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Hirai: Games will “always” need a “physical medium”

Thursday, 26th August 2010 11:25 GMT By Patrick Garratt

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A completely digital future could more than ten years away, PlayStation boss Kaz Hirai has said.

“We do business in parts of the world where network infrastructure isn’t as robust as one would hope,” the exec told MCV.

“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.”

Former Sony dev boss Phil Harrison told Wired in 2006 – as reported by Kotaku – that he’d be “amazed if the PlayStation 4 has a physical disc drive.”

Sony has tested download-only waters recently with PSP go, but without great success. PSP2 is rumoured to be flash memory-only.

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15 Comments

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  1. 2plus2equals5

    Too bad that vg247 doesn’ t use avatars! I like that image! XD

    #1 4 years ago
  2. Blerk

    “Always”? Really, Kaz?

    #2 4 years ago
  3. Johnny Cullen

    “Are you such… a dreeeeeeeeeeamer!”

    #3 4 years ago
  4. freedoms_stain

    It’s impossible to predict right now, but as he says, the ability of networks to cope with a big jump in 4GB+ file downloads will be a big limiting factor.

    I’d be totally willing to go digital as long as there’s competition (like fuck am I paying what MS games on demand are asking) and I could be assured a reasonable transfer speed.

    The concept of the pre-load is also a winner for new releases.

    #4 4 years ago
  5. Herlock

    @2
    “We are doing business not just in the developed nations of the world, but also in parts of the world where network infrastructure isn’t as robust as one would hope for,” he said.

    It about PSP2, but it s the same, hes right, yu need both, yu never have the net everywhere.
    http://www.mcvuk.com/news/40528/Hirai-rules-out-download-only-PSP2

    #5 4 years ago
  6. 2plus2equals5

    Johnny the big brother is watching you! XD
    PS: radiohead rules!

    #6 4 years ago
  7. Gheritt White

    @ 6: Hear hear, they defo do!

    #7 4 years ago
  8. FeaturePreacher

    For once, Kaz says something that makes sense.

    #8 4 years ago
  9. mojo

    “For once, Kaz says something that makes sense.”

    “its ridge Racer. RIIIIIDGE RAAACER!!!”

    well im living in germany, central europe. my best possible connection is a 384kb line. so i guess he has a point :)

    #9 4 years ago
  10. Quiiick

    Widespread 50’000 kilobit connections and consoles with at least 1TB hdd’s are the minimum to go for downloadable games only. Everything below that standard is not realistic.

    #10 4 years ago
  11. OlderGamer

    Not for nothing but I love Digital Downloads.

    I use steam, XBL, and PSN. I buy full games as well as the bite sized stuff.

    And not to sound arrogant but the large markets Asia, NA, and Euro are really where the bread and butter is at. I can easily see the day when DD could be all that matter. Will the game box ever really go away?

    Prolly not for a VERY long time.

    But not just because you like to collect boxes or even because such and such a territory has poor net right now. But instead because if games could be downloaded(in some regions) think of the piracy. In several SA nations they still use NES/SNES/GEN(MD)/PS1 because the games are pirated and sold on counter fit carts/cds. Making them very cheap and easy to obtian. While this practice will still continue into the future on whatever systems are out there, making it so the system can hook up to the net for doanloaded games is like giving a flasher a raincoat.

    I really think this issue has little to do with our already established nations/markets and more to do with emerging markets and trying to control the medium in them.

    In truth I already download more games then I buy at the stores. I know ALOT of people that do. Its cheaper, easier, faster, and my copy won’t get scratched, lost, or otherwise ruined. In most cases I can redownload it when I upgrade my PC/HDD or whatever.

    I have several shelves of old boxes for old systems. I am glad not to do that anymore.

    #11 4 years ago
  12. onlineatron

    @3

    I absolutely KNEW you’d post a lyric!!!

    ‘Oh go and to the king, that the sky is falling in… But it’s not!’

    #12 4 years ago
  13. DrDamn

    @11
    “I really think this issue has little to do with our already established nations/markets and more to do with emerging markets”

    I think that is really the point of his comments right there. Much as I’d also prefer a pure DD system it’s still a way off yet.

    #13 4 years ago
  14. DrDamn

    @11
    “In truth I already download more games then I buy at the stores. I know ALOT of people that do. Its cheaper, easier, faster, and my copy won’t get scratched, lost, or otherwise ruined. In most cases I can redownload it when I upgrade my PC/HDD or whatever.”

    This is the strange thing with the console DD market. It’s not cheaper – and it has even more reason than the PC market to be cheaper. It’s infuriating as I’ll happily pay what I would pay in a shop for a lot of stuff – but often there is a 50% mark-up on the DD version, and I can’t sell that on or bring it to a friends place easily. Example – BatmanAA just appeared on the Live Games on Demand service. It’s been selling at £20 in most shops for some time and even the GoTY edition is down to around that price. The GoD cost is £29.99 though – and that is for the bog standard version.

    #14 4 years ago
  15. OlderGamer

    I use DD on more then just my console tho. The Steam stuff(esp when they do their blowouts) is insanely cheap. And your right about the XB360 games(and psn ones too), they are often times too expensive.

    No need for it.

    I think games on the whole are too expensive.

    But those are mostly the big name full retail games. I buy more Arcade style games. For example, the Arcade of Summer thing where the games run 15usd … some real gems in there. Monday Night Combat, Hydro Thunder. and Laura Croft are freaken excelent. Not only are those games on par qualitywise as many full retail games, but the price points are favorable.

    That is more of what I meant.

    And the thing about DD console sales I loath is the fact that if say Halo Reach or LBP2 launched day and date digitaly and retail the price of each would be the same. But six months later the retail games could likly be found at a reduced price(both used and new). Yet the price of said Digital copy will still be the same as it was when it launched.

    That, at the very heart of it is why the second maket is so strong, and why DD only will struggle in established markets. If the suits that run these things understand and accept that games values depreciate over time, and then allow the games prices to reflect that, DD would flourish.

    But unless we are talking PC, that doesn’t happen. But then again Consoles have always been rip off artisit when it comes to prices. If MS/Sony/Nintendo(and game pubs in general) had their ways games would cost 100usd, plus DLC, plus fees to use em.

    I think one of the apeals of console DD is that those companies feel they have more control over the price points then they do at retail. Go look at the early full game prices on XBL. They were jst stupidly priced. Now many of the games are in that 20usd ballpark. That is resonable(unless you toss in the price of any needed DLC – for MP play)(but that is another rant altogether).

    I see both sides of the DD/retail thingie. But in the end I like DD the most. If the prices are good. Just keep your eyes on Steam to see what I mean. Plug in a wired XB360 control pad and it isn’t much different then playing on a XB360. Esp when you hook your PC upto your HD TV in teh living room.

    #15 4 years ago