The digital revolution is upon us. It's evident with the PlayStation Vita and it'll be even more evident when the PlayStation 4 arrives later this year.

In talking to The Guardian about why Sony didn't show the actual PS4 console at last week's PlayStation Meeting, Sony Worldwide Studios boss Shuhei Yoshida confirmed that every title for their new machine will be available digitally. This is how they approach PlayStation Vita software, by the way.

"We're shifting our platform more and more to the digital side–PS4 will be similar to PS Vita in that every game will be available as a digital download, and some will also be available as a disc. The Witness will be a digital release and because of the flexibility of the digital distribution scheme, we can have more small games that might be free or available for a couple of dollars, or different services like free-to-play or subscription models."

Those hoping physical media never dies may be discouraged at the wording there. It clearly implies that while all games will be available digitally, not all games will be put on a Blu-Ray disc. And as more services and more content become available in the downloadable world, Yoshida said this could result in different options and packages:

"As more and more services and contents become available digitally, we'll have more of an option to create attractive packages. So hypothetically we can look at different models–like a cable TV company.

We could have gold, silver or platinum levels of membership, something like that. We can do subscription services when we have more content–especially now that we have the Gaikai technology available," he added. "With one subscription you have access to thousands of games–that's our dream."

Yes, digital will soon rule. Unfortunately.

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firesoul453
firesoul453
8 years ago

Well I for once still love my disks, although they are not the same without manuals…

There are definitely some good low budget titles that would be best released as a download, but I hope we don't get a shift to those and stray away from full length (disk) games.

bigrailer19
bigrailer19
8 years ago

I was surprised to see a manual for Dishonored.

bigrailer19
bigrailer19
8 years ago

Umm I dont like the subscription idea. I dont like that I may have to pay X amount of dollars to have access to certain games. Thats how he made it sound.

I would rather just buy the games I know I want to play than pay for those by default that I wouldnt.

Im also afraid they will still charge a premium for games but at a discounted price based on your subscription package. And that is just ridiculous. I just went through this with a book subscription service. They wanted a subscription fee and for me to pay for the books. Lame.

WorldEndsWithMe
WorldEndsWithMe
8 years ago

I'm sure you can still buy them separate.

ART359
ART359
8 years ago

I don't like this digital enforcement. I prefer physical media any day. You do guys really think publishers are going to want to miss out from the profits made by Limited/Collectors Edition? Plus, knowing how good games are going to look on the PS4, I bet they require at least 20GB on the hard drive. I really doubt the PS4 will have a huge, lets say 2TB hard drive. People will be tapping them out. And I WILL NOT be playing my game in a cloud. My luck I have Internet problems when I want to play and won't be able too.

TheHighlander
TheHighlander
8 years ago

What digital enforcement, it's a delivery option, just like Vita, you can buy physical or digital, depending on your preference. They already confirmed that used games will play on the thing, so there is no real issue of digital enforcement.

Akuma_
Akuma_
8 years ago

Actually, he said that only 'some' games would be available on physical disc.

Considering we have downloadable games via PSN on the PS3, there really wouldn't be any reason for him to specifically say this unless there was going to be a much more digital focus this time.

I am actually quite shocked, digital services like this are a death wish so to speak, considering the current world broadband infrastructure. I didn't think Sony would do this so soon, and it really does destroy a lot of the hope I had for the PS4.

Sony may make a lot of money from digital, BUT I can guarantee that they are still making a lot more off of physical hardware.

Cesar_ser_4
Cesar_ser_4
8 years ago

I'd put my money on those very many digital titles being the not $60 priced games. I really doubt Sony would want to stop catering to the hardcore gamers by not releasing major console games on physical format.

Gabriel013
Gabriel013
8 years ago

I bought Darksiders 1 last night and it took 4 hours to dl. 4 flaming hours and then because of the download throttling for the rest of the evening I was down to 2mb or less bandwidth. Digital distribution on any grand scale is still a way off so Sony and MS need to be careful about how hard they pitch in that direction.

slugga_status
slugga_status
8 years ago

Don't know if I like the sound of this. I'd prefer my games be on disc. The last part really kind of threw me off. Subscription based services with tiers?! What in the world is wrong with just having PS+? Some of this info is really throwing me off..Hopefully if it's a tiered subscription service then it better deliver…E3 can't come fast enough..

