From Disk to Digital: Death of the Video Game Store

Gamers are currently camping outside, standing in line for hours at a time, and flooding the floors of their local GameStop as they eagerly await the new Xbox and PlayStation 5 restock. 

The sought-after systems are very difficult to get a hold of. For GameStop, this may not be an issue, as the sudden exposure is bringing in plenty of business. 

But once the hype dies down and people acquire their new toy, the one-stop-shop for games will have something to worry about. 

Just this year alone, over 300 GameStop storefronts have closed down. The Covid outbreak plays a role in the store’s decline, but so does the fact that games are moving in a digital direction, and the hundreds of game disks GameStop offers will become extinct sooner than later. 

This type of cycle sounds very familiar. Do you remember Blockbuster?- Exactly.

A revolutionary device brings on the need for a unique service. Once the said item is no longer life-changing and has met its competition, it and the service simultaneously die out. 

Here’s a further explanation if things are not clicking yet: VCRs and DVD players were once revolutionary devices that allowed people to enjoy movies in the comfort of their own home. Blockbuster, found in 1985, gave people the opportunity to choose from thousands of movies to rent. Once streaming services such as Netflix and Hulu evolved, there was no longer a need for DVDs, VHSs, or Blockbuster. There is only one single Blockbuster still in existence today.

One of the reasons why the Xbox Series S and PlayStation 5 Digital continue to sell out is because they no longer require disks to play. Now, people are able to download a game directly to their console and play almost instantly.

Playing games digitally was already made popular with services such as Xbox Game Store and PC gaming. 

Needless to say, the need or want for disks has been on a decline for a while. What is so groundbreaking about these two devices is not only that they allow people to download games, but the fact that downloading is becoming the only option available. 

As of now, people who are interested in the new Xbox and Playstation can opt for a device with a disk slot. The Xbox Series X (not S) allows players to insert a disk or download. The PlayStation 5 Standard Edition also allows players to insert a disk. 

So why not purchase a console with a disk slot if you can get the best of both worlds? The first reason why someone may opt for the digital version of these consoles is because of the sleek look. The lack of a disk drive means that there is less surface area, and less surface area means that your console will take up less space and not be bulky. 

Another reason why people may gravitate towards the digital version of the consoles is because of their availability and price points. As of now, all new consoles, digital or standard, are sold out everywhere you’d expect to find them. If the digital version becomes available first, people are more likely to go ahead and buy rather than wait any longer. 

PRICE OF CONSOLES Xbox Series PlayStation 5
Standard $499.99$499.99
Digital $299.99 $399.99

There is a clear reason why they may go for the digital version if they are looking to save money. There is a $200 difference between the Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S and a $100 difference between the PlayStation 5 and PlayStation 5 Digital Edition. If you want to make extra money to put towards a new console, you can sell your older model to Tech Reboot and get paid within days. 

No matter how things turn out for gaming in the future, if GameStop fails to evolve with the current times and does not introduce more digital gaming options, they probably won’t be around for much longer. 

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About the Author: Elliottriley

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