auto, Metal Gear Solid. But it’s becoming increasingly difficult to do so. The best bet if you wanted to buy a game at a decent price (plus american and local taxes) and acceptable delivery time was buying the game online, sending it to a courier address in the US, and wait for the courier to bring it here (for a fee, of course). For the lolz, let me break this process:

  • Game: $59,99.
  • ISD (local 5%) for all purchases outside the country): $2,99.
  • Courier fare: $12 (give or take a few bucks).
  • Total for getting a game: Around $75.
  • Estimated delivery time (from the moment courier service gets it): 1 week.

Not too shabby. This was very good, considering the circumstances. It was a golden age of internet buying! Things have changed, though:

  • Game: $59,99.
  • ISD (local 5%) for all purchases outside the country): $2,99.
  • New courier tax : $42 (yeah, $42 – I shit you not).
  • Courier fare: $12 (give or take a few bucks).
  • Total for getting a game: Around $117.
  • Estimated delivery time (from the moment courier service gets it): 1 week.

Some textile people complained that people were buying clothes online instead of local stores, so they whined until government imposed this tax to couriers… for all items! Political brilliance! But hey, we still have regular mail! Let’s see how this might go:

  • Game: $59,99.
  • ISD (local 5%) for all purchases outside the country): $2,99.
  • Regular tax for item (12%) : $7.19.
  • Tax applied to all credits (0.05%, this is new): $0.30.
  • Total for getting a game: Around $71.
  • Shipping to here: ????
  • Estimated delivery time: ????

For this system, the item has to be sent via regular mail by a person (not a store, otherwise it pays extra tax), thus you’d need this person to pay in advance for the shipping price. – which is enough of a bother to whoever is willing to do you the favor. But that’s not the real issue! A few years back, regular mail took around 2 (USA) or 3 weeks (Asia) to get a package to my doorstep. Eventually that became 2 months. My last package never arrived. Our mail service isn’t stellar. At all. We used to have good price and good time. But then we had terrible price and good time, or the choice of good price but terrible (or potentially eternal) time. Thanks, Obama! Just kidding, that’s a meme. Obama has nothing to do with this.

Recently I was undecided about Destiny. All my friends were playing it so I wanted to get it, specially after a great discount opportunity arose. It was then that I asked around Twitter for opinions about buying it physically or digitally. A few good answers came.

Since this isn’t a series I really follow (though I am enjoying the first Destiny very much) I decided to go with digital. The process could be a LOT more complicated, but due to a small technicality, there’s a perfect method to do that now. Cost/time?

Game: $59,99.
Tax: ISD (local 5%) for all purchases outside the country): $2,99.
Tax applied to all credits (0.05%, this is new): $0.30.
Total for getting a game: Around $64.
Estimated delivery time: As quick as the download speed allows!

Now that’s nice! Much cheaper and with today’s pre-loading I can literally play the game the second it’s released! Only caveat is download speed, which is still inferior here than in other places… but even then I have no problem with leaving my console on for a few nights while it downloads! I’m currently on the fence about the next current gen version of Grand Theft Auto V and while I was inclined to buy it physically, finding a means to get it brought here was becoming problematic. I am seriously considering getting it in digital form… even the space on the disk will be same whether I buy it either way, so that’s a non-issue.

There’s still one situation where a physical edition will be superior to the digital one, but that’s a case for another day…

 

Advertisements

Share your thoughts!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s