Disc vs. Digital: Where Do You Stand?

Written by Austin Griffith

Given todays shocking news concerning the Xbox One’s DRM policies, us gamers are now tasked with making a very hard decision: do we buy all our games in the traditional disc format, and lose out on a lot of the Xbox One’s capabilities, or stick with the tried-and-true formula of buying a physical disc? I’ve broken down the pros and cons of each option below.



  • Can be played without ever having to connect to the internet
  • Can be traded in
  • Can be given/loaned to friends
  • Allows rental capabilities
[/checklist] [badlist]
  • Cannot be played without swapping each disc
  • No more swapping instantaneously between games
  • Not available on any console your logged in on, the disc is required to play
[/badlist] Digital Downloads [checklist]


  • Can be played on any console you’re logged in on
  • Can be instantaneously swapped with other games at a moments notice
  • Can be bought instantly online without having to put a physical disc in
[/checklist] [badlist]
  • Cannot be traded or resold to friends or stores
  • Can’t be downloaded without an internet connection (at first)
  • Will not see price drops like disc based games will
  • Won’t be given the ability play while it installs from a disc

So, now that you see the pros and cons of each option, what will you be doing with your Xbox One? Will you be buying titles in stores or on the Xbox Marketplace? Will you do a mixture of both? Why?

Have I missed anything? Let me know.

About the author

Austin Griffith

Austin Griffith owns LevelSave.com


  • i think in the long run digital is better because the cost of games has the chance to go down in price. Perfect example is Steam.

    • Like I said to Jason, if it’s anything like XBL is now, we won’t see any sales unfortunatly.

  • I like having the option of both, I try to look for the best deal on a game, be it physical or digital.

      • I know plenty of people say that we could have had “Steam like deals on Xbox One”, which I think is a load of crap right now. Maybe down the lifespan of the Xbox One, maybe MS could try again with their DRM, but right now its not a option that is feasible at the moment.
        Steam, GOG, Origin and Green Man Gaming are all on PC, therefore a PC gamer has a choice to buy their games from and gives a form of competition to those services. With Xbox One we are given all but one service and no others. Time and time again look at the so called “deals” that MS offers to Gold members, they aren’t really worth it and chances are you may own or already played those games that are on sale.

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