PS4 games are going digital, packages a future option

3 min read


Hands up, how many of you have downloaded an entire game over the magic of the interwebz? Yep, pretty much all of you. It’s not too hard to imagine game purchases becoming a more digital affair in the years to come, at least in nations with a better online infrastructure at least. Cutting out the middle man and grabbing some more profit is pretty much a dream for developers and publishers, and it right now, it’s an idea that Sony is going to pursue with the Playstation 4.

Speaking to the Guardian, Sony Worldwide Studios president Shuhei Yoshida explained how the shift to a more digital storefront for Sony came about, as every single PS4 game released in the future will also be available as a digital download. “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,” Shuhei said.

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. 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. With one subscription you have access to thousands of games – that’s our dream.

Which eerily sounds much like the movie service Netflix. A service where you don’t own any of the thousands of movies and TV episodes available, but you still have the option to watch said streaming content whenever you want, provided that your subscription is paid and up to date. I’d bet a large amount of cash contained in a bag with a big dollar sign on it that in the next ten years, we’ll see games going into that direction.

Read  Duncan Jones' Mute to be released on Netflix next month

Last Updated: February 25, 2013

Darryn Bonthuys

Something wrong gentlemen? You come here prepared to read the words of a madman, and instead found a lunatic obsessed with comics, Batman and Raul Julia's M Bison performance in the 1994 Street Fighter movie? Fine! Keep your bio! In fact, now might be a good time to pray to it!

  • Admiral Chief Erwin

    Anybody else have a babelas from PS news? Cuz I sure have :-

    • Now you know how we feel with your PC rants 😉

      • Admiral Chief Erwin

        Its not a rant if its TRUE

      • We will remember this day when you have purchased a PC4….er PS4

        • You don’t even know the full story, so don’t pretend to know what I’m talking about. Erwin trolls everything that’s not got to do with PC. My comment is not aimed at PS4 or PC, it’s aimed at his incessant rants and trolls.

  • Sir Rants-a-Lot Llew

    Well, there goes the South African market with our crappy interwebz

  • Banana Jim

    I have, but I don’t like it. I’d rather have a disk in my hand and a plastic case littering my man cave… as Nature intended…

    • Sean Carbutt

      I must agree with the Banana on this one. We desire something “tangible” as opposed to pure virtual. My big issue with Sony and this dl stuff is this, there is no price incentive to buy digital games, they are the same as the physical disks. The second one is that quite a few of the downloaded games only work if your Plus membership is active, so again, a money making scheme.

      • e1ace

        But it you look at the worth of PSN+ it’s even better for the gamers. This month I was able to get Sleeping Dogs for free and next month is Mass Effect 3. And all they ask for is less than R500 a year (which with discounts and free month specials you can easily get it for < R400). Well worth the trouble.

      • Major Commodore 64 Darryn B

        Good points, and I agree that pricing and ownership issues need to be sorted out for this idea to really work. But is it really so bad to pay a once-off fee for a years content? Balance that with the price of games today, and it might not be so bad.

  • Jantex

    It is basically essentially to keep physical media at least for the time being because only 8/100 people in the world have a stable connection and only 4/100 have enough bandwidth to download quickly.

  • Willem Swanepoel

    Going digital means 2nd hand games are out of the window else if they allowed a transfer option which I dont think they will add

  • Sir Captain Rincethis

    I don’t like this idea at all. I have read numerous people who say that after a few years they try re-download content (read games in the future) and because the terms between companies have changed they are not allowed access to content they have ALREADY PURCHASED. Give me a damn disc any day.

  • Rez61

    Most of game library for PS3 is digital (I only bought it last year). Older games (even games out a few months are going really cheap on PSN and even free on PSN+). However day one purchases will still go to Takealot and Kalahari because they are always cheaper than the RRP which PSN chooses to charge. If they start pricing games competitively from day 1 then I don’t see my self buying any physical games especially with the news that you can download the first part immediately to start playing.

  • Decembermaloy

    I had a dream last night and while driving on ym way to work. In this dream we don’t own anything, everything belongs to the cloud. Any game we purchase belongs in the cloud, and is owned by the company that sold the game to you. Maybe we didn’t see a PS4 because there isn’t a machine, maybe the PS4 is just the culmination of services, and all games are played through the internet.

  • Linda King

    Every year we are eager for the revolutionary video game works being able to deliver people amazed. Many of us likewise hope how the video game is usually developed sequel. PS4 digital video game is additionally just like which.

  • kevin

    they are not thinking about this the right way i mean yes it cuts out the middle man making them more money but in the long run they are losing it most people are having it hard to even get by in life and some with no internet to even buy and download games for the system so at the same time they are cutting half of their profit from people not being able to afford the system and everything for it id say they need to just make the games on disk and charge for online accounts like mircosoft if they want extra profit people are already going to have to buy new tvs and everything from what ive heard to even run the screen resolution on this new system but what ever good luck with this idea is all i got to say

Check Also

Get XCOM 2, DOOM and more great games for cheap in the PlayStation digital zone sale

They say that January is the cheapest month of the year, what with many a consumer barely …