bit-gamer.net

Sony: Market not ready for download-only consoles

Sony: Market not ready for download-only consoles

Retail still has a place in the games market, says Sony Worldwide boss Shuhei Yoshida.

Sony believes that the time is still not right for download-only consoles that sell games exclusively through digital distribution systems, company bosses have said.

The comments go partway to explaining why Sony's upcoming handheld, the PlayStation Vita, will support physical copies as well as digital.

Speaking to Edge Sony Worldwide Studios boss Shuhei Yoshida explained that the company didn't believe internet infrastructure was consistent enough across the world to support such a device.

'We believe, for some consumers, the time is [right], but for other consumers, the time is still not [right],' said Shuhei Yoshida.

'So, we believe the time is still not right to go download-only as a platform. Some PS Vita titles, like Uncharted: Golden Abyss, will be close to 4GB in size, which could be too large to download for consumers who do not have a fast broadband connection.'

'Also, some consumers like shopping in retail stores, talking to knowledgeable store clerks, buying and playing games on the spot. We do not want to remove that capability from consumers.'

SCEE boss Jim Ryan agreed, saying that: 'There are consumers in parts of the world - this is a global device - where the digital model has not yet fully been embraced.'

Let us know your thoughts in the forums.

37 Comments

Discuss in the forums Reply
gilljoy 7th October 2011, 12:11 Quote
Steam seems to work grand for me, still quicker downloading a game of steam than waiting for it to be posted to me
V3ctor 7th October 2011, 12:13 Quote
I have to agree... I have 2 places, one I have 12mb access, the other is <1mb access... I usually download my steam games and install them on the <1mb house. Or I'm doomed...

Maybe in 5-10 years, and with more gb/inc we can have donwload only games, and better broadband. (that is if they are there forever, not like that THQ store thingy)
TheLegendJoe 7th October 2011, 12:13 Quote
From what I find/found sony are not ready for D/L only consoles, on a 50Mb connection (I actually get these speeds too) the PSN simply cannot keep up (either that or the PS3 has a ridiculously slow netowk interface) even over a 300Mb/s Wifi network/1Gb LAN : | it used to take me hours to download demos...
Teh Noob Slayer 7th October 2011, 12:17 Quote
Of course Sony believes we aren't ready for 'online download only'. Their consumers also think they [Sony] aren't ready for online download only.

*cough Playstation Network data breach fiasco * cough
sandys 7th October 2011, 12:19 Quote
PSN works great for me, maxes out my connection when wired, you must have dodgy ISP or router, no problems instantly watching films, very quick games downloads.

I still wouldn't want to download everything, what with films,tv, photos and family movies on the PS3 disc space is a bit limited. Vita will have a worse position as you are not going to fit 500Gb drive to it, so it can't really go download only.

Wireless on PS3 is pants though, very slow to download, same issue download via wireless on PSP, awfully slow.
Marvin-HHGTTG 7th October 2011, 12:19 Quote
Fair play to them, it's reasonable enough. Did like this part though:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shuhei Yoshida, Article
Also, some consumers like shopping in retail stores, talking to knowledgeable store clerks, buying and playing games on the spot. We do not want to remove that capability from consumers.

I can't remember the last time I spoke to an in store game-related staff member who knew anything more than when the next COD was due for release, and how "awesome" it would be.
WarrenJ 7th October 2011, 12:25 Quote
"talking to knowledgeable store clerks"

not talking about the UK market then.
hrp8600 7th October 2011, 12:37 Quote
The market will never be ready for download-only consoles.
Reason secondhand sales.
Download only = no seconhand market
the-beast 7th October 2011, 12:39 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by gilljoy
Steam seems to work grand for me, still quicker downloading a game of steam than waiting for it to be posted to me

For me its quicker to wait for the postie than for Steam to crawl along on my pants connection!
lacuna 7th October 2011, 12:40 Quote
I only prefer physical copies because I can get them used and sell them on. Haven't bought a single new game for my ps3 yet
damien c 7th October 2011, 12:41 Quote
We will never be ready for download only, simply because of the restriction's being put in place on actually using your broadband connection for what it is intended for.

If I was to download my whole collection of games, on a 20mb cable modem from Virgin it would take me nearly a week to download it, and if I was to download it on my 100mb modem from Virgin while I could do it in 1 day, I would have to start it at 6am and leave it running until it finished I would suddenly recieve a letter for downloading to much during peak times.


