First off I'd like to say I am not anti-technology. I work as a network tech and deal with technology of several kinds on a daily basis so my experience with the the subject of digital media borders on the excessive. Don't get me wrong, digital media has it's place I just don't think a total replacement for hardbound books is one of those places. Let me enumerate why.
- The hardware to support it is expensive whether it's and iPad, one of the numerous Windows or Android tablets on the market or a laptop. We already spend enough on the hobby without having to buy pricey technology. Games Workshop is risking alienating a large portion of their customer base by providing digitally exclusive copies of new codex's.
- The hardware to support it is fragile. Even when contained in high end protective sleeves I've seen iPads/tablets/laptops damaged beyond repair. Small drops, crushing and spills can turn an expensive piece of equipment into a paper weight. One oops and all your codex’s are unavailable.
- Over time, batteries begin to peter out or outright fail and the only option is to leash yourself to a power socket. Ten years from now my books will still work.
- Theft is always an issue. Where I work people have made off with whole desktop computers and even mounted LCD projectors. A tablet or iPad is laughably easy to swipe.
- Some folks don't care for the manner in the media is browsed. I own an iPad, I own digital version of the Space Marine codex (now outdated). Trying to quickly look something in the codex is clunky at best.
So that sums it up for me. Print it out you say? So basically pay some more to print out a book I already own? No thanks. Besides a lot of the licensing is odd and can be changed without notice. All it takes is one too many copies of their codex's appearing on the net for sale in printed form or bootlegged for and GW will alter the licensing faster then you can say C&D.
I do realize that digital copies are cheaper but I'd rather pay extra for a printed book. I've seen companies that had a “print on demand” that cut way down on their overhead costs. Just a thought GW.