Only 10% of Xbox Games Were Sold As Physical Discs In 2023

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Explains Why Xbox Shut Down Physical Games Department!

Story Highlights
  • A report outlines the ratio of physical copies sold for all major gaming platforms.
  • Xbox had the least physical copies sold, followed by PlayStation and Nintendo.
  • This might be why Xbox recently laid off its entire physical games department.

Circana’s Mat Piscatella has revealed physical copies were sold the least on Xbox. At the same time, PlayStation and Nintendo shared almost the same numbers.

This comes after an analysis revealed that almost 83% of console games sold in 2023 were digital. According to recent reports, Microsoft has also shut down its physical games department.

Why it matters: Physical copies have a lot more advantages compared to digital. These include preservation, resales, and more. However, the trends seem to be changing. 

Of all of Xbox’s 2023 sales in the US, only 10% were physical. For PlayStation and Nintendo, this figure was much higher at 40% and 50%, respectively. Overall, Xbox’s audience seems to be more inclined toward digital games.

On the other hand, PlayStation and Nintendo have significant physical markets. This divide is not too surprising when considering the difference in game distribution between these companies.

Microsoft relies on Game Pass primarily, getting its audience accustomed to digital downloads and libraries. Much of its share in this generation also comes from the Xbox Series S, which is an all-digital console.

Still, these figures highlight the eventual demise of physical games. This movement seems to be in motion at Xbox already. Last week, Walmart, to get rid of physical stock, was selling Starfield copies for just 0.03$.

Consoles without Disc Reader

They are even supposed to throw them out if the stock lasts after the sale. Best Buy is expected to do the same soon, and Microsoft’s much-anticipated Senua’s Saga: Hellblade 2 will be a digital-only release.

Elsewhere, comments from Ubisoft highlight how publishers feel about physical games, with the French company claiming customers need to familiarize themselves with the lack of physical ownership.

For those who prefer physical games, PlayStation and Nintendo might be the only choices moving forward. While we don’t support the idea of completely abandoning physical games, this seems to be the inevitable future, even more so for Xbox.

Featured Image Credit: Life Wire

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