Despite the exciting possibilities the PS4‘s dedicated processor for background processing will bring, Sony is still sticking with a disc-based delivery mechanism, for now. Though there was nigh on a mention of what media future PS4 games (Killzone: Shadow Fall, inFAMOUS: Second Son, etc…) would release on, Sony has now confirmed Blu-Ray discs will still be the dominant format.
With the introduction of PS Plus and Day 1 Digital Downloads, Sony has taken bold steps to create a digital distribution platform that rivals anything available on the PC. Granted, they still have a way to go before the PSN is seen as a Steam equivalent, but with their next-gen console Sony could get there.
However, as Sony’s Jim Ryan tells IGN, the Blu-Ray isn’t going anywhere. Ryan sees the writing on the wall — digital distribution is the future — but with download speeds what they are, there is still a need for physical media.
“Clearly, and this applies not just to games but to pretty much every form of entertainment, there is a trend to increased digital consumption, and that is happening now on PS3 and will continue and will probably accelerate on PS4. But the primary delivery mechanism for the big games on the PS4 platform will continue to be Blu-Ray discs, for the foreseeable future.”
That doesn’t mean that gamers won’t see a switch to digital downloads within the PS4‘s lifespan, though, that’s actually a likely scenario. When asked for a time frame, Ryan was decidedly evasive, but five years appears to be what Sony is looking at.
For now, however, Sony — according to Ryan — encourages developers to take full advantage of a Blu-Ray disc’s 50GB of storage space, a file size that would take days to download on some people’s Internet connections.
So, though we may not know what the PS4 console actually looks like, or have a clear picture of some of its inner workings, Sony is slowly revealing more and more as the days go on. Next up: E3 2013, where even more should be revealed.
How do you feel about the PS4 sticking with the Blu-Ray disc for now? Can you see a digital download-only future?
The PS4 is targeting a holiday 2013 release date.