Saturday, July 3, 2010

Survey claims consumers still prefer physical media to downloads

A recent survey indicates that despite the interest in digital content by major publishers, consumers are not entirely prepared for the shift in medium.

According to the Ipsos MediaCT survey quoted in CVG, 64 per cent of 1000 people surveyed said they preferred physical discs for their games over digital copies.

This statistic seems to conflict with statements that some of the largest publishers, including Square Enix, have made - claiming that online services will be core business focus moving forward.

Of course, it's important to remember that digital distribution and services are still very much in the early adoption stage. The industry has only just seen its first cloud-based service launch with OnLive, and the download-only Sony PSPgo has struggled to gain any traction in the market.

As with any new concept or technology, once the kinks are worked out (using the early adopters essentially as guinea pigs), and service improves, the statistic of people who prefer physical copies to digital content will begin to shift further in the direction of the latter.

As the Ipsos MediaCT survey also found, both music and movies see a greater number of people preferring digital mediums - 55 and 49 per cent respectively. Both went though similar levels of adoption resistance when digital downloads first burst on the scene, but have simply had longer to become established as legitimate alternatives to physical copies.

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