The issue of the progressive and visibly inexorable dematerialization of video games has generated much debate for several years. Sales of dematerialized games continue to gain ground, much to the delight of publishers who have everything to gain by selling only dematerialized. However, some audiences continue to prefer boxed play. As appears to be the case with European PS5 players.
In Europe, PS5 players continue to favor buying physical games. This information was revealed by Global Sales Data during the GI Live: London virtual conference last month. And according to the statistics revealed, the gap in favor of cash games has even widened in recent months.
European PlayStation gamers loyal to physical games
Between November 2020 and the end of August 2021, sales of PS5 games have exceeded those of dematerialized games in Europe by 51%. According to GSD, digital games have never outsold boxed games during this entire period.
In fact, physical games are consistently ahead since November. And as noted above, this difference has increased over time. In December 2020, for 5 physical PS5 games sold, 4 were purchased from the PlayStation Store. At the end of last August, this European ratio was 3 to 2.
Between the European launch of the PS5 and the end of August 2021, 10.14 million physical games were sold. During this same period, “only” 7.51 million dematerialized games were purchased. During this period, digital games have never exceeded the million-copy mark. However, boxed games have done it five times.
In Europe on PS5, we are investing in plastic
The GamesIndustry site, which relays these figures, specifies that GSD analyzes sales of boxed games in 23 countries. And in terms of digital game sales, it looks at data from 49 territories. GSD believes that there are many reasons for this situation.
First of all, consumers would prefer to switch to physical versions due to the high price of the games. Then came the traditional desire to be able to lend or resell their games. Finally, GSD says that dematerialized sales often refer to older titles. The PS5 is a recent console, so the number of dematerialized games available is limited.
If the GSD stats are correct, they indicate that physical play is stamina. At least on the European side of the PS5.
What do you think of these statistics? Are you surprised? Do you think physical games still have a future on PS5 or elsewhere? Tell us all about it in the comments below.
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