Digital-only future still a long way off, says Kaz Hirai
- Posted August 26th, 2010 at 12:47 EDT by Mike Harradence
- 21 Comments
Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. (SCEI) boss Kazuo Hirai has stated his belief that it may take another decade before the games industry embraces a digital-only future.
Speaking during a chinwag with MCV, Hirai commented, "We do business in parts of the world where network infrastructure isn't as robust as one would hope," he said.
"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 Worldwide Studios chief Phil Harrison was quoted back in 2006 saying he’d be “amazed if the PlayStation 4 has a physical disc drive.”
- 7:54am EDT - August 26th, 2010
If this 'digital only future' were to become a reality then there would be a huge uproar. The issue with didtal downloads is that it takes time, takes up more memory and worst of all once you're done with it it can't be re-sold.
Ghost-Rhayne | Ghost-Rhayne
- 8:04am EDT - August 26th, 2010
Also, one of the aspects I enjoy about supporting the game industry with my money is having their product on my shelf, where my O.C.D self can admire my collection of games on my shelf like Gollum coddled his ring haha. If all my money is invested in something that is just 1s and 0s in my hard drive then it's not very appealing to me.
- 8:29am EDT - August 26th, 2010
yeah look what happened with psp go TOTAL FAIL...
- 9:20am EDT - August 26th, 2010
And yet, some people are convinced that we're heading towards a next gen of cloud gaming which is the generation BEYOND digital only.
- 9:33am EDT - August 26th, 2010
@3 LMAO you sack.
- 9:56am EDT - August 26th, 2010
At the same time look at what the iPod and portable digital MP3 players have done to music CDs. I havent bought a music CD in years. I cant say the same for games though. Too early to tell.
1solidsnake | solid1snake67
- 10:10am EDT - August 26th, 2010
this won't happen until everyone gets the same faster speeds of internet, right now i dont have the speed i really want to download games. i dont really want a digital copy anyways. because awesome games hat come out like when you buy MGS limited edition could be worth money one day. so, i dont want a digital copy ever.
- 2:12pm EDT - August 26th, 2010
@6 - The reason it has worked for music is because digital music offered a cheaper and initially very free way to get music which was then adopted on a cheaper alternative to CD. BTW, the CD trade is still doing absolutely fine, especially when people don't want to buy grossly inferior quality MP3 tracks.
Also - it has been sustainable because the amount of bandwidth needed to stream or download MP3 is negligible compared to even an average 2 megabit per second line.
Even at 2 megabits per second you'll get an MP3 down in 20 seconds.
Even if the average download rate got to 8 megabits per second, imagine downloading a 35 gigabyte game.
In a perfect scenario of maxing your connection out for the WHOLE download you'd get it down in just under 100 hours!
So all this "it cold happen - look what happened to MP3" is irrelevant.
Until we have a universal broadband service which hits 20 megabits per second without caps for everyone, we'll not have digital distribution only for any games or movies.
- 3:53pm EDT - August 26th, 2010
That said... their PSPGo wasn't exactly following this model, eh?
- 6:07pm EDT - August 26th, 2010
Yea I guess they were hoping on having a download only future back then. They actually seen that we don't want it, when the stupidly decided to release PSP-go instead of working harder to bring PSP2 out quicker.
- 9:37pm EDT - August 26th, 2010
#8, Valve and Steam say hi!!
Portal, Company of Heroes, Dead Space, Mass Effect 1, Resident Evil 5, NBA2k10, MLB2k10...all purchased through STEAM, all loaded locally on my hard drive, all but one two clicks away from me playing.
I can understand Sony not pushing digital only due to it's push to make BD a standard, and I agree with what Kai said, But, I'd rather have every single PS3 game I own stored locally on a hard drive for faster loading, and no need for my BD drive to spin ever while I'm playing a game.
- 11:32pm EDT - August 26th, 2010
Good. I don't want a digital-only future ever.
- 12:29am EDT - August 27th, 2010
I will NEVER be a digital-only consumer.
I'll take the physical hardware, please.
- 2:10am EDT - August 27th, 2010
I guess the only option is to have the best of both worlds. The people who want to download their games can do that too, but I personally think it is a ripoff.
- 4:11am EDT - August 27th, 2010
We have been saying this in these forums since before the release of the PS3, while the "pro-digital" dev's (valve- say no more) have been BSing the gaming nation.
At last, someone with their blooming eyes open & not sniffing around for BSing credit from their supporters (X**X).
LOL~at those arguing on behalf of the 360 as an excuse for its lack of hardware. Im not an XboX or MS hater....I just detest BS.
- 5:34am EDT - August 27th, 2010
The problem I think with digital downloads or E-distribution is that even at 20mb/s, you'll still be waiting for several hours. The thing is, it would take a connection higher than the 1gb/s threshold for a lot of people to feel comfortable enough to adopt E-distribution en'mass. As for me, there is no better or ideal solution than to just have a physical copy of my games. I don't think I'd ever adopt E-distribution fully in my honest opinion.
- 11:40am EDT - August 27th, 2010
I think that until everybody has internet where the speeds are such that you could download a game quicker than it would take to go to the shop for a game,we won't be digital only.
- 5:34am EDT - August 30th, 2010
@ 13 Software.
- 6:40pm EDT - August 31st, 2010
For all of our sakes let us hope that having the option to purchase physical media will always BE an option.
- 4:05pm EDT - September 6th, 2010
I have to agree that digital downloads will be the future, but not for a good few years yet. In there UK there are still 30% of the population cannot get broadband and i think the figure is around the same for the US when i last checked. The cost to get these percentages connected is going to be huge let alone the cost to get everyone upto a fast enough connection to allow downloads of 40GB games in only a very short time just isnt going to happen for probably a decade or longer. Physical media i think will be around for a long time to come unless everyone would be happy to pay £30 to £40 a month for broadband to cover all these costs quickly. Just my opionion and probably a lot of people will disagree but i'm sure also a lot of people will agree with me.
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