Sony closing playstation 3 and PSVita online stores reveals why it is still important to buy physical hard copies of games in this online dominated world.
As online networks become more reliable, people have been switching over to buying games online. Sony confirms that they are closing their stores for Playstation 3 and PSVita by August 21st, this would mean many well known and loved games exclusive to the PS3 and Vita would be completely lost to time. Sony did confirm people can still redownload and play games that they have already bought from the store but they can no longer buy new games. Giving people the ability to play owned online games still causes Sony to pay and run multiple servers.
Sony cannot keep these servers open forever and so at a certain point all of the online games you may own will stop working. The fact they shut down the stores means keeping the store servers up was getting too expensive for Sony making it only a matter of time till the servers that run games will also be shut down.
The positive of buying hard copy games is that you can never lose the game. Since the game does not run on a server you can play the game long after the hosting server is dead. You can also sell the game to retro game collectors for a far higher price as that game is no longer available for purchase anywhere.
This is not only true for video games but also for other media. An old niche movie can be lost to time if a disk is not owned as not every movie makes it onto a streaming service or the internet. Making said old movie extremely profitable to obtain.
As time passes, online stores and streaming services will close with physical media outliving them. Even if online stores are more convenient, hard copies will always be more profitable in the long run.