The PC version of Minecraft is not available on disk. It can only be obtained through digital download, either through the game's website or a code on a physical game card. The console versions of Minecraft are available on disk and are identical to their console's respective digital download version.
The console disk versions of Minecraft have a different build of the game based on their initial release date. This means that console needs to download one or more free updates in order to play the current version of the game. Some textures and skins need to be purchased through the console marketplace before they can be used, but any new updates to the game build that have been released since the game was purchased physically or digitally are automatically downloaded and applied free of charge, ensuring that the user is playing the most-current version of the game. This applies to both the PC and console versions of the game.
In order to play Minecraft on a PC, a Mojong account is required. The account is free and can be made at time of purchase or installation. Similarly, console versions require Xbox Live Gold membership or Playstation Plus accounts in order to play online. Offline modes are available for the console versions of the game as well as the PC after the game has connected to the Internet at least once.