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  (Source: hometheater.com)
Sony has decided to stick with the optical disk drive option instead of a download-only plan for its next PlayStation console

While many forms of entertainment, such as music and movies, are heading toward a digital-only format, Sony declined a download-only setup for its upcoming successor to the PlayStation 3.

According to The Wall Street Journal, Sony has decided to stick with the optical disk drive option instead of a download-only plan for its next PlayStation console. This is a somewhat surprising move, considering the lucrative business that all-digital gaming platforms like Apple and Google's mobile operating systems employ via applications, but Sony has its reasons for continuing to offer the optical disc drive: Internet connectivity.

According to Sony, it's choosing to keep the optical disc drive because not everyone has an internet connection at home. Even if there is an internet connection, this can sometimes be unreliable and affect the gaming experience.

Sony isn't alone with this logic. Microsoft is holding onto its optical disc drive in the upcoming successor to the Xbox 360 for the same reason.

In addition to internet-related concerns, console makers are sticking with optical disc drives because only a select few companies, such as Apple and Google, have been successful with the download-only setup. Apple's App Store and Google's Google Play (which merged the Android Market and Google Music back in March) allow mobile gamers to download applications to their devices for a fee.

Brick-and-mortar stores were likely a bit of a concern as well, but some, such as GameStop, have already started preparing for the digital game takeover by offering codes instead of physical games. These codes can be used to unlock digital games on a console for a fee. However, the used games business would surely take a hit if console makers went all-digital and kicked the optical disc drive to the curb. The used games industry generates an extra $1 billion of sales annually.

Sony's next console, which is expected to debut in 2013, will offer a few new changes. Some of these changes include microprocessors and graphics made by Advanced Micro Devices Inc. (AMD) instead of graphics chips made by NVIDIA or cell chips made by IBM and Toshiba.

Sony has a lot riding on its next game console, considering the company reported a record-breaking $5.7 billion USD annual loss earlier this month. This is the company's fourth straight year of losses, where issues like a failing TV unit have contributed to Sony's financial woes.  

Source: The Wall Street Journal



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Duh.
By Motoman on 5/31/2012 5:00:17 PM , Rating: 3
That means it is a valid option for 100% of it's potential US market. As opposed to only 80%...

...since about 20% of Americans live in rural areas frequently without any broadband internet, where downloading much of anything is a farcical notion.

Giving the finger to 1 in 5 of your potential customers is just not a great idea.




RE: Duh.
By matty123 on 5/31/2012 5:00:29 PM , Rating: 2
America is not the only market in the world it may be the most lucrative but their are many other countries with far lower broadband penetration rates.

Also the PS3 is outperformed in the US by the XBOX 360 and generally does far better in Europe and Asia so I assume pleasing american consumers isn't at the absolute top of their lists...


RE: Duh.
By inighthawki on 5/31/2012 5:06:27 PM , Rating: 2
The American market is still very large, especially for video games, compared to the rest of the world, so it actually makes sense that they would want to try to get greater penetration in that market.


RE: Duh.
By quiksilvr on 5/31/2012 5:26:15 PM , Rating: 2
That's all well and good, but I hope at least in the next generation I have the option to get a digital copy. One thing I would love is to digitize my collection and connect to it remotely via my laptop/tablet and play it remotely.


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