Games, Geek, Tech

Buying PSN Games Online vs Offline: What’s Best?

Everything is moving towards an online society. Real-life, “offline” shops are closing down fast. Times are changing, but the gaming industry is moving just as quickly. Console and PC gamers now face a difficult dilemma when they’re about to buy a new game: to purchase or not to purchase online?

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Do I buy the game in a “real” store where I can hold the brand-new box and disc in my hand, or do I go for an online approach that seems quicker, but is fairly new?

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Can you trust anything that’s new in the first place? We’re here to do the ultimate test: buying games online v.s. offline: what’s best?

The Speed Test: How quickly can you buy a game?

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Let’s start with some simple logic: buying a PlayStation game online is (depending on your internet connection) a lot faster than buying that same release from your local game store. When you buy God of War from the online PlayStation Store, you don’t have to go outside and take a bus, cab, bike, car, broomstick or anything else that’s slow and inconvenient. You just log in and buy the game. It doesn’t get much quicker or easier than that.

Downloading and installing

The only waiting time you face when downloading a game online is that your PlayStation has to actually download and install the game before you can play. No worries though, you can still play Red Dead Redemption 2 (just a suggestion) while your PS4 is downloading and installing your next game at the same time.

The online store is always open

Now let’s say you live above a Gamestop: sure, buying the game offline can be done faster than any WiFi connection can download a 5GB game, but did you come to think of the fact that stores close in the evening? Yes, let that sink in: you can only buy games in offline stores when you’re working or at school. Most stores are open under regular working hours, which means you can’t always buy your favorite new game in the evening, night or early mornings.

Play new releases at midnight

Did you know that you can already download and install most games before they release? It’s true. The game will be completely set up and once the clock strikes midnight and the official release day is upon us, you can start playing the game instantly. The speed test is definitely won by the online gaming store. Hooray for the online PSN Store!

The Safety Test: How safe is it to buy a game online and offline?

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This seems to be an easy win for offline purchasing, but is it really? True, Sony has been in the news because of “an elite hacking group” hacking their social media accounts and claiming they have hacked the PSN network as well. Though Sony is not the only company who’s facing the problem of their networks being hacked, it looks like their security has tightened up a lot since the incident in 2017. So, as long as you don’t give your personal billing information to anyone, buying online is perfectly safe. Plus, with a big company like Sony, if anything goes wrong, they have everything set up to help and compensate their buyers.

The “real” world is dangerous too

Unfortunately for Sony, this incident might have stopped potential online customers from switching over to purchasing their games online instead of offline. Now, are there any safety risks when it comes to buying a game in a store like Gamestop? Except for ordinary dangers, like traffic jams or crazy seagulls, we don’t think buying in an actual store poses any risk to your safety. For now, we’d say buying offline has a slight safety advantage over buying online. As long as you’re very careful when leaving the safety of your home while going into a dangerous place like your local gaming store.

The Accessibility Test: How easy is it to get the game?

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Buying a game online should be easy and it is, but it still scares off some inexperienced online buyers. You have to make an online account, sign in; all that good stuff that has become second nature to most of us. That part can be a bit of a drag, but once you’ve got it behind you, the whole world is your oyster. With the “whole world” we mean that almost every PSN game ever made is within your reach. Then you can get your hands on more PS4 games than you can count on two hands

Store it on a shelf or a hard drive?

No store will have more games to offer than an online store does. Ever. There just isn’t enough space to store all those copies. This goes both ways: if you’re someone who likes to play a lot of games, it’s going to take up a lot of space in your room. In defense of all those offline game shops out there: it does look cool when your games are all stacked up on a shelf, ready to blow away your friends. However, games bought online take up digital space on your PS4’s 500GB hard drive. We can’t argue with that, but we’re still going to give the win to buying games online since a new shelf takes up much more space than a new hard drive does.

The Durability Test: How long can you keep playing the game?

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Do you remember the time when, no matter how carefully you removed the disc from the console and put it delicately in its box, it always got some wear and tear? After a while, you wouldn’t be able to play your favorite game anymore and that’s a crying shame. Those days are long gone with online purchased games. You can play those games as many times as you want. You can even switch to other games without ever touching your PS4.

Games purchased online linked to your PSN account

Some do worry about what will happen if something drastic happens to PSN and it suddenly stops existing. This might happen if Sony goes bankrupt or any other reason that belongs in some crazy alternate dimension. Though, in this reality, you don’t have to worry about your games not being transferred from your PS4 to your shiny new PS5 (whenever that may be). Your online purchased games are linked to your PSN account, so as long as you have access to your account, you will never lose your games. Don’t forget your login information, everybody! We’re once again gonna give this win to buying games online.

Verdict: Buying PSN games online v.s. offline: what’s best?

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We counted the score and buying PSN games online wins 3 to 1. It won the durability, speed, and accessibility test, while losing the safety test by a slight margin. Still, it all boils down to your personal taste and preferences. We get that owning offline games offers something that online games just don’t, but purchasing games online is here to stay. Online gaming stores will most likely grow in popularity over time. Buying a game online is even easier when you do it with an online game card. On you can purchase a unique code that allows you to pay for everything in the PlayStation Store. You don’t need a credit card. offers multiple relevant and safe payment options. Get your PSN Gift Card over at and pay for everything the PSN Store has to offer immediately.

By Thomas from

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