Games will eventually shift to a primarily digital distribution model. However, that day is not coming any time soon, Sony says. The PS4 manufacturer won the hearts of many gamers at E3 when they announced that pretty much nothing was changing when it came to game distribution and ownership in the next-generation. Innovation, who needs it?
Sony SVP Guy Longworth explained that PS4 is all about giving consumer choice by continuing to support the retail model while still offering day-one downloads. "What we try to do is offer a relatively level playing field and let the gamers decide. We're not trying to advantage them, we believe in consumer choice. It's clear that the vast majority of the people want to go down to GameStop or Best Buy, they don't want to buy it online right now," he said."
Perhaps one of the big hurdles of digital gaming is the size of games being released today. The Last of Us, for example, launched on PlayStation Store the same day as its Blu-ray release. The downloadable version is 24GB.
Longworth tells GI.biz that Sony's digital business is "growing fast," but that the future is "kind of hard to predict." While he seems to suggest digital is the future, he does say "people might be quite surprised, I think physical games will be around a lot longer than some people think."