Wednesday, January 26

PS5 users prefer physical games, study reveals

During the last year there has been a lot of talk about how sales in digital distribution have eaten up the physical format, surpassing it in certain markets and consoles, especially with the new customs after the COVID-19 pandemic. Data from Global Sales Data presented at GI Live: London last month reflects that in Europe and other territories at least for the moment PlayStation 5 users prefer the physical format.

The GSD firm has analyzed physical sales in 23 countries and digital sales in 49, covering the vast majority of publishers. During the period analyzed, from November 2020 to the end of August 2021 Over 10 million PS5 physical games have been sold – and 7.51 downloads – in its first ten months on the market, and consistently the physical format outperforms digital, with 51% more games on disk than downloads.

November – the launch month – was the only month in which downloads (950,000) exceeded physical purchases (840,000). Since then, physical sales have overtaken digital sales, and the gap has widened. In December 2020, five physical games will be sold for four downloads; at the end of August, it was three physical games for two digital ones.

The reasons for this preference

Analysts believe that there are several reasons why this behavior is different from users of other systems. One will be the high price of the games at launch, with buyers prefer to invest 70 or 80 euros in physical objects to download. Also, with the purchase of a new console, players prefer to have some kind of physical library.

The physical copies also can be resold or loaned among friends, which adds an advantage, and also given the youth of the console there is still not a huge catalog of old releases to buy in digital distribution – not including the compatible PS4 catalog.

In this same study, compared the physical and digital sales of PlayStation 5 to Xbox Series X | S: 1.9 million games were sold on the Sony console from January to August 2021, and 400,000 games were sold on the Microsoft console.

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