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Sony's Jim Ryan has told IGN that Blu-Ray discs will still be the PlayStation 4's dominant delivery mechanism for games, despite a wider move towards a more connected console.
Sony has upped its game in the digital distribution field over the past year or two with the PS3, delivering games to PSN day-and-date with their retail releases (although still at full RRP, which in Europe especially is often far in excess of the price you can expect to pay in a shop.) But although Sony Computer Entertainment Europe's president and CEO sees the trend towards digital downloads continuing, he still sees a primarily disc-based future for the console.
"Clearly, and this applies not just to games but to pretty much every form of entertainment, there is a trend to increased digital consumption, and that is happening now on PS3 and will continue and will probably accelerate on PS4," he told IGN. "But the primary delivery mechanism for the big games on the PS4 platform will continue to be Blu-Ray discs, for the foreseeable future."
What counts as the forseeable future? Five years? "That sort of horizon, yes," Ryan agrees. The reasoning behind this is that PS4 games will take up so much space that in many parts of the world, downloading them just won't be realistic. "For our big first-party games, we’ve encouraged the studios to make as much use of the BD50 [50-gigabyte Blu-Ray drive] as they possibly can – some of these things run to like 45 gigs," he says.
"If you go down to Southern Europe, where we have very big and important businesses, it can take you 3 days over a standard internet connection to download a file of the size, and that’s not fun. There are certain gating factors in terms of internet infrastructure that mandate that the disc-based solution is going to be the primary delivery mechanism for the foreseeable future."
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