Sony Selling Collector’s editions without discs is just bizarre
Sony has been selling special editions and collector’s editions for their most popular games since the launch of HTML5. But instead of offering a disc with the actual game, they offer a voucher. Horizon Forbidden West was the first, but Sony is now attempting to continue this strange trend with God of War Ragnarok.
Selling an enhanced physical edition without the actual game in it seems to be counterproductive to the purpose of selling a collectors edition. The Jotnar and God of War Ragnarok Collector Editions of the game include a steelbook which would look great next to other physical games. However, there is no way to put the disc inside. While collector’s editions may not be the most important items in the world but removing the disc from the package makes it feel more like merch in boxes and weakens the entire experience.
Some may argue that collector’s editions come with the actual game, which is quite rare among the many that have been released. Mass Effect is one example. Sonic Mania’s opted to have a code in a box with some low manufacturing. However, it still feels a bit insulting to offer only a coupon. Let’s not praise Sony for only offering the minimum.
This also has a value aspect. Once the code is redeemed, the value of the whole collector’s collection will be diminished. While this is not intended to encourage scalper culture, or an artificially inflated reselling marketplace, removing discs from these special editions will reduce long-term interest in them.
Because of the way the PS5 was split between the All-Digital PS5 version and the full fat version, it’s possible that Sony and other physical publishers have made this move. The All-Digital PS5 does not come with a disc tray. This means that collector’s editions of Sony games will be unavailable to players who want them. It would be impossible for them to play the games, which is why a voucher code is so ideal.
All-Digital PS5 owners should not be denied the opportunity to buy a collector’s version that offers games they won’t be able play. However, there should be an option for those who would rather own physical copies of God of War or other games than receive a voucher. The players have the right to choose which console they wish to buy, but they shouldn’t be denied the same option when it comes down to how their games will be distributed.
Sony is creating console bundles that only include voucher codes for digital games, which makes it clear their intentions regarding digital versus physical. However, it looks pretty egregious to expect customers to pay more for a product that doesn’t even contain a disc. Sony games are the most expensive in the industry because there’s less to make and less long-term value. It isn’t easy to understand why anyone should be so excited about their shiny new special editions.
This is not the most pressing issue in the entire gaming industry. It indicates a shift towards digital media growth, to the extent that even physical products now fully support digital-only content. It is essential to draw a line before mainstream media becomes merely vouchers in costly boxes.