I personally prefer to buy my games on a disc, because it's faster for me simply because I just go to a shop on my way to work or on the release day, if I am not working and come back home and install it whereas if I was to buy it from Steam, on release day it would take a few hour's to download and install because of the overloaded servers.

Maybe when companies update there server's and also the whole backbone of the internet is fixed in each country and each, area has access to high speed internet then yes we could go down the route of download only but I think we are about 5 or 10 years away from that yet.
TheLegendJoe 7th October 2011, 12:48 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by damien c


If I was to download my whole collection of games, on a 20mb cable modem from Virgin it would take me nearly a week to download it, and if I was to download it on my 100mb modem from Virgin while I could do it in 1 day, I would have to start it at 6am and leave it running until it finished I would suddenly recieve a letter for downloading to much during peak times..

I did that on the first day I got my 50Mb Conection...

lololololol

Politely asking me to not download .5TB of data in a week? Shameee :)
Anneon 7th October 2011, 13:02 Quote
Agreed to many slow spots yet. One of the biggest challenges facing hardware/software companies over the next 5 years is 10mb connections for ALL no matter where you aRe.
javaman 7th October 2011, 13:58 Quote
Steam works for PC due to game stores freezing out PC games by not stocking them as well as over charging for them.
I agree that mobile consoles aren't ready for them due to data on the go but tbh the excuse about visiting the store and trying games....that's BS. Need I rant again about those monkeys? Or the fact that its one game they're pushing like lego this or fifa that....all they have to do is produce a demo for download and offer free wifi in game stores. Would be the only place that actually would offer something like that since coffee shops locked down.
Consoles have no excuse tho. Let valve design the market place and Make it central to how the console works. Xbox market place isn't too bad but PSN is a joke.
TheStockBroker 7th October 2011, 14:18 Quote
Well they're spot on.

Problems are UK broadband infrastructure is appalling. The absolute residential best is a 100Mbit throttled cable connection. Current max 2.5" hard drive size of 2Tb is also far too low to accommodate a decent library of games, so it'll be blu-ray for the full next generation of consoles at least!

TSB
memeroot 7th October 2011, 14:46 Quote
sell via a re-usable usb stick where people can download in stores....
memeroot 7th October 2011, 14:46 Quote
" The absolute private sector best is a 100Mbit "

lol you're kidding ?
TheStockBroker 7th October 2011, 14:51 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by memeroot
" The absolute private sector best is a 100Mbit "

lol you're kidding ?

Well, no!

The best I've ever had reliably was a 50Mb Virgin connection. Pulling a full HD 3D film from a remote FTP server took just over an hour at max connection speed. Even at double the speed it would take a half hour, longer than it takes to cook dinner!

Ideally, I'd like to be able to start a film transfer; put dinner on, and then sit down to dinner with my film in perfect harmony!

Given that current PS3 games are larger that the above, would you really want to sit and wait hours for your game to download? Then again, I suppose I've done that with numerous WoW re-installs.

Can you honestly tell me you wouldn't want gigabit broadband if it was cheap and the norm?

My point was though, was that it really is the very best we can get, and not at an inconsiderable cost! From previous statements I've made regarding internet in the UK, I've gleaned that even the really tech-orientated of this forum are sometimes quite simply unable to even get decent DSL speeds at home, but still pay the same as what a city-dweller would for a high-end cable broadband package.

TSB

EDIT: I suppose if they allowed pre-loading like Valve does... Then why the hell not?
liratheal 7th October 2011, 14:54 Quote
...Knowledgeable store clerks?

Few and far between.
memeroot 7th October 2011, 15:18 Quote
@TheStockBroker

ah - sorry I miss-understood - thought you were meaning private sector being for companies and stuff.


anyway - the solution is still to do away with physical media and just have a re-usable usb stick for those that need it.
alialias 7th October 2011, 16:40 Quote
Good bit of empathy from Sony there, or that's how i'm going to see it. Keeping the physical alternative there keeps the console open as an option for those with a bad connection.
ssj12 7th October 2011, 17:05 Quote
well luckily Steam only has to download installer files that tend to be a 1/3 or less than the actual size of the game then install it which uncompresses it. I wonder why console couldnt do similar. It would still take forever using the console manufacturer's pathetic network to do it, but still would be faster than downloading a massive 50GB Blu-ray file as 15GBs than an uncompressed 50GBs.
fdbh96 7th October 2011, 19:14 Quote
I'm still on 1mb/s broadband speeds so theres no way me or anyone who lives in my area will ever buy something that needed me to dl a 15gb file just to play the game instead of going to the shop.