Wonder what the stock HDD space is going to be


Last edited by slugga_status on 2/25/2013 11:34:52 AM

ProfPlayStation
ProfPlayStation
8 years ago

Yes, if games need to be one thing, it's to be more like cable companies. Although I suppose to rob the consumer blind would make sense, from a business perspective.

wambo
wambo
8 years ago

I prefer disks aswell,

wambo
wambo
8 years ago

I don't like the idea of downloading every game, think i'm starting to hate the next gen already

Tim Speed24
Tim Speed24
8 years ago

I wouldn't mind digital if I could buy just the single player version of a game. AND pay half the price, of course. I really don't enjoy the MP side of games.

Underdog15
Underdog15
8 years ago

Since you don't have to buy your games online, you're going to be ok.

Corvo
Corvo
8 years ago

I think the membership options for Gaikai make sense. It would keep it alive. I mean playing ps1, 2, 3, and 4 games for free would break any company. So maybe with Silver or gold you get access to ps1 and 2 games. Platinum gives you access to 1, 2, 3. I don't know but i would probably pay a subscription for something like that. As for the loss of disk… Yeah im kind of on the side of that whole thing.

In some cases i would miss disks but in others i don't think i would care. Something like the last of us i want the disk and not Digital. But for something like Dark souls 2, i wouldn't mind getting it digitally. I don't want disks to be fully taken away but maybe at least give people the option.

dmiitrie
dmiitrie
8 years ago

I'm not sure how viable it would be break up the streaming service across different tiers. My initial thoughts would be something like this:

Tier 1 – basic PSN functionality. Online gaming, Store, social features, etc. free

Tier 2 – PS+. Roughly the same benefits for roughly the same cost.

Tier 3 – Gaikai. As you said, the cost of streaming whole games can quickly become prohibitively expensive. So I see any use of the Gaikai service having a higher cost than PS+.

ChaseHammer
ChaseHammer
8 years ago

Digital sucks. Do people not realize that in what another 10 years (or less) when the servers for PS3 are turned off that you lose everything you have bought? I can still play my NES games 20 years after they moved on. Can you say that about digital PS3/4? Doubt it.

Lord carlos
Lord carlos
8 years ago

it will only be the online aspects that will shut down ie.multiplayer severs,the same applies to disc based games as well!

Gabriel013
Gabriel013
8 years ago

But you may not be able to re-download your game if it's so old. With a disc it's always there whenever you want to stick it in and play.

I know it's because game companies don't want us to be playing old games. They want us to keep buying new ones. Finish them quickly and buy more new ones.

Lord carlos
Lord carlos
8 years ago

I can understand small game studios releasing only digital games,as long the Sony's big name first party studios release on both mediums i'm good.
In any case my ISP offers unlimited downloading,50mb download & 5mb upload for 50 bucks a month…nice

Akuma_
Akuma_
8 years ago

Your one of the lucky ones.

In Australia, the fastest possible internet speed achievable is 30mbps, which is from a cable connection, most people can only get ADSL2+ and that is a maximum of 20mbps, AND that is only if you live next door to the exchange with perfectly optimal conditions in your home.

I live 1.3km from the exchange as the crow flies, with 2km cable length. Optimal conditions would give me 13mbps, however, due to crappy cabling on the street I can only achieve a maximum of 8mbps.

I pay $60AUD for that, plus 200GB download.

Like I said…. the world isn't ready.


Last edited by Akuma_ on 2/25/2013 6:11:21 PM

Lord carlos
Lord carlos
8 years ago

Yeah its crazy how fast the download speed is with upc here in ireland,100mb its at now.
i'll pray to the internet god that australia gets 50mb asap 🙂


Last edited by Lord carlos on 2/25/2013 9:22:25 PM

dmiitrie
dmiitrie
8 years ago

I'm glad that all games will be available to download (and I hope he meas as a simultaneous release), but I'm concerned slightly about his statements regarding subscription. On one hand, I love PS+ and understand that something like Gaikai would have operating costs that necessitate additional fees. On the other hand though, calling the tiers silver, gold, platinum, etc (while common) does invite the XBL comparison. Further comparing yourself to cable companies will do little to ease people's minds that the subscriptions will be positive additions.

I just don't know about it. PS+ proves that Sony possesses the capabilities to have a subscription service that's well received and worth it's cost, but there are so many, many ways to do it wrong.

TheHighlander
TheHighlander
8 years ago

This is just like Vita, I see no issues here.

ryu
ryu
8 years ago

nahhh i like having physical copies,

DjEezzy
DjEezzy
8 years ago

I'm definitely on the fence about this but really i'm not that worried. The gaikai partnership is uber exciting in my opinion. I think this is one of those things where it's an idea they may implement somewhere down the line but not necessarily a day one feature. Also, i honestly don't think they would alienate their fanbase because they want to go entirely digital. I'm pretty sure most main games (AAA) will be disc based as well as downloadable.

