Home Gaming Sony: gamers want to buy retail

Sony: gamers want to buy retail

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If we were to believe Microsoft (before their 180), everyone has an internet connection and is living with their data in the cloud.  While this may be true for some, Sony acknowledges that most gamers still prefer to go to their local store and buy their games on disc.

Guy Longworth, Sony’s senior VP in charge of the PlayStation brand marketing in America, explained that digital distribution is going to be an important part of next-gen gaming.  However, he says it’s not the only means of distribution:

“What we try to do is offer a relatively level playing field and let the gamers decide. We’re not trying to advantage them, we believe in consumer choice. It’s clear that the vast majority of the people want to go down to GameStop or Best Buy, they don’t want to buy it online right now. How that might change in the future is kind of hard to predict. People might be quite surprised, I think physical games will be around a lot longer than some people think.”

I hope that physical games will carry on indefinitely.  Sure, I can download my games instead, but it’s nice to have all my games lined up to show off to visitors and lend to friends.  Also, my collector’s editions have a very special place in my heart.  Like a little kid, I can’t help but show off all my fancy, expensive toys.

However, then it comes to movies, tv and music.  When a favorite series is complete, I’ll generally buy a fancy box-set, but until that point, I’m more than happy with digital distribution.  Here, Sony is also looking to make use of it’s inherent advantage:

“It’s Kaz Hirai’s strategy. He’s been CEO now for a year, he comes from a a gaming background and he’s an incredibly smart guy. His strategy is One Sony, and you can’t get any more compelling proposition than Andy House [group CEO of Sony Computer Entertainment] reporting straight in to Kaz and Michael Lynton, the two of them on stage together saying we are going to do this.”

“We are wildly excited about this because we think that’s a big differentiator for us.  We don’t have to go out and buy studios and content. We have them already; we have the biggest movie business in the world. We have a huge TV business and a big music business.”

I suppose Microsoft will have an advantage when it comes to operating systems and software, whereas Sony will have it with content (in this regard).  I’m curious to see how this plays out.

I still primarily buy my console games retail, yet PC games I download.  I think it might also be a case of “size matters”.  Digital downloads of PS3 games are generally at least 25GB.  This means that with slow connection speeds, capped internet and other issues that persist for most people, digital distribution just isn’t viable at this point.  Who knows what the future will bring, but I think I will be buying plenty more TV cabinets for storage space.  Is your collection primarily physical or digital?

Last Updated: June 25, 2013

42 Comments

  1. Sir Rants-a-Lot Llew

    June 25, 2013 at 14:50

    I purchase physical. The reason is time and data. Games are well above the 10gb mark as of late (AAA titles) and so it is just not viable for me to go digital

    Reply

    • Admiral Chief Groot Wors

      June 25, 2013 at 14:53

      Unless its a Steam special, I want my physical schtuffs dammit!

      Reply

    • Argentil

      June 25, 2013 at 14:53

      In the new Bluray generation, we will definitely see more 50GB games. A lot of Sony’s exclusives are massive.

      Reply

      • Sir Rants-a-Lot Llew

        June 25, 2013 at 15:00

        And let’s be honest. What ISP is going to be ok with huge downloads like that on a massive scale? Because it won’t be one user but rather many users on that ISP’s network. The downloads will have to be shaped just to keep network integrity in check

        Reply

        • Argentil

          June 25, 2013 at 15:06

          Throttling is not kewl man. And that’s without even considering HDD capacity constraints. 10 x 50GB games would fill a PS4/Xbox One hdd. I don’t like deleting games.

          Reply

          • Sir Rants-a-Lot Llew

            June 25, 2013 at 15:09

            Not at all. But what other choice will ISPs have if their networks are being killed due to so many gamers downloading 25GB+ games

          • Argentil

            June 25, 2013 at 15:17

            Well, it’s not a matter of limiting consumers, but updating infrastructure to match demand. If your service isn’t meeting consumer demand, upgrade it.

          • Sir Rants-a-Lot Llew

            June 25, 2013 at 15:27

            Upgrades for such demands can cost millions. Remember that while you pay one price for your uncapped your ISP has to pay for every gig. Including IPC interconnect costs etc. Theres a lot of background costs that are exponential for ISPs

          • Argentil

            June 25, 2013 at 15:34

            Here’s the thing, I would pay for a 100GB Unshaped account. I would pay R1 000 for that. Afrihost offer a 10MB/s, 50GB Unshaped option for R800 /w rental included, and the service is great. If the cap were bigger, I would take it in a heartbeat.

          • Sir Rants-a-Lot Llew

            June 25, 2013 at 17:36

            Lol. I wish I had that kind of cash lying around. Sadly the reality is I don’t.

  2. Captain Minion TallTwit

    June 25, 2013 at 14:51

    Same here.

    Reply

  3. Argentil

    June 25, 2013 at 14:52

    Yes, we do. It’s nice to have choice. It will take me a long time to transition away from my physical collection of games sitting on my shelves.

    Reply

  4. Lord Chaos

    June 25, 2013 at 14:53

    Same here. Installing from disc is a hell of a lot quicker and it also feels more satisfying.

    And having physical special edds are also so much better.

    Reply

    • John Ambitious

      June 25, 2013 at 16:15

      Yes. My game shelf is somewhat special to me. A cloud or a steam library can’t really replace that.

      Reply

  5. HvR

    June 25, 2013 at 14:55

    I use a combination.

    Free or great special I’ll buy digital.

    Most of my physical copies I buy from online retailers though (takealot and dion wired online specials FTW).

    Reply

    • Argentil

      June 25, 2013 at 14:59

      Ja, I buy my PC games over steam, occasionally physically if there are incentives to do so.
      Owning a physical disk is almost like owning a book though. There’s a great sense of satisfaction that comes with have a physical reminder of your collection.

