Digital vs physical game costs


Looking to buy a copy of Lego Jurassic Park for my 6 year old, here in the UK. Looking at Amazon, and a physical copy, the cost is £13.49. Looking at the cost is £39.99 in the UK, or $19.99 in the US. I would prefer to buy the digital copy for the convenience, and with the intention to buy a Xbox Series S for his bedroom.

I guess the answer is that ‘I have choice’, but it’s frustrating that there is such a huge price difference, especially given the drive to digital purchases.

Comments (6)

6 responses to “Digital vs physical game costs”

  1. Usman

    That's usually been the case in the UK, going back even to 360 and PS3 days. You could digitally download games but they would be on the digital stores for £50-£55, whereas physical on launch was a maximum of £45 and in some cases, the supermarkets on launch night would price it around £35-£40. These days £55-£65 for the digital copies.

    There are other options like going to key sites like CDKeys or G2A to either get the game keys or getting digital gift cards at a reduced price. CDkeys have that game for £11.99, I have used them before, haven't had issues but then again I don't wanna say they're 100% reliable.

    This is one of the disadvantages of going fully digital, not having the option where the physical discs are just way cheaper.

    There is however the benefit of game sharing across two consoles, setting another console as a 'Home' / 'Primary' console so that any account has access to game libraries and subscriptions.

    The $19.99 price does seem to equate to £15. I don't know if Xbox allows for multi-region licenses. I know you can have multiple currencies on a Microsoft account.

  2. dftf

    Is there such a game as "Lego Jurassic Park"? All I can find online is "Lego Jurassic World" (which then has Park themed expansion-packs you can add to it).

    Options I could think of:

    (1) The Xbox 360 version is sold digitally in the UK for £19.99 -- if you have a 360, maybe buy it on there instead?

    (2) I think you can purchase Xbox games via the website, not just on the console itself. Sign into the US version of the website with the account you will use on the Xbox Series S and try making the purchase there. You might need to use a VPN while doing so.

    (3) As Usman has said, see if you can find a reputable place to buy an activation-code for it from. (Just remember to ensure you buy an Xbox One version code, not an Xbox 360 one, as this game isn't currently supported for backwards-compatibility, so you won't be able to redeem the 360 code on a Series S or X).

    BUT... if you'll be buying lots of games in-future and want them as cheap-as-possible, then you'd be better-off just buying the Series X so the disc-drive is included.

  3. wunderbar

    The reason for this is that retailers have a lot more leeway on selling physical goods, especially older stock that they may be looking to get rid of. A retailer is more likely to want to sell something at cost or at a loss just to get it out of inventory if its something that's been sitting on the shelves for months/years without significant sales. This is not an "official" sale, just a retailer trying to get rid of stock.

    Because a digital game is not literally taking up shelf space, there is much less incentive for price drops/sales.

    • red.radar

      In reply to wunderbar:

      At the same token digital assets still need to be stored. So if they want to pay to store the game in the cloud buy not get any value from it they can leave the price at full launch retail.

      There have been some interesting steam sales for older digital titles.

  4. StevenLayton

    Yeah, Xbox Uk had a sale and is was down to about £13. Snapped it up :)