Sony CEO Says Next PlayStation Won't Be Digital Only

Kaz Hirai

If you were hoping that the next generation of consoles were going to let you to clear some space on your media shelf I have bad news for you, more specifically Sony CEO Kaz Hirai has bad news for you. In a recent interview Hirai nixed the idea that the PlayStation 4 would be digital-only.

"There's always going to be requirement for a business of our size and scope to have a physical medium. To think everything will be downloaded in two years, three years or even ten years from now is taking it a little bit to the extreme."

It's interesting that Sony sounds so adamant against a digital distribution plan when less than a year ago they released the PSP Go, even if they did chalk it up as a 'learning experience'. Hirai made the point that because of the number of countries that Sony sells the PlayStation in, they have to consider the network infrastructure in their decision. He said that Sony does business, " parts of the world where network infrastructure isn't as robust as one would hope."

Like it or not, the way we consume media is changing. Movies, music, TV shows, and video games are all moving towards a digital distribution method. iTunes has nearly cornered the digital music market, Steam is a PC gamer's best friend, and Netflix customers love the 'Watch Instantly' feature. Eventually you'd have to imagine that this would cross over to the console market.

We've seen the start of this trend with downloadable games on all three of the home consoles, including full retail games from the current generation's back catalog. Only time will tell if digital distribution will work for first release home console games.

What do you guys & girls think? I remember how much fun it was to put all my NES and SNES games on the shelf so I could show them off to my friends when they came over to game, I still do it to this day! What will you miss when/if console games go digital? What are you looking forward to? Let us know in the comments.

Source: CVG,  MVG

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