There continues to be a lot–and I mean, A LOT–of talk about how digital distribution is the way of the future for the games business and how brick-and-mortar stores will all go the way of the dinosaur in, oh, five years or so.
Kaz Hirai doesn’t think so, though. In comments to MCVUK, the man in charge of all things Playstation says that the next console from Sony will most likely be using disc-based media.
“We do business in parts of the world where network infrastructure isn’t as robust as one would hope… 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.”
Granted, Sony made the download-only bet on the PSPgo but that handheld’s not exactly setting the world on fire. But, to me, the more interesting thing about Hirai’s comments are the possible consequences that unfold if he’s wrong. Say all the futurists are right and a sudden Napster-like shift hits the game industry inside the next five years. If Sony brings a machine that still uses physical media to market, they might be screwed. That said, any Playstation game console coming in the next decade will probably be ready to gobble up as much bandwidth as it takes to be competitive.
And, besides, how will publishers make those insane collectors’ edition of games if everything download-only? Think, people, think.