I have enjoyed collecting physical games for consoles for many years and the number of physical games in the era of the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and Nintendo Wii were noticeably smaller than in generations both before and after. I do not know why. Anyone else notice the same thing? I Googled the 7th generation and learned a great deal about it, but nothing I read explained definitively why there were so few physical games in that era.

Let me put this into context. I have over 2,000 PS1 games in my collection, over 2,000 PS2 games, and already over 2,000 PS4 games. But only have 577 PS3 games. Nearly a quarter. Why? I guarantee that it was not due to any lack of effort on my part. There simply were not as many games for me to collect. The other 7th generation consoles were no different. I have 572 Xbox 360 games and 670 Wii games.

MobyGames claims there are 5,129 video games on PlayStation 3, meaning that the vast, vast majority of the games in the PlayStation 3 library were digital, not physical. The number of physical games I collected for the 7th generation was so low that I thought we had finally entered the age that everyone had predicted - when physical games would disappear. And honestly, as a serious collector I almost breathed a sigh of relief. Well then, my job is finally done I thought. Then came the eight generation and a funny thing happened. Small publishers began producing physical versions of indie games in some self declared "preservation" effort. I thought that maybe my PS4 library was chocked full of these physical indie games, misrepresenting the number of 8th generation physical games. But after checking into my PS4 library, I discovered that only a quarter were indie titles. That would mean that the number of physical retail games on the PS4 has already dwarfed the number of retail game on the PS3 and they are still trickling out. I just picked up PS4 KONOSUBA - God's Blessing on this Wonderful World! Love For These Clothes Of Desire! recently because it wasn't available on the PS5. (thought the anime was hilarious!)

So what the hell happened in the 7th generation?