There's a case for both, but which is actually best?
Every single Xbox One game on the market can be bought from the comfort of your couch and installed on to your console without the need for a disc. It's a pretty great thing to have at your disposal.
Equally, you can still buy most of the games available from the big publishers as a physical copy from the retailer of your choice. So we have a good choice of how to get our fix.
But which is better to buy? There are pros and there are cons, so lets set out the case for each.
The case for digital
Some folks, including those who work here at Windows Central, have gone all digital to rid their lives of clutter and piles and piles of game cases lying around. And that is a very valid argument. Some of us on staff have in excess of 140 titles in our collections, and that'd make for a mountain of physical discs and cases.
Digital doesn't also mean you have to stop buying games at your favorite retailers. You can go in to a store or online to somewhere like Amazon or the Microsoft Store and hand over your cash in exchange for a download code. So if you're part of a store loyalty scheme, like GameStop's PowerUp rewards program in the U.S. or GAME Reward in the UK, you can be digital and still collect your points.
You're also not missing out on frequent sales if you're buying digital. Microsoft occasionally hosts enormous sales in the Xbox Store with a huge number of titles at discounted prices. If you're not in a hurry to buy a game, there's a good chance it'll be available as a "Deals with Gold" title at some point, or maybe even the free "Games with Gold" offering for a month.
Then there's the ever growing population of ID@Xbox titles from smaller developers. More often than not these are only available in digital form from the store.
Physical discs might seem like they would have an installation speed advantage — for most gamers the Xbox can read off the disc faster than it can download the full game from the internet, sure, but that advantage has been mostly scuttled by the massive first-day download patches that have become par for the course for practically every major game release these days.
And finally, for those of us who hate getting up, you digital copies allow you to fully embrace your laziness. You don't need to extract yourself from your comfortable spot on the couch in order to pop a new disc in. That physical discs install fully to the Xbox's hard drive and still require you to insert the disc in order to play makes the case for digital even stronger.
Update: We've been reminded (of course), that going forward digital looks the way to go if you want to take advantage of Xbox Play Anywhere. This is a big positive if you're into both Xbox and PC gaming, since you'll only have to buy it once.
The case for physical
The case for physical is a strongly monetary one. As you're giving someone money for an object, you're not as limited to where you can get your games from as if you're buying digital. Sure, download codes are sold in a number of places, but discs are sold in more.
One of the big things you will nearly always see with physical copies of games is that prices drop a lot quicker than their digital counterparts. There are some really old digital games on the Store that are still full price, but can be had for peanuts somewhere like Amazon.
In-store deals are frequent among traditional retailers, and it's unlikely a week will ever pass by without there being something worth snapping up.
Buying physical also opens you up to buying pre-owned and trading in your finished games for money off something else. Once you've completed a digital title it just sits there, paid for and with no further benefit to you. A disc you can sell online or trade in for credit on the next hot new game.
And of course, some of us enjoy having a collection. Not to mention that special, collectors editions of games usually come with a physical copy, not a download code.
So which is best?
There's no right and wrong answer, only you can decide what is best for you. Our recommendation is a little bit of both. It doesn't matter how you get your games just so long as you're getting what you want and you're happy with what you've paid.
There are distinct financial benefits to be had from buying physical copies which can't be ignored, but there are plenty of good and valid reasons for going digital. You can't go far wrong keeping your options open.
If you've got anything to share on either side of the fence, be sure to let us know in the comments below!