Beamboom
Beamboom
8 years ago

It will be interesting to see what happens. The big question is *when* the AAA titles drop physical media altogether. Cause once one distributor decides to, the rest will follow in a snap.

I would not mind that we went all digital (it does have it's clear advantages) if I felt confident that it would not affect price – but I am far from convinced about that.

But sometime during the upcoming generation consoles we will see the end of physical distribution of games.

Akuma_
Akuma_
8 years ago

Unfortunately, your in the small percentage of people who can say that.

Beamboom
Beamboom
8 years ago

Well, there are advantages both in regards to environmental and practical purposes. I think our need to physically store thing is mainly rooted in tradition.

There are many of us who are now used to relate to music as something we don't keep on our shelves and pull out in order to listen to, same with TV series and movies. I don't think gaming will feel that different once we are used to it.

I used to think that I was really attached to game covers and silver disks, but I never buy physical copies of PC games any more even though I *could* – it's just much more handy to have that purchase registered on my Steam account, available forever on whatever PC I might have at any future point in time.


Last edited by Beamboom on 2/26/2013 7:26:43 AM

Caanimal
Caanimal
8 years ago

Hey Beam, who says Steam will ALWAYS be around? Once it goes tits up you lose access to every single game you have through them, and it WILL eventually go away. You also mention all these "clear advantages" yet you haven't said a single one yet.

I'm not one of those that "shuns" or shys away from technology, I have about 75 gigs of music and well over 1.5 TBs of video on my computer, much of which I do not have physical media version of, but I will more than likely never go to digital versions of video games, they are much too big and I enjoy going back and playing some of those older games on the Playstation and older (been playing since Atari 2600 days) to this day. Physical media gaming will NOT disappear this next generation or the generation after that for the simple fact that internet connections SUCK for probably 90%+ of the world, that is FAR too big of a market to be missed out on…

Even on my PC here in the great heartland of the USA I have about a 216mbps wireless connection and that STILL takes me upwards of 3 days to DL some of the 20-40gig series that I DL. I'm not going to wait that long to play a video game when I can drive 10 mins to the nearest store, spend 5-10 mins buying the game I want, then spend 10 mins driving home and another 2 minutes putting the game into my PS3 and starting to paly. Physical copies aren't going anywhere any time soon…

Oh, and the PS4 is supposed to support UP TO a 167mbps(if I remember the stats correctly)DL speed, so those 30-40 gig games are going to take even LONGER then 2-3 days…

Zeronoz
Zeronoz
8 years ago

I would welcome digital copies if its cheaper than the physical copy…That being said, I prefer physically owning a game. I mean nothing can beat the satisfaction of ripping the plastic off and inserting the di– This actually sounds wrong but you get my point, right? Right?

Gabriel013
Gabriel013
8 years ago

I can go with this. But it'd have to be significantly cheaper. With a retail disc I'm looking at £10-£15 trade in value I'd be sacrificing so they'd need to knock that off the asking price. They'd be switching from all the costs associated with retail outlets and their margins to one where they need to cover datacentre charges. I'd expect part of that saving to come off the price too.

As it stands now I can buy new releases in a real store for £40 or pay £60 on the PSN… Yeah, I don't think so.

ulsterscot
ulsterscot
8 years ago

I too like owning a physical disc – but at the same time I like not having to get off my ass to switch discs

I wonder how long it will be before emulation software / disc players come out that lets us play the older PS/Xbox games on the PC

Temjin001
Temjin001
8 years ago

Being a dude who doesn't have a local gaming shop this is nice to know; though, I hope Sony keeps the HDD user-swappable because I can only imagine how massive some games can become when we're dealing with 8GB footprints. I mean seriously, anything less than a half a TB would fill up real real quick with a digital library of games.

Lord carlos
Lord carlos
8 years ago

Where do ya live?a ninja training school in the secret mountains of japan?antarctica?underwater??


Last edited by Lord carlos on 2/25/2013 4:18:52 PM

Temjin001
Temjin001
8 years ago

yah, pretty much but within the continental USA. The only place I could reasonably get videogames from in this place was from a blockbuster rental store that just went out of business. Now it's something of a trip to get to a nearest gaming shop. Only like 20-25min, but it's a pain and the roads aren't always nice.

