[Nintendad Coffeehouse] The Edition Decision

Written by Abbi Smith

Nintendo Switch has Games

Ah, games. The Nintendo Switch has a plethora of them, spread across every genre and style imaginable. To add another level of choice to the mix, there are also a number of editions: physical, digital, and collector’s. With over 3500 eShop games, of which a large number also have physical and collector’s variants, the question has to be asked; which edition to go for? For me, there are a few, key factors that affect which edition of a game I’ll go for: cost, risk, and appreciation. They may sound a bit random, but bear with me here. 

I’d love to have every game physically at least, if not collector’s editions of them. The sad truth is that it’s just too expensive. When the eShop has a good sale on, you can get a game for a fraction of its usual download cost, which due to the lack of physical production, is normally cheaper than a physical edition anyway.

That’s potentially huge savings, and, in the current financially-uncertain times, is nothing to sneeze at. This is especially true for collector’s editions; I have to carefully weigh what I’m getting for my money, and what that price difference is before I’ll even think about a collector’s edition. I must admit, most of the time, financial sensibility wins out.

Risk (and Reward)

Risk isn’t something that would normally spring to mind when discussing game editions, but it plays a huge part in my purchasing decisions. There are some games I wholeheartedly regret purchasing physically at full price, such as LA Noire and Harvest Moon Light Of Hope.

This is for two very different reasons; LA Noire first hit the market at about £50, but has since dropped as low as £25, and Harvest Moon was just a disappointing game for me. Another prime example is Skyrim; I took the cartridge out of my Switch to play something else, and managed to lose the cartridge under the sofa for six months! You can’t lose a downloaded game, unless you manage to do something incredibly wrong.

Plus, you are more likely to get it on a sale and therefore waste less money if  you don’t like it or if the price drops further down the line. Obviously a collector’s edition can also be lost – maybe not the extra goodies – but the cartridge can be dropped or misplaced just as easily, and I can only imagine the fury at having to re-buy a game because of that!

Personal Preferences

Appreciation is the final, and personally most important, factor. Sure, I can go and spend £50 to get a physical copy of an all-singing, all-dancing AAA title. And, okay, £30 plus shipping (before import tax gets involved!) sounds expensive for an £11 indie game, but the enjoyment I get from some particular titles? Priceless! Insert shameless Coffee Talk fangirling here. Not to mention Rune Factory 4 Special! That’s one of those very rare games that’s earned a special place on my collector’s editions shelf. The Rune Factory series has been the main backbone of my video gaming journey, so I naturally ignored the £60 price tag and had the fancy Archival Edition on pre-order from the moment it went live. I normally wouldn’t dream of dropping that much on a game, or even getting a special edition, but sometimes you just gotta do it.

The reasons people prefer physical, digital, or collector’s editions are as unique as the people themselves. Personally, I’m a case-by-case person; a game has to earn a spot on my shelves, although I have been looking at making custom cases for my download titles so I can really fill them up. 

What editions do you prefer, and why? Are there any exceptions to your rule? I’d love to hear from you in the comments!

1 thought on “[Nintendad Coffeehouse] The Edition Decision

  1. I also tend to simply lose myself to my personal interest in the game whenever I chose between a regular edition, digital one or something more fancy. At least my personal feelings are the first level of clearance on the matter, and the most important one, but sometimes it can simply “feel right”! Be it the theme of the game, the studio behind it, a triggered childhood memory or even something as superficial as what’s included in the package!

    Other times it has more to do with direct accessibility, which is actually my main reason to make any digital purchase! Whenever the next Monster Hunter or Animal Crossing releases, I usually wanna be able to play it as soon as it hits the digital stores – not having to wait another second after the download is finished (oh thank you for the option of pre-downloading and installing a game early!!).

    But then there’s also the special edition consoles or other hardware that has been thematically skinned/designed after a game… If I’ve been thinking about buying another console or am even making the leap to the next generation, and there’s been some kind of piece of hardware announced with the game’s release, then I don’t mind waiting until the delivery of such hardware before I get my chance to play. I could even consider _replacing_ a piece of hardware with something that has been announced as a custom-themed edition, even if said piece of hardware isn’t really an upgrade in any way – it’s all pure design!

    Sometimes, my feelings towards limited and special editions sure can feel like a love-hate relationship ;3 On one hand I can be happy about the publisher not announcing anything fancy, on the other hand it can also feel devastating and like a waste of my (non-existing *cough*) open shelf-space! One sure is for sure though: my wallet and my partner will always be crying every time I fall for something more fancy than a standard edition ^^’

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