No longer will you have to choose between having a physical collector's edition and pre-loading the game.
"Pre-loading" is a term that digital distribution fans have become quite familiar with. These days, when a came comes out on Steam, or another platform, developers will often allow players who have pre-purchased the game to "pre-load" encrypted game files, which allow the game to be played the very second it goes live. Until now, gamers who prefer physical copies of games have been SOL, as they have to go to the store, pick up the game, install it, and then (usually) download a bunch of patches before they play.
Well, I'm happy to report that won't be the case for Overwatch. Blizzard has today announced that retail copies of the game will actually go on sale one day early - on May 23 - in order to ensure that everyone, regardless of how they choose to buy their games, will be able to hop right into the action the minute the servers go live.
"We would like for all of the players to be ready to dive straight into the action when the servers go live, so retailers are going to begin selling the game when their stores open on May 23rd," a spokesperson told GameSpot.
This appears to apply to all editions of the game (including the collector's edition) as well as all three platforms (Xbox One, PS4 and PC).