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» AC:NH General Board
Topic: Digital or Physical copy?

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julphi
 
Name
Julie
ACNL Town
Last Active
4/9/2020 4:06pm
Is there any pros or cons to buying the digital or physical copy of ACNH? I typically buy digital copies of my switch games, but don't know if there would be any reason to buy the physical copy instead. What do you guys think?

Also, long time no see! I haven't been on here for a while!
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Ysna887
 
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5/18 8:50pm
physical can get lost or stolen or any number of other things could happen to it. digital is there on your system (potentially an hour earlier than physical) and the only way to lose that is to lose your acct .. I'm going digital, so is all 4 others in my house.
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PennyGwin
 
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8/27/2020 5:25pm
Myself, I see three advantages to physical copies;

1: I think that the mental gear-shift from changing cartridges has a worthwhile place, especially when it comes to a game like Animal Crossing, which tends to be played in order to unwind.

2: Where I'm from, physical releases are almost always at least £10 cheaper than digital ones.

3: You can't re-sell a digital version if you ever want to do so.

I can't comment much on digital copies, though, as I never buy them.

Ysna887 - Animal Crossing: New Horizons doesn't support Nintendo Switch Online's Cloud Save Backup feature, so if your Switch is lost or stolen or you have to send it in for repairs, your file is lost, even though the game still is tied to your account. That's a con for both, though...
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julphi
 
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Julie
ACNL Town
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4/9/2020 4:06pm
PennyGwin, so regardless of which copy I get, my data won't be saved if something happened to my switch?
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Ysna887
 
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5/18 8:50pm
Penny, thanks I forgot to mention that earlier, I don't know why it slipped my mind.. NL was like that, I lost so many towns it wasn't funny..
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Chiyoko
 
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Angie
ACNH Town
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12/4 11:45pm
yeah, unfortunately with NH and other games that don't support cloud saves, neither is guaranteed to not get lost. unlike in NL and WW, the data saves to the console instead of the cartridge, so if something happens to your switch, your town will be gone either way

as far as I know, the only real difference is one you can physically hold in your hands, and the other one you can't. personally I'm planning to get a digital copy of the game because I find that once I swap a game cartridge out of my console, I rarely go back to that game again. having it digital, it'll always be in my system

(plus I still have $75 in eshop gift cards to spend)
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Ard
 
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Andiél
ACNH Town
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12/4 7:52pm
I still have my Digital Voucher from when they had a deal on them during the Super Mario Maker 2 sale. I've been saving it since, and it expires in June so I just gotta use it before then. (I only buy maybe one or two games a year, at most).

So I'm using it on New Horizons.
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SirLeoTheLion
 
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Zachary
ACCF Town
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5/31/2020 5:19pm
I prefer physical copies. As one of the members before me had said, you can sell a physical copy. The cartridge can be shared since the save data is on the console.

Also, this:
https://en-americas-support.nintendo.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/3764/~/how-to-redownload-wii-shop-channel-content

While the likelihood of them eventually pulling the same stunt with the Wii U and then the Switch is low at the moment, sometime in the future, people who downloaded games they paid for from the Wii Shop Channel will be unable to redownload them should their console become destroyed or the games deleted. Those games will be gone for good.

There's odd legality when it comes to digital goods and a question arises often as to whether you're purchasing a license to use a game or purchasing the game itself by choosing digital.

I'll preorder a physical copy of New Horizons soon. I take care of my things so it won't get lost.
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rtzgrl
 
Name
Riley
ACNH Town
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11/24 10:40am
I will be buying digital to begin with and getting a
physical copy down the road. It’s what I do for the
games I especially like, so I don’t have to worry
about losing access to the digital version. It’s
kind of an insurance policy, I guess.
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Ben88
 
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Ben
ACCF Town
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2/20/2020 10:41pm
Both, one preordered physical copy with journal for my old switch and the digital download at midnight on the new special edition ACNH switch.
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707penguin
 
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707
ACNH Town
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12/4 11:10pm
"Also, this:
https://en-americas-support.nintendo.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/3764/~/how-to-redownload-wii-shop-channel-content"
Somehow I managed to miss that the Wii Shop Channel is now closed to new purchases. I still have some unused Wii points that I guess are useless now.
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WestonCarrie
 
Name
Carrie
ACNL Town
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10/18 2:03pm
I purchased a digital copy of ACNH and was able to start playing it at 11pm on 6/8.  I still have it on my 3DS and have had zero problems with it.

However, it's a good point that access to digital copies can be discontinued in future.  Well, it's possible that you won't be able to re-download them at some future point, but if they're still on your console, you can, of course, keep playing them.

Physical copies, esp. cartridges, do have the potential to be damaged, so taking good care of them and keeping track of them is necessary.

I did purchase a couple of Wii Shop titles, which I think are still on my Wii.  But I haven't played that system in years.  At this point, it looks like you can still download purchased titles, but that can go away at any point.  I think it likely that it won't be an issue moving forward, since Nintendo now has their own server; my understanding was that the Wii used a third party server?

In any event, I think it comes down to what you're most comfortable with.  I'm very comfortable with digital titles, largely, I suppose, due to my playing mostly on XB, for which Live has been around since early days on the original XB.

