One-Third of Gamers Prefer Digital Over Physical, 10% Increase From 2011

According to a recent survey by the NPD Group more than one-third of gamers would prefer digital downloads over physical copies of the games they have purchased within the last three months – a 10% increase from results collected in 2011.

PC gamers are very familiar with digital downloads these days, considering it's been the go-to choice for quite some time, but consoles are beginning to offer the same instant gratification. Sony has started selling PS Vita games in digital form the same day physical copies hit shelves and Nintendo's 3DS and upcoming Wii U will soon offer a similar program for those of us who aren't interested in physical packaging.

According to NPD, the survey was conducted over a 3-week period, quizzed nearly 8,500 individual gamers and revealed that nearly 40% of those who responded purchased at least one title in both digital and physical flavors.

“Gamers are growing more comfortable in acquiring content online, as we saw the preference for digital increase ten percentage points from last year,” said NPD analyst Liam Callahan. “The proliferation of free games on mobile devices has reduced the barrier of entry for online gaming to zero, fueling an increase in acquisition.”

With console storage space constantly increasing and a new generation of gamers making their presence known, this annual 10% increase could be just the beginning of massive shift toward all-digital consoles. However, hardcore gamers who live for the collector's edition are going to be a hard bunch to convince.

So what will it be, physical or digital? Hit the comments and let us know!

[IGN via NPD Group]

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