Exactly my point, whether you buy it digital or physical, as long the server containing the game download and patches is still available both versions will still work. If the game and patches (as well as any online connectivity) are ever removed both versions will be lost. So buying physical media surely won’t help with preservation any more than digital. You may have some of the game on the disc, but it’s not the same game as the one that has been patched/fixed, that version would be gone. So other than trading or collecting is there any benefit to physical over digital media?
Not sure if patches are treated the same as in-store purchases. I believe the patches would have to remain available. It's not like the game is no longr playable, just no longer available for purchase.
Good man! I am like you and like the physical collection. Also, the digital prices stay high far longer than the physical. Can get games cheap online long before MS store reduces the same title.
If anyone is interested going for the UK digital version of this, at the moment you can buy from Eneba for £7.82 here: https://www.eneba.com/gb/xbox-the-witcher-3-wild-hunt-goty-xbox-live-key-united-kingdom or as mentioned wait for the UK digital sales to happen and see if this gets added on there also. Usually its bought for much cheaper by going the foreign xbox live versions like from Argentina and others...
If it is removed totally from the store in 10-20 years or more and you do an install from disc, i wonder what condition a lot of games would be in, especially games that have a day one patch. I totally understand preservation from the pre-internet patch days (PS1/PS2/Sega Saturn etc), but surely any disc version now relies on the copy on Sony/Microsoft servers. Surely the digital versions of Forza (if owned) will work for exactly the same time as the physical disc version.