You may recall the rumors that LittleBigPlanet would be available in both Blu-Ray and digital download form, although it soon became clear it would only release on the standard Blu-Ray disc format. But we may be shifting to a time when games will no longer be on a disc, and the debate continues to rage.
For Sony's part, while they're aware that digital download may be the wave of the future, they're not quite ready to take all their big-budget blockbuster releases and make them available for purchase at both the retail stores and at the PlayStation Store. According to 1Up, PlayStation Network senior director Susan Panico spoke about the topic at yesterday's Morgan Wedbush Securities New York MAC conference. Said Panico:
"One of the things we found, though, was that the Blu-ray disc experience for marquee games like that [LittleBigPlanet] currently just work better because the consumer wants to go in and get that physical product. They want to go in and get the extra goodies that they get on the disc."
But has anyone considered the possibility that there are long-standing retail relationships involved? Places like GameStop pretty much depend on Sony and other manufacturers for their very survival, and of course, people still do identify a new game with the brick-and-mortar retail experience. Added Panico:
"There's also there's also retailer relationships that we're really sensitive to, and making sure that we're balancing those with the digital distribution content. It's something we're continually looking at on a title-by-title basis."
So while certain titles like SOCOM: U.S. Navy SEALs Confrontation and Burnout Paradise are available on the PSN, don't expect major releases like God of War III to show up as digital downloads. That day may soon come, but fully entrenched traditions don't fall easily, especially when it may not be embraced by veteran gamers… Who knows what tomorrow will bring? It'll be interesting; that's for sure.