To say that gaming has seen a radical digital revolution in recent years is an understatement. While people do still like to own physical copies of games for their console or PCs, digital downloads have started to become more and more the norm nowadays. With the proliferation of apps and smartphone games, such as those available at the best online casino PA, it is perhaps unsurprising that video games are going a similar way.
The last few years, in particular, have seen this process pick up momentum, with all new releases being readily available to download from the Xbox, PlayStation and Steam stores as soon as they’re launched – meaning there is no longer the need for people to queue at midnight outside their local gaming shop to ensure they get their hands on a copy on day one!
How have games gone increasingly digital in the last few years?
Gaming is an industry built on technology and has always looked to take advantage of the latest tech to move forward. It is perhaps, therefore, unsurprising that cloud gaming has become prevalent in recent years. The latest consoles have been built to store and run games with or without a disc. In fact, the Digital Edition of the PS5, which is set to release later this year, won’t have a disc slot at all!
Therefore, the idea of downloading games to own digitally has been given more of a push by both Microsoft and Sony in recent years. The advent of Xbox’s subscription service, Games Pass, was a gamechanger for Microsoft during the current (outgoing) console generation and, due to its integration with the Xbox Live subscription when it was first rolled out, it was widely seen as a very consumer-friendly move. Xbox gamers were suddenly able to access an entire library of games that they could play immediately through the subscription, without having to do anything but click on them to start the download.
Mobile and casino gaming online
Of course, mobile gaming must also be mentioned. This has been a significant factor in how gaming has become more prevalent in recent times. Mobile gaming made $49bn in 2019, and this shows just how many people love to play on mobile devices. Not only are the latest mobile games simple to download, but they also have excellent gameplay and graphics. Billions of people now use mobile devices to play games online every day.
Last but not least, there is the online casino gaming sector which we have already mentioned. It is another multi-billion dollar gaming niche, and it has certainly helped gaming become more sophisticated. People now prefer to play slots or table games online rather than at physical casinos. That has caused gaming in that niche to take a more digital slant as a result.
Will the trend for digital gaming continue in the future?
As far as consoles are concerned, with Sony’s all-digital model of the PS5 and initiatives like the Games Pass being a key selling point for Microsoft heading into the next generation, it’s inevitable that digital sales of games will continue to increase versus physical copies. A lot of gamers, as reflected in the above figures regarding mobile gaming, enjoy the convenience of being able to install a new game immediately – especially those who don’t have a game shop on their doorstep. Convenience is also a big reason for the popularity of online casino games as you can play whenever you like from your own home.
Digital versions of games are also often cheaper, and sales of games on the Xbox, PlayStation and Steam stores are not uncommon. Some games are also becoming available for free for a weekend or a few days, effectively allowing players to ‘try before they buy.’ A lot of mobile apps or digital games are available for free, which is even more attractive to players – as proven by the huge numbers playing the likes of Fortnite, Apex Legends, and Call of Duty’s Warzone. Hacks for FPS games are getting increasingly more popular as well especially for the hardcore gamers – giving them more reason to get hooked with the game.
However, while many tech and gaming journalists have already begun to write their obituaries for discs and cartridges, they will still be made going forward. There are also still years’ worth of games for gamers to buy and sell in the same way that they have been doing ever since the days when everyone had a Sega or Atari system under their TVs.
Digital gaming has a bright future
As the world continues to become ever more digital, then it seems gaming will also. This is only natural as it will allow us to play games in the most convenient way, which fits in with how we live. With the games industry using digital tech and platforms to offer players more, it is something we should all look forward to continuing in the future.