Forget Retail: Destiny Digital Guardian Edition Pre-Order Is The Best Bang For Your Buck

on July 16, 2014 11:49 AM

Before this current generation of consoles began, companies throughout the industry made it no secret that they were racing into an all-digital future — some more so than others. What made this concept hard to grasp from a consumer standpoint is that physical products were being taken away and replaced with something you can no longer physically own, and yet it costs the same. For anyone that didn’t (or doesn’t) game on the PC (like myself), the math just simply didn’t add up.

I thought to myself that if digital is the way that we’re being lead, companies need to do their very best to sway me into that direction. They need to make the deal so good, that I feel foolish for not taking advantage of it. That moment is upon us. It’s happening with the pre-order for Destiny.

Normally, I’m initially turned off when I find out that a highly anticipated game already has additional paid content in the pipeline. And even with BUNGiE’s ambitious plans for Destiny, I was at first somewhat skeptical. However, after spending time with the PS4’s first look Destiny Alpha, I quickly realized that the team behind Destiny wasn’t f*cking around. This is a game to be taken seriously, and in all likelihood the finished product will exceed the expectations I already had set in my head.

So I made a decision to make the extra investment to explore their worlds. And so for the first time, in a long time, a video game has me going all in.

Destiny-Ghost-Edition-Ghost

On July 7th, BUNGiE unveiled its plans for its various collector’s editions and the bonuses included for each. Two retail specials: the $99 “Limited Edition,” which is your standard SteelBook  (think Halo 2 or Call of Duty), and the $149 “Ghost Edition,” which features a small box full of trinkets and Destiny related paraphernalia (including a motion sensing ghost robot that lights up). And for those who want the content without the extras, you have the $89 “Digital Guardian Edition.” At first glance it seems like you’re getting all these extras for paying a $99 and $149 premium for the “Limited” and “Ghost” editions, especially with the way it’s worded on BUNGiE’s own site. But when you read it carefully, you find that it’s not.

Here are the listing descriptions from BUNGiE.net:

Limited Edition Contents:

-Limited Edition SteelBook™ Case and Game Disc -Guardian Folio, containing:
-“Arms and Armament” Field Guide: Many believe the weapons and armor featured in this record are a myth. You will learn the truth.
-Postcards from the Golden Age: Our worlds have been claimed by our enemies. Now, it’s time to take them back. -Antique Star Chart: Explore the wild frontiers of our solar system. Discover all that we have lost.
-Collector’s Edition Digital Content: The City has provided you with a cache of items to start you on your journey, including:
-A Unique Ghost Casing -An Exclusive Player Emblem -An Exclusive Player Ship Skin
-Includes the Destiny Expansion Pass*

Ghost Edition:

-Limited Edition SteelBook™ Case and Game Disc -Ghost Replica: This is your motion-sensing Ghost, featuring lights and audio from the game. May it lead you through the Darkness.
-Letter of Introduction: These worlds were once ours. If you accept your destiny, you will be asked to do the impossible.
-Golden Age Relics, which include a Patch, Sticker, and two Chrome slides of the Traveler
-Guardian Folio, containing: -“Arms and Armament” Field Guide: Many believe the weapons and armor featured in this record are a myth.
-You will learn the truth.
-Postcards from the Golden Age: Our worlds have been claimed by our enemies. Now, it’s time to take them back. -Antique Star Chart: Explore the wild frontiers of our solar system. Discover all that we have lost.
-Collector’s Edition Digital Content: The City has also provided you with a cache of items to start you on your journey, including:
-A Unique Ghost Casing
-An Exclusive Player Emblem
-An Exclusive Player Ship Skin
-Includes the Destiny Expansion Pass*

Both editions feature the “-Includes the Destiny Expansion Pass” with the asterisk at the end. When you scroll to the bottom of the page you’re met with a description of what exactly that entails, which is the following:

The Destiny Expansion Pass includes Destiny Expansion I: “The Dark Below” and Destiny Expansion II: “House of Wolves.”

Incidentally the contents list for the Digital Guardian Editon forgoes the line mentioning that it too “includes the Destiny Expansion Pass” and instead places it right in the smack dab middle of the pile of information. In other words: the in-game content — the stuff that actually matters — is the same across the board.

Digital Guardian Contents:

-Digital Download of Destiny
-Early access to Vanguard Armory and Player Emblem pre-order bonus -Reservation for two upcoming Destiny Expansions, “The Dark Below” and “House of Wolves,” featuring:
-Brand new story missions -Cooperative and competitive multiplayer arenas
-A wealth of all new weapons, armor, and gear to earn -Collector’s Edition Digital Content: The City has also provided you with a cache of items to start you on your journey, including:
-A Unique Ghost Casing -An Exclusive Player Emblem
-An Exclusive Player Ship Skin

The reality is that you’re paying either $10 or $60 more for stuff you will admire once or twice (and maybe showoff to friends who come over). But in the end, what you’re paying for are extras that will not affect your actual gameplay experience whatsoever. The same can be said about video game special editions in general. But in generations past — the last one more specifically — a special edition meant you got something that the folks buying the regular edition had to either pay for (or work towards) in game. In this case, BUNGiE is giving digital buyers experience parity with those paying for the pricier retail products.

ghost

Now, let me say that if you’re genuinely a collector who is excited about Destiny and you have the extra cash to burn, don’t let me stop you. By all means, go and spend that money. But me personally, as a 30 year old gamer who is excited by the thought of opening up a box full of collectors edition goodies, just as quickly I remember that it’s all simply a box of extras whose novelty will quickly fade once I bring it home. In no time, the collection of trinkets would wind up in a corner of my house collecting dust.

If you’re excited for Destiny, you’ve already pre-ordered, and you’ve got your money down on one of the more extravagant retail editions, you should take a step back and get a good look at the physical bonuses and figure out if it’s something you can live without. Because when it comes down to the actual content in the game, there’s nothing extra. Remember, you can always slide that pre-order money on to another release at your local retailer, as I’m pretty sure there’s other titles releasing this fall that you can use that extra $10 or $60 on. If you’re going deep with Destiny, the Digital Guardian Edition is the best bang for your buck.

Paying less for the same experience is a bet that I’m willing to make every time. BUNGiE is showing everyone how you make the right push for digital.

 /  Co-Founder
Joel Taveras is one of the founding members of DualShockers. He hails from New York City where he lives with his wife and two sons. During his tenure with the site, he's held every position from news writer to community manager to editor in chief. Currently he manages the behind the scenes and day-to-day operations at the publication.
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