Lord carlos
Lord carlos
8 years ago

thats lame about the store closing down!
Amazon that sh!t in,let some delivery guy brave the mountain pass 🙂

LimitedVertigo
LimitedVertigo
8 years ago

I like having options, I see nothing negative about this.

Lord carlos
Lord carlos
8 years ago

Lets say god of war 4 is 49gig on a dual layered disc and is relased on both disc and download at the same time,does that mean games will take longer to release while devs compress the download file as much as possible??
Also even with unlimited bandwidth and 50mb download speed it'll still take about a day to download whatever they manage to compress it to!
You'd have to real lazy to not just cycle/drive or even walk to your local game retailer.


Last edited by Lord carlos on 2/25/2013 4:15:16 PM

Roach721
Roach721
8 years ago

Another thing now you have to deal with more crap in case you loose your media somehow like quantity you get like when you buy a PSN game or when switching systems. I have 70 plus digital PSN games and I don't want to ever loose those even if I don't have my PS3. I would like to sell them to my friends and family some day in one more year I should have more than 150 I have paid for 90% of them.

WorldEndsWithMe
WorldEndsWithMe
8 years ago

At the conference they told us you will be able to start playing your games as soon as you begin the download.

Axe99
Axe99
8 years ago

This sounds all good to me. I'm sure that they'll continue to produced box copies for AAA games as long as they're making money from them, so as long as collectors keep buying, they'll keep making them. As for the titles that only release digitally, its already the case that numerous PSN games are only available digitally, and it seems to work just fine. For the more popular ones, we may see disk-based compilations a la the thatgamecompany release that was produced, or the 'Move games' compilation.

This just sounds like the next stage in the evolution of games delivery. Personally, I go digital as much as I can to reduce the environmental impact of my activity, and I'll be happy that I'll be able to do this for all my games next gen – now I've just gotta make sure I can get a 1TB drive to go with my PS4 :).

Roach721
Roach721
8 years ago

1 TB isn't going to be know where close to the storage your going to need if everything is digital and more media type stuff ect. ect. I have a 350 Gig ps3 after only a few months of Plus membership some cd and pictures and I'm almost full. Sony is starting to sound more like Microsoft… at least all the things I don't like about Microsoft seem to be on the PS4 all of a sudden. I'm sure some of you have thought that too.

Akuma_
Akuma_
8 years ago

I know what you mean Roach….

Got my 320GB Slim 2 years ago. I thought that was PLENTY of space. Then PSN+ came out.

In the last year I have gone from 250GB free space…. to about 1GB free.

Damn Sony and their enticing PSN+!!!

Axe99
Axe99
8 years ago

It's nowhere what I'll need if I want to have access to everything all of the time, but I normally only play 2-3 games at once, with a couple more around for random MP games. At the moment, I have a 160GB HDD in my PS3, and it's rocking:

Deus Ex: HR
Bulletstorm
Resident Evil 5
Virtua Fighter 5: FE
Motorstorm Apocalypse
Borderlands 2 plus DLC
F1 Race Stars

When I've finished most of those, I'll delete them, and install the next games I get. I do find it's a bit tight on 160GB, but that's hardly surprising (it's the same HDD I've had since the PS3 launched, if I'd have put it in more recently, I'd've gone for 320GB).

And 20-odd other PSN games, as well as got the installs and patches for BF3, Skyrim and a good deal of other sizeable games, about around 12GB of music, and a few small videos. Sure, games'll be bigger, but 1TB should do me just fine.

If you really do play every game you own regular-like, then I'd go for 2 TB though, as you'll need more space, but with a little HDD management, you can normally make do with a good deal less :).

Roach721
Roach721
8 years ago

I don't know about you guys but for me personally I hate subscriptions of any kind the more there are the more bullshit plain and simple. It always means having to fork out more cash great corporate move bad for us consumers.

WorldEndsWithMe
WorldEndsWithMe
8 years ago

You won't have to fork over anything if you don't want the service.

Roach721
Roach721
8 years ago

Or miss out on everything…I like PLUS but three diffrent ones?thers no need for that. Don't bite off of Microsoft thats why I stayed away from that system or one small reason anyway,now your getting into small details who gets what for what amount?? I hope most of the stuff is still free,doesn't sound like it will be though.

WorldEndsWithMe
WorldEndsWithMe
8 years ago

I understand all this, and even that physical media will die one day, but DRM is scary. It means you won't own the things you own, even now you don't technically own it you own a license to play it but at least you have your disc. Some day they will be able to digitally burn these games without your consent like they do with certain E-books.