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Epic Fail: PSP Go
No PSP Go style download only content for the PS4

With the digital movie and rental markets starting to transition to streaming rentals and digital downloads for purchases, many expect the same thing to happen with the video game market. The problem with streaming video game services such as OnLive is that lag and the quality of the internet connection can make the games unplayable.

Sony's PSP Go so far has been a failure. This was Sony's first attempt at a download only game console and the Go was met with very mixed consumer reactions. Some stores even refused to carry the console. A Sony executive once proclaimed that he would be surprised if the PS4 had a physical optical drive. That proclamation may have led many to expect the PS4 to be more like the PSP Go than the current PS3.

Apparently, Sony has learned some lessons and Kaz Hirai has offered up a few factoids that point to physical media being integral to the PS4. Hirai said, "We do business in parts of the world where network infrastructure isn't as robust as one would hope." He continued saying, "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."

Despite the fact that there will apparently by a physical optical drive for media in the future Sony console, downloadable game sales are booming. A recent report from the NPD group claims that almost half of all video games purchased in 2009 were online downloads. It appears that both physical and download games will continue to be important for consoles in the near future. NPD Group reported that in 2009, 23.5 million games were sold in the U.S. at retail and 21.3 million were purchased online.

Presumably, that would count games purchased for smartphones from the App Store and other smartphone markets.



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Let Me Own It!
By DtTall on 8/26/2010 11:20:33 AM , Rating: 5
My biggest problem with all digital is that when you buy the item, what exactly do you own? I cannot resell a downloaded game. I cannot lend it to a friend. It is simply sunk money. This is a huge problem if the game sucks; I am just out the money.

And then there is the whole issue of what happens when a company wants to edit a game (hot coffee anyone) or pull the whole game(as Amazon did with ebooks). On top of all that we see companies starting to want you to pay to 'activate' a used game (EA sports).

While it is nice to have a download as an option, the price points and risks are just too high (for me) to only 'own' a digital copy.




RE: Let Me Own It!
By Motoman on 8/26/2010 11:27:21 AM , Rating: 4
Yes. And similarly, with any game or DRM system that requires you to be online to "check in" with the main server is another atrocious problem. What if you don't have internet service at that point, and then can't play your (locally installed) game? Or some time in the future when the manufacturer gets tired of having that server running?

Bah.


RE: Let Me Own It!
By Lerianis on 8/26/2010 3:26:31 PM , Rating: 3
Some judges have said that if there was a lawsuit over that, they would order that once the servers were taken DOWN? They would order that the game makers had to make a 'patch' that REMOVED the DRM while allowing you to still play the game in question.


RE: Let Me Own It!
By zephyrprime on 8/26/2010 5:18:06 PM , Rating: 3
HA ha ha. What about games like WOW that can't even be played without a server? And what if the game company goes bankrupt? How can any legal judgement be enforced then?


RE: Let Me Own It!
By invidious on 8/26/2010 6:14:55 PM , Rating: 2
Your argument has nothing to do with video games. How is this any different from buying other services that require up front investment? Any time you buy something with the intent of taking advantage of a service above and beyond the physical product itself there is a risk that the service might be discontinued. Does that stop you from buying a cell phone or a GPS?


RE: Let Me Own It!
By sviola on 8/26/2010 12:52:50 PM , Rating: 4
quote:
My biggest problem with all digital is that when you buy the item, what exactly do you own? I cannot resell a downloaded game. I cannot lend it to a friend. It is simply sunk money. This is a huge problem if the game sucks; I am just out the money.


Well, I've read somewhere that there is already a "used game market" running in Steam. Some gamers are creating one-game accounts where they can buy a game when launched and then, after they finish the game, they sell the account on e-bay or other auction site for a smaller price than Steam and recoup some of the money they spent in the first place.


RE: Let Me Own It!
By gamerk2 on 8/26/2010 3:44:18 PM , Rating: 3
Technically, you only "license" the game; you don't OWN anything.


RE: Let Me Own It!
By xxsk8er101xx on 8/27/2010 12:41:15 AM , Rating: 2
Kind of like streaming movies. You stream it, watch it, you don't own it. That's where it's all going.


*ow*
By Motoman on 8/26/2010 11:13:44 AM , Rating: 5
quote:
PlayStation 4 Will Have Still Physical Media Capabilities


...can someone please change that to "Still Have?" You just made my brainmeats hurt.




RE: *ow*
By xprojected on 8/26/2010 12:10:42 PM , Rating: 5
Better to have still physical media than to have physical media running around your room! Much easier to grab when it's still.


RE: *ow*
By SilentSin on 8/26/2010 12:31:31 PM , Rating: 2
Be still my spinning disc.

Maybe he just means it will use SD cards/memory sticks(please dear god get rid of those) instead of discs?


RE: *ow*
By stephenbrooks on 8/26/2010 7:03:26 PM , Rating: 3
That's what I thought "still physical media" meant - in fact I came to this article excitedly thinking that the PS4 was going to take holographic storage crystals.