      Reply

      • HvR

        June 25, 2013 at 15:05

        If they give me a proper incentive (25% discount) to buy digital I will probably buy less physical copies.

        Reply

        • Alex Hicks

          June 25, 2013 at 15:07

          They do. It’s called the [insert time of year here] steam sale. You do have to be patient and sit way behind the curve though … still waiting for my wishlist to hit the 75% off stage … which isn’t viable if you’re into the whole competitive multiplayer stuff.

          Reply

          • Sir Rants-a-Lot Llew

            June 25, 2013 at 15:10

            I think he meant at launch 😉

          • HvR

            June 25, 2013 at 15:10

            That is what I do as well Steam and PS+ freebies and big sales. But if they sell new releases for 25% less, basically pass on the saving on shipping, disc manufacturing, shop rental etc.

            Apparently (heard on a podcast) big US retailers stop Sony and MS from underselling them by threatening to stop console sales.

          • Argentil

            June 25, 2013 at 15:16

            That’s underhanded.

            We can rest easy knowing brick-and-mortar stores will go the way of the video store in a decade though. As much as it sucks for business owners and job provision, we really need to get rid of the leverage retailers hold over the industry.

  6. Jim Lenoir (Banana Jim)

    June 25, 2013 at 15:06

    As a collector, I approve of this message!

    Reply

  7. Warren Ross

    June 25, 2013 at 15:11

    I like buying a physical copy, but almost every game I’ve bought lately which is linked to Steam has some huge update or another which I have to download before I play.

    In the case of games like Shogun 2 and Space Marine, Steam downloaded pretty much the entire game immediately after disk installs. Frustrating. In such cases it would have been simpler to buy the damn thing digitally in the first place.

    Reply

  8. Tosa

    June 25, 2013 at 15:30

    I like to buy retail, especially for console. However I don’t mind digital downloads on PC. One of the biggest reasons for the difference between the two is storage space. On PC I have terrabytes of space and can backup games through Steam for example. Which makes OS re-installation and restoration of games easy and quick.

    On console it’s a problem with storage space less than 1 terrabyte at least. And seeing as games and other digital content are getting bigger the future looks even worse. On console when your storage space runs out you have to delete and then if you want to play the game again you have to download it all over and wait forever.

    I can only see a full digital download future (for consoles at least) if our internet connections are minimum 100mbps and more so that deletion and installation of digital content in relative terms mimics the installation time of a dics installation.

    Reply

  9. Sageville

    June 25, 2013 at 15:30

    Who also bought Starcraft 2 – Heart of the Swarm?

    The entire DVD contained a single 2mb file.

    I felt cheated, still needed to download the whole thing again, had I known I would have gone digital if the prices were the same.

    Reply

  10. Trevor Davies

    June 25, 2013 at 15:48

    Luckily I have a decent line @ home, so for me it’s just a matter of which one is cheaper – Steam or physical.

    Reply

    • FoxOneZA - X-Therminator

      June 25, 2013 at 15:52

      Steam not so cheap after the fall of the Rand 🙁

      Reply

      • Argentil

        June 25, 2013 at 15:53

        It’s going to be a paltry Christmas Sale this year. I will likely end up buying half of what I usually would f the rand keeps up its nonsense.

        Reply

        • Trevor Davies

          June 25, 2013 at 16:12

          In a way that makes it easier, there’s always so much temptation.

          Reply

  11. FoxOneZA - X-Therminator

    June 25, 2013 at 15:52

    “We have them already; we have the biggest movie business in the world. We have a huge TV business and a big music business.”

    LOL… and yet investors are telling Sony to spin-off their entertainment business because it’s simply not profitable enough. Reading an article on the history of Sony and why they were so successful I came across the fact that Sony used to manufacture their own silicon and microchips. That’s all gone in the way side now as the company is relying heavily on the successful PS brand. Sony’s doesn’t even manufacture their own TV’s anymore. Most of it are assembled in Chinese factories.

    Reply

    • Trevor Davies

      June 25, 2013 at 16:16

      Investors who are only interested in short-term gain for themselves, not what’s good (possibly) for the company or its customers in the long-term. I despise the term shareholder value because it’s mostly used as a euphemism for greed.

      Reply

      • FoxOneZA - X-Therminator

        June 25, 2013 at 16:31

        I don’t think Mr Loeb is only in it for the money. He has already turned Yahoo’s income upwards by 50 percent. His strategy is simple. Sony does an IPO on the stock market for it’s entertainment division with Kaz still at the helm.

        Reply

    • HvR

      June 25, 2013 at 16:21

      No they own 7 or 8 semiconductor plants and assembly factories outside Japan and 6 i think within Japan.

      The reason for hard times is that they ahve always been way over valued and that they lost the market leader position in so many of its markets (gaming, entertainment and mobile)

      Reply

  12. John Ambitious

    June 25, 2013 at 16:15

    I get you man.

    Reply

  13. Daryl Eksteen

    June 25, 2013 at 20:19

    Consoles – It honestly feels like Sony are the only one’s listening to gamers…Microsoft seem to want to do their own sh#t IMO. Respect to Sony.

    Reply

  14. Uberutang

    June 26, 2013 at 09:30

    And then there is a day one 9 GIG patch 😛

    Reply

  15. Kromas

    June 26, 2013 at 13:18

    I got a 3 step program.Remote into my pc at home from work. Buy the game and start the download. Get home and play it.

    And lately I have 2 more steps.
    Play 10 minutes. Switch to DayZ Origins.

    Edit: Does not count for Collectors Editions.

    Reply

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