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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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game codes
By wallijonn on 6/1/2012 3:59:23 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
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.


If GS can issue codes then so can WalMart, Target... The only reason not to buy codes online would be a lack of a credit card or people wary of CC security.

With a lack of physical media stores will no longer make a profit selling games and not being able to sample games via used game outlet would relegate users to downloading demos, which aren't always indicative of actual gameplay or graphics. The market will narrow quickly with lesser known games not being economically feasible.

But I suspect that the real reason why consoles are staying with physical media is due to the threat of bandwidth caps. In effect the ISPs can kill off the consoles. What's the difference between downloading a movie and downloading a game? The game is quadruple the size of a movie. So caps will be instituted. The consumer will therefore be forced to pay by chapter or level to minimize the chance of the caps being activated. Sooner or later gaming would have soured the consumer's appetite and gaming will be relegated to cell phones only (since the game publisher will want the full amount for the whole game instead of the first level. Once the customer gets burned not liking a game he will likely just not bother buying any games at all.)




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