RE: *ow*
By quiksilvr on 8/27/2010 8:22:46 AM , Rating: 3
Here are my predictions for the PS4:

1) They will probably just stick a Blu ray drive onto the system. Seriously, by the time it comes out, those drives will not be a driving factor in the price of the system.

2) They will (and I hope they will) still use the same CPU and GPU architecture they did in the past, just simply a much faster system (quad core Cell anyone?)

3) That weird AV out thing will disappear as will the optical TOSLINK port.

4) HDMI MIGHT be still on it, but the new Ethernet standard might replace it by then.

5) A new back up system will be done. PS1 games will finally be fully digital download and the push for PS2 digital download will finally move forward. People can put their DVDs in it and completely backup the system and never worry about the DVD. This won't be the case for the PS3, but you still we be able to save the game onto the HDD.

6) The HDD will be at least 1 TB. It just has to be if they plan on pushing digital downloads.


RE: *ow*
By Denithor on 8/27/2010 3:01:33 PM , Rating: 2
Really? A whole quad-core Cell?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cell_(microprocessor)

Please do some reading...

Cell is already an octo-core processor! One unit disabled (to improve yields) and one reserved for OS functions. Leaving six cores for gaming goodness.


RE: *ow*
By sviola on 8/26/2010 12:45:36 PM , Rating: 3
lol


RE: *ow*
By Metroid on 8/26/2010 12:47:33 PM , Rating: 1
Not only your brain. I had to do a damage control because of this. It's amazing to see that an article at Dailytech contains errors like this, unacceptable as or in a title to say the least.


LOL
By kattanna on 8/26/2010 10:17:21 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Hirai said, "We do business in parts of the world where network infrastructure isn't as robust as one would hope."


LOL he's obviously referring to america, and i agree, it isnt as robust as i'd like it to see either.




RE: LOL
By SavagePotato on 8/26/2010 1:24:28 PM , Rating: 2
This is what happens when you roll out a product based around the network infrastructures of places like Japan and Korea without considering the network infrastructure of the target market.

How they executives that thought this was an idea who's time had come arrived at this conclusion I can not fathom. Other than simple and complete ignorance of anything beyond their own countries broadband capabilities.

It's not just America either, America is simply the largest and most influential market involved. Canada is right there too with America in terms of broadband speeds or lack thereof. As are many other less speed blessed nations.

The executives that think these bright ideas up frequently need a crash course in reality in my opinion.


RE: LOL
By marvdmartian on 8/27/2010 9:15:27 AM , Rating: 2
Typical Japanese smugness to their own (imagined) superiority.

Don't bother introducing facts as to why you'll still have a certain feature (physical media), simply give a backhanded insult to those who keep your sorry butt in business by buying your product.

Guess they forgot that it's likely much easier to have a robust network infrastructure when your country is only about the size of California, huh??


RE: LOL
By kattanna on 8/27/2010 11:03:23 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Guess they forgot that it's likely much easier to have a robust network infrastructure when your country is only about the size of California, huh??


yep. thats one thing that always makes me chuckle when you see those "most connected" lists of countries.


RE: LOL
By somedude1234 on 8/27/2010 12:22:35 PM , Rating: 2
I've heard this geography argument before, and I don't get it.

If you're talking about the whole of the USA or Canada, the argument makes sense. But this still doesn't explain the utter craptitude that is the broadband market in nearly every large urban center in both countries.

Why is it that in the heart of NYC, LA, Chicago, etc. I can't get anything REMOTELY CLOSE to the speeds that are available in Tokyo, Seoul, etc. for REMOTELY CLOSE to a reasonable price?

By repeating the "density" excuse, all we're doing is giving our monopoly/duopoly telecoms a free pass for keeping us in the telecom stone age.


remeber kids....
By bissimo on 8/26/2010 11:06:54 AM , Rating: 2
downloading content with no way to make a back-up is the same as renting. I absolutely love cracking my old NES out (yes, mine still works) every now and again. I can still play those games because I OWN them. Why pay full price for a download? Reduce the cost by the amount that manufacturing, distribution and retail mark-up cost and you've got a winner.




RE: remeber kids....
By sprockkets on 8/26/2010 3:11:21 PM , Rating: 2
So what happens when your cartridges and NES die? Then you have to buy the game again, if possible. My Zelda Majora's mask for the N64 no longer works - it no longer saves games properly.

At least with Steam I can install (and I've done this) my games on 3 different computers without any complaints.

Trade offs, trade offs.


RE: remeber kids....
By Lerianis on 8/26/2010 3:32:54 PM , Rating: 5
No, at that point you GET AN EMULATOR and download the things for use on your computer! That is what I did recently.


I like downloading...
By MrBlastman on 8/26/2010 10:33:15 AM , Rating: 2
But, there are times where I still like to have the physical media. A part of me still worries about what will happen 10 years after release and I want to play an older game again to enjoy all the modded content (some old games like Freespace 2 are mind-blowing now, as is also Wing Commander Standoff, a mod to the Prophecy engine). If I did not have access to the old media, I'd be up a creek unless I wanted to risk the torrent sites.

