While just a few years ago the number of physical games sold greatly outweighed that of digital sales, the scales are quickly being rebalanced, with digital overtaking the market across all console manufacturers. Such is the case with Sony, who has reported that almost 63% of all PlayStation games sold in 2020 were digital.
As reported by Ars Technica, “nearly 63 percent of [Sony’s] ‘full game’ sales for the 2020 calendar year came via digital downloads rather than games sold on discs at retail”. For the sake of comparison, during the 2019 fiscal year, digital sales made up 55% of all software sold. Just one year earlier in 2018, much less than half of all sales were digital, landing at 43%.
While COVID-19 and the global pandemic led to many highstreet retailers closing in a number of countries, there were many other avenues which players could buy physical disks, such as e-commerce. Furthermore, as is evidenced by the data, this trend began way before COVID-19, and is likely to continue after the fact.
With the release of the PS5, Sony have manufactured a digital only PlayStation home console for the first time, alongside the disk-based version. It will be interesting to see how these figures continue to change as more people get their hands on PlayStation 5 consoles. Will the current generation of consoles be the last ones to use physical disks? We will have to wait and see, but the current trend seems to suggest this might be the case.
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KitGuru says: Do you care about physical disks? Will you buy a digital or disk-based PS5? Will physical games persist through to the next generation? Let us know down below.