Blu-Ray and Digital Video Disc (DVD) are two different optical disc formats that are widely used in the video games industry. When it comes to PC games, though, which one is preferred?
DVD is the primary standard for all physical PC game copies, while Blu-Ray is the common format used for video game consoles, most notably newer-generation PlayStations. Each format has its pros and cons, but for PC games, cheaper digital downloads and game-installation DVDs far outweigh the necessity for Blu-Ray in the current market – possibly for the foreseeable future too.
Unlike console games that can be played from the onset, PC games need to be installed beforehand, normally stored inside a computer’s dedicated HDD or SSD. As such, a low-cost and compressed DVD becomes the more logical choice instead of the more expensive yet high-quality Blu-Ray.
By installing our DVD games inside the computer, we don’t have to rebuy them if we ever lose them too. That might not be the case for games on Blu-Ray discs, explaining why digital game copies are becoming more popular in console gaming as well.
PC games can be installed via other methods besides a DVD, not requiring us to have a DVD drive if we don’t need it. With multiple ways for PC games to be played on the computer, it certainly doesn’t seem like Blu-Ray has a place in the current PC gaming environment at all.
Can We Play Blu-Ray Games on PC?
Although PC games do not come in Blu-Ray, Blu-Ray Disc drives (BD Drives) do exist. With that in mind, would it be possible for us to play Blu-Ray console games on our PC if we run them using a BD drive?
No, we can’t play Blu-Ray games on a PC even if we are using a BD drive. Games that were developed onto Blu-Ray discs require specific software to run, and they are exclusively found on video game consoles that take advantage of Blu-Ray’s larger storage capacity and improved visual technologies.
This doesn’t mean that next-gen games won’t be playable on PC, though. Unlike gaming consoles, there’s a wide variety of PC specs out there, and it is almost impossible to map a game’s compatibility to every one of them. As such, the disc format of PC games needs to be versatile, and DVD is exactly that, against the premium Blu-Ray.
We can even play games directly from an external DVD drive too, which can be useful in different circumstances. This is just one example of the advantages that PC gamers get when sticking to the DVD format, at least before everything eventually goes digital at some point in the next few years.
In the meantime, as long as DVD PC games are still around, we can still look forward to traditional video game business channels, like game copies being shipped via mail. Although many of us are already accustomed to new technology, some old-school methods are much more favorable for certain people, especially those that come from less-developed countries.
Is Blu-Ray Better than DVD?
With all this discussion surrounding Blu-Ray games being playable on PC, is it any better than our current use of DVDs?
Yes, a Blu-Ray disc is proven to be superior to a DVD by way of its larger storage capacity, higher visual fidelity, improved audio quality, and advanced playback features. These benefits are mostly enjoyed by console gamers today, especially those owning a PlayStation 5 or Xbox Series X/S.
However, even though Blu-Ray is a reliable upgrade to DVD, Blu-Ray discs are usually pricier and aren’t as ‘flexible’ when it comes to video game configurations on PC.
Blu-Ray fits well with video game consoles because of each console’s predetermined hardware specs that are already in place. For PC owners, though, every one of us has unique system setups that can be modified according to needs and budget, and DVDs are more widely supported in this regard.
Some of us predominantly play games off external hard drives as well, to free up our internal storage for the use of other important software and big-sized triple-A (AAA) games instead. Because of these, DVDs are here to stay, despite their shortcomings compared to their Blu-Ray counterparts.
Do I Need a Blu-Ray Drive for my PC?
Since PC games aren’t available in Blu-Ray format, do we still need a BD drive, then?
Yes, we can still use a Blu-Ray drive to watch movies and videos in high quality. Many Hollywood movies, like The Lord of the Rings franchise, and famous series, such as Games of Thrones, can be enjoyed with sharper pictures and clearer audio on Blu-Ray.
With the perfect home theatre setup, Blu-Ray movies are the best way to experience cinema inside our living rooms. Unlike PC games where we need to specify which drive to install them on, Blu-Ray playback can be played instantly once put inside a BD drive, minimizing hassle.
Digital Blu-Ray downloads are the only reason why we might consider skipping out on a BD drive, just like how we don’t need a DVD drive when digital PC games can be read from inside a flash drive instead.
Nowadays, with the latest technologies and solutions available to us, tangible devices like the BD drive eventually become an optional item to have for our PC, similar to how we can now play Xbox games without even owning an Xbox console at all!
Is Blu-Ray a Good Format for PC Games?
In an ideal world, would Blu-Ray be a good format for us to play PC games on?
Yes, Blu-Ray can be a great alternative to be used for PC games. We can expect excellent visual clarity, impeccable sound design, and complete game data (no subsequent downloads required for the installation of ‘huge’ games surpassing 50GB) right off the bat.
Among the many complaints that gamers have about PC gaming is that video games can take a long time to be installed on the computer. With Blu-Ray, this lingering ‘issue’ might be solved once and for all.
In fact, why do PC games need to be installed at all if they can be played immediately once booted on a drive, just like how Blu-Ray seems to work on consoles, right? Admittedly, I do understand that certain complexities come into play when comparing the video game infrastructure between PCs and gaming consoles, limiting such a possibility.
That being said, a person can continue to dream of such a reality, probably one that might entail the discontinuation of physical PC game copies too, but who knows?