I also have one other problem with downloaded content, well, particularly Steam. I love Steam. I think it is great and is an excellent platform for PC gaming. However, it has one gigantic flaw--it requires you to store all game data on one single partition under the valve directory. This is a huge flaw when people like myself are partition maniacs to reduce the chances of having one drive or one partition contain all my information. I find myself having to shuffle other content off of the valve partition just so I can have more room for downloaded content.

There are other services that have addressed this, but, I would really like to see it addressed by the robust platforms as well. As for console gaming--I've only downloaded one game ever for a console and that was for my PSP. I just had to have the newest remake of Thexder (it is excellent, btw, even if it is more a port of the MSX version of it rather than the PC version--which is harder).




RE: I like downloading...
By DanNeely on 8/26/2010 10:56:35 AM , Rating: 2
I'm not sure about Steam or Direct2Drive, but Impulse and GamersGate have options to cache the installer on your PC to allow reinstalling without redownloading.


RE: I like downloading...
By schrodog on 8/26/2010 1:26:28 PM , Rating: 2
Steam allows you to backup your downloaded media onto discs or a hard drive. I don't know about Direct2Drive.


RE: I like downloading...
By LordanSS on 8/26/2010 2:04:19 PM , Rating: 2
D2D pretty much lets you download an "image" file of the game's media.

It's not an image per se, the download goes to a folder and all the installation files necessary are in there. If you want, you can burn that folder into optical media, but some stuff is just way too big for single-layer DVDs (ok for Double Layer but those cost much more).

Depending on the game I plan on buying, I end up choosing D2D or Steam, it varies. Steam is nice because I can keep in touch with several of my friends, through the Overlay (doesn't work well with all games that were not purchased through Steam, can glitch sometimes). Also, some games I can only find on D2D and not Steam, or vice versa, because of crap ass publisher limitations regarding regions... so many games don't get released for South America, it's sad. =/


Not there yet...
By dustya340 on 8/26/2010 10:20:21 AM , Rating: 3
Download speeds need to go up and ISPs need to ditch caps if the physical-media free future is ever going to become reality. Stream a few high def movies and tv shows and download a few games and your bumping your head on the cap.




RE: Not there yet...
By Nfarce on 8/26/2010 12:55:53 PM , Rating: 2
I was just about to bring that point up. ISPs have been dealing with bandwidth issues for some time by offering users with different speed/bandwidth access packages. But everyone gets hit with caps eventually. I can totally see however the future being physical-media free.

Maybe those of us who still like physical media are becoming the behind-the-times people like those who still buy and read print newspapers and magazines today. Who knows? All I know is that I like to look at my physical Blu-Rays, DVDs, and PS3 gaming disc cases in the entertainment storage rack, and I like to have a hard copy of what I own for easy backup/restoring needs. I don't even want to fathom having to re-download future Blu-Rays or whatever again to a media server that crapped out (at least the PS3 makes a backup/restore easy with current data on it).


RE: Not there yet...
By Lerianis on 8/26/2010 3:30:08 PM , Rating: 2
Agreed. The fact is that every month lately, I have found that I am going over to coming EXTREMELY close to Comcast's 250GB cap.

For some reason though, I never get a phone call from them complaining about that...... hmm.... might be because the last time in 2006 they called me, I pointed out how much I was spending with them, that I would switch to someone else if they didn't shut their yaps about my bandwidth usage AND advise all my family and friends to switch to satellite.

After that? No more phone calls! Now, I AM downloading a little less today but I'm viewing a lot more movies and music online through Rhapsody and Hulu!


Is this a surprise?
By theapparition on 8/26/2010 12:07:02 PM , Rating: 5
Of course it will have physical media.

Your talking about Sony, the company that has introduced 100X more proprietary media formats than any other company in existance.




By SixSpeedSamurai on 8/26/2010 5:27:41 PM , Rating: 2
I think music has flourished in digital format because it's smaller and easy to put on so many other forms of media. If your iPod or whatever crashes, you probably still have all the muscic on a HDD at a minimum.

Games and movies are large and difficult to transfer to other forms of media. If you switch content providers, it's almost impossible to transfer movies you have bought.
I'd rather have my casefull of Blu-Rays I can recommend and loan to friends than a hard drive full of provider controlled movies.




Er.. nO!
By Belard on 8/27/2010 9:37:52 AM , Rating: 2
Even Nintendo is going media-less with future game boys.

The reason the PSPGo is FAIL is based on common sense and stupidity.

1 - While it looks cool and compact, you still have to SLIDE it open to actually use it for games.

2 - Price... The Go is $100~120 more expensive than a regular PSP. ($260 vs $170)

3 - Price, Nintendo costs less. $190 for the DS, dual larger screens, WAN, etc...




Is an optical drive needed ?
By Silver2k7 on 8/29/2010 4:30:40 AM , Rating: 2
What about SDXC cards if they can potentially hold 1TB on a small card. Why not use something like this for the games ?
Im guessing that having games on SDXC cards there would also be the ability to make a smaller console.

I guess they could go for the new multi layer Blu-Ray XL with up to 128GB, but well SDXC would still hold the crown for potential to someday make a 1TB game :)




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