I love getting physical games. Tearing off the plastic wrap, piggling off all the stickers the shop adorned. Flicking through the manual, even though the tutorial will cover everything.
Most of all, I love how it can never be taken away. When Viewtiful Joe is an historical artefact*, and Pokemon Misty-Squid-Colour is released, I will still have my cartridges and discs of the originals, long after the new consoles have given up compatability. Or, if I decide to burn everything I own and change my identity and start a new life, I can do that too. Carts give me freedom. Half the fun is poking through the bits, fondling the physicality of it, and then putting it on a shelf so my visitors can bow before the games I have decimated. If I dislike a game enough, I can literally blend it.
I will never, ever pay the same to download a game as I could on eBay to get a second hand copy. I hate the idea of locking games to a console, as Nintendo so proudly do, and I distrust services that require DRM. Have you seen my internet connection? Our phone line is attached to the exchange with sticky-tape. Telling me that I must be connected to the internet is telling me that I am only allowed to play your game at 2am, three nights a week.
And this, friends, is why I am not buying a PlayStation Vita. I got a 3DS to enjoy backwards compatability with the DS (which I have never owned) – and since then I have played some incredible DS titles. In contrast, the only way the Vita can play PSP games (which I also never owned) is by downloading them on the store, paying the publishers for games produced years ago.**
This deprives me of all my technophilic joys. There is no eBay bidding, parcel opening, box stroking fun.
Which, frankly, is pretty much the only reason I own as many games as I do.
* Google wouldn’t tell me whether it should be “an historical” or “a historical” artefact. So I decided to be pretentious.
** I’m sure there’s an argument that I should buy a PSP for PSP games. Or that I should use my 3DS for 3DS games and a Vita for Vita games. But you would be mistaken.