I Was An All-Digital Gamer, But Forza Horizon 5 Triggered A Change

I have been an “all-digital” gamer since, well, forever. It is so much more practical than piling up physical discs. That relaxed way of simply browsing a digital games store, picking the discount you like best, and using your already saved-in-system credit card is so easy. Your game starts downloading and when it is ready to play you are done. This is the same with all digital stores across modern consoles and computers, although Xbox GamePass goes a step further. You can literally play the game first and then decide if you wish to bother downloading it.

Xbox Cloud Gaming

Needless to say, your Cloud Gaming save game is transferred to your console if and when you decide to continue playing locally. There are so many possibilities to enjoy video games today that I almost forgot that physical games ever existed (not that I ever needed them).

Who needs physical Xbox games?

I did not need them until recently when Forza Horizon 5 came out. It was a certain moment in my head when I realized I really like the series and I wished to not only finish the newest, title but also revisit previous ones. Even those made for older Xbox consoles like Xbox 360.

But here’s the catch. Forza games like Forza Horizon 5 have an expiration date when they stop selling, both digitally and physically, so there was no way for me to acquire older Forza games anymore and that’s a shame.

Or is it?

Forza games have to go unlisted after several years because the third party licenses that we use to feature real-world cars, tracks and other elements will begin to expire.

@ForzaMotorsport via Twitter
Forza games on physical discs. They smell gooooooood.

I have officially purchased my first-ever physical game (three of them) and it has awakened a feeling in me I didn’t know existed.

The smell…

Simply holding those games got me suddenly all excited to open the box and hold those discs in my hands.

And then there was the smell. The smell of new. Yes, these are all preowned discs, but they smelled unopened for a long time. What the heck is wrong with me? I have been preaching for years that buying physical disks is a pointless endeavor unless you wish to re-sell your games as soon as you finish them, thus getting your money back that way. Oh, I understand math, don’t worry. But other than the obvious wallet health I wasn’t aware that holding those boxes in your hands could feel that nice!

I will not be suddenly collecting all my future games on a physical medium, but needless to say, I will be getting that Skyrim Anniversary Edition on disc!

Darth is an exotic European games writer who loves coffee! And video games. He participates in video games discussions on Twitter, streams games on Twitch, and writes about gaming-related content. If you like what you have read please consider supporting his writing with at least a coffee. It genuinely means a lot! 💚

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3 Responses

  1. I’ll start with an important list:

    Sega Masters
    Nintendo
    Sega Genesis
    Game Gear
    Super Nintendo
    Playstation

    Yes, I have PS2 and up and till this day, I have every one of those consoles and a few more. The list at the top, though, is very important to me. Not only is it nostalgic but holds a memory bank of my childhood. See, every console above, in that order, was purchased for me by my mother. She was hard working and made ends meet but when it came time for.birthdays and Christmas, we were blessed and very fortunate. It was a reminder that she made everything possible no matter how difficult things got. Believe me, things got difficult.

    I’m 39 hears old now and I still have the original cartridges or disc’s these consoles came with over the years. I still, till this day, remember that distinct smell of new from my Nintendo during my unboxing on Christmas morning. It triggers those wonderful childhood memories. Whenever I purchase a physical game, it’s like a moment of time travel. That to me is priceless.

    The only digital games I own today are free games I’ve received but my collection will always be physical. But why? Because a physical copy will always allow me to touch, feel and revisit that nostalgic moment of yesterday. Whenever I walk by my collection, it’s such a beautiful thing to remember.

    Thank you for the article!

    1. Thanks for a wonderful comment (and a beautiful story)!

      Yep, smell is surprisingly powerful.
      When I was in my late teens I started collecting cassette tapes (I was quickly becoming addicted to music in addition to games). I started noticing that the liner smelled distinctly like… corn tortillas. I’ll never forget that!

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