I think the main takeaway is that no matter which version you get, your saves cannot be backed up and are on the console.
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PennyGwin
 
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8/27/2020 5:25pm
"However, it's a good point that access to digital copies can be discontinued in future.  Well, it's possible that you won't be able to re-download them at some future point, but if they're still on your console, you can, of course, keep playing them.

Physical copies, esp. cartridges, do have the potential to be damaged, so taking good care of them and keeping track of them is necessary."
It's also worth pointing out that flash memory (such as the Switch's on-board memory, and also microSD Cards) will fail, because that technology can only be used a finite amount of times. Using it wears it down.

"I think the main takeaway is that no matter which version you get, your saves cannot be backed up and are on the console."
That's exactly it. Neither option is infallible, unfortunately!
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HatakeSage
 
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Hatty
ACNH Town
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11/26 4:19am
If you have digital, you can play it on multiple switches We're going to try that for me and my husband.

(It's online only though. It cant be switch to switch local.)

Google 'Two switches one game' and I'm sure you'll find something.
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PennyGwin
 
Last Active
8/27/2020 5:25pm
I thought that they only allowed one account to play one digital copy at a time, though?
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707penguin
 
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707
ACNH Town
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12/4 11:10pm
"It's also worth pointing out that flash memory (such as the Switch's on-board memory, and also microSD Cards) will fail, because that technology can only be used a finite amount of times. Using it wears it down. "
Is that something worth being concerned about or is it something that's not likely to be an issue unless you're playing nonstop for years?
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PennyGwin
 
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8/27/2020 5:25pm
"Is that something worth being concerned about or is it something that's not likely to be an issue unless you're playing nonstop for years?"
Basically the latter, but it's an inevitability of that medium. A rule of thumb is that lower-quality flash will give up the ghost faster. There will occasionally be failures from unseen defects, too, but that's not the norm.

There's a bit more on this here.

Anyway, the ultimate point is, having it on one's system doesn't mean that it's immune to loss or damage, since the very medium that it's written onto is guaranteed to die. We probably won't see people being able to return to digital downloads of today 30 years from now, like we can still return to the cartridges of 30 years ago today.
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Ysna887
 
Last Active
5/18 8:50pm
Honestly the whole debate is up to you on what you'd prefer.
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PennyGwin
 
Last Active
8/27/2020 5:25pm
Ysna887;
"@PennyGwin in 30 years that probably wont matter lol. and also, don't forget, between now and 30 years from now, any one of us could buy the big farm,"
I still feel that it's worth mentioning because for some, revisiting these games in the future does matter. People still play NES games on original hardware, for example.

"if someone prefers digital, let them do it, if someone prefers physical let them do it.."
Exactly. I agree. I never said that we should or shouldn't let anyone do anything, after all - I even said earlier that neither option is infallible.

"I mean it's great to provide all the facts, and thank you for that,"
You're very welcome. I think that it's very important to remember that neither option is a panacea.

"but eventually isn't all of this going to end up not working one way or another?"
Indeed, but as per the above, this is a hobby (an expensive one, really) where people do like revisiting decades-old games* - I think that, in a thread asking about the pros and cons of physical versus digital, this particular con deserves to be addressed.

*I'm sure that we'll soon start seeing issues in other areas of the forum regarding the aging hardware of the GameCube creating problems for revisiting the original Animal Crossing, for example. It will be very interesting to see how the community responds (in wider terms, rather than only here).
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hsn97
 
Name
Hannah
ACNL Town
Last Active
12/14/2020 9:35am
I usually prefer a physical copy over digital. Even though you run the risk of losing or damaging it, I like having a physical thing in front of me. I also love the boxes and art that come with the games that you tend not to get with digital copies. However, this time round I am getting a digital copy only because I preordered the new AC switch and it come with a download code for the game.
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Soybean
 
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Alexis
ACNL Town
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11/10 11:56pm
I love the look of having a huge physical game collection but for switch games I’ve been buying all digital and I plan to do so with NH too. Don’t trust myself when it comes to tiny cartridges
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TitanMeika
 
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2/5/2020 9:07am
I definitely need this game Physically, which I'll use on my docked Switch, but I'll probably get a Digital copy for my Switch Lite.

It's hard to buy Digital in Australia though because you can usually get the Physical game for $10-20 cheaper from most stores.
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mav13
 
Name
Mav
ACNL Town
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10/15 5:38pm
I really want a Physical copy but if my Gamestop doesn't do a midnight release then I might have to do
digital copy. I'm hoping that they do though!!
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tujunga
 
Name
Alex
ACNH Town
Last Active
11/28 8:37am
Physical because I'm old fashioned
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Peach15
 
Name
Jill
ACNL Town
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11/24 10:05pm
Both, but digital first.  I like having a physical box and cartridge and typically would not buy digital.  But with saves being tied exclusively to the switch console without the ability to transfer them, it's worthless going a physical cartridge if only for that reason.  Digital also loads five seconds faster on most games installed on the switch's internal memory.
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AC:NH General Board » Topic: Digital or Physical copy?

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