Also I should think they want someone like me and see the 3 for £40 sale instead of just buying the one as I would if I would get a game off steam etc
[- pio -] 8th October 2011, 00:22 Quote
They're right. While I myself have no trouble using online distribution for getting my games (though I have been buying a few second-hand games from retail stores), there are still a considerable amount of people not knowing about, or not wanting, the ability to buy games digitally.

I know it's not exactly the same, but I work in a (relatively high end) Hi-Fi store, and people still walk in the door asking for DVD players. Those people make up an important part of Sony's target market, so I think they (Sony) are right in keeping on pressing discs.
Volund 8th October 2011, 00:42 Quote
hell, for me it's faster to download from steam than to drive 10 minutes to the mall, find a parking space, buy the game, come home, and install it.... waaaay faster
Doctor Hades 8th October 2011, 08:47 Quote
I have a 100 GB per month cap so the prospect of downloading 21 GB games such as RAGE on Steam just do not appeal to me, especially after all the horror stories about The Witcher 2's 9 GB patches. Although the few games I have bought on Steam have downloaded quickly, I'm not yet ready to give up on physical media as I find them handy as backups; after all, it is far, far quicker to install a game from disc than to download it plus it doesn't eat into my monthly usage allowance. And Steam are overpriced anyway, they're selling RAGE for £30 yet I bought my copy from ShopTo.net for £24. That saving goes towards new games, for example, they've just sent out Dead Rising 2: Off the Record, which only cost £14 at ShopTo (I suspect it'll be £20-£25 on Steam).

Until new release digital downloads drop in price and my monthly cap goes up then I can't see myself not buying disc-based games.
Doctor Hades 8th October 2011, 08:50 Quote
@Volund - Have you ever heard of online shopping... you know... where you pre-order a game or whatever and get them at the same time they go on sale in the shops, or more often in my experience, a day earlier? It's been years since I last went into a video games shop, I do all my shopping online and save a considerable amount of money too.
law99 9th October 2011, 14:01 Quote
I'm going to go with some complete conjecture here... but if you are willing to fork out on new gaming hardware ever now and then and see yourself as a bit of a computer enthusiast, you're probably going to have a good broadband package with lower contention. So, for PC gaming the online model works because we're ahead of the curve
fdbh96 9th October 2011, 14:12 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by law99
I'm going to go with some complete conjecture here... but if you are willing to fork out on new gaming hardware ever now and then and see yourself as a bit of a computer enthusiast, you're probably going to have a good broadband package with lower contention. So, for PC gaming the online model works because we're ahead of the curve

Unless you're a pc gamer that doesn't live where virgin/bt want you to :/
law99 9th October 2011, 14:31 Quote
Ar... yes. There are those half in the dark areas/places. I hear the I.O.W for instance, just got fax!!!
Metaporic 9th October 2011, 15:34 Quote
Sony is a global company. They don't just look at the 'developed worlds' internet connection. They need to think of the rest of there customers/consumers. I purchased my PSP in Sri Lanka while I lived there, I had no internet connection and although there where net cafe's they where incredibly slow. If Sony had gone the digital only route, id be screwed. Even in the Caribbean I used to struggle with the internet, often having non or moving at a crawl.

Going digital only does not just pose to be a issue for those who live outside of the more 'highly developed countries' but for those inside as well. You cannot always be 100% sure you will always have a internet connection. When I first moved to the U.K it took months to get a stable internet connection (thank BT for that) and since then have the occasional day where my net refuses to co-operate.

Then you have to consider how well servers will handle the load. Id say very few games distributors could handle a few million downloads on a big name title on the release day. Clearly with the issues customers get with both PSN and Steam only serves to echo as such.

Then we can move unto issues such as DRM and Cost. If Sony went fully digital, I can bet the channels that you could obtain the games would become a whole lot more limited. That would not only effect where you buy but at what cost, no more shopping around for the best deal. I can also bet if Sony went fully digital, they'd try to slip in some painful DRM, perhaps go the S.T.A.L.K.E.R 2 or AC2 Route, I mean if you have to have a internet connection to download a game, its not to much to assume that the majority of your customers have a permanent internet connection.

Not to mention some people actually enjoy browsing in store, seeing what's available and asking questions (some employee's are genuinely helpful). Some people just don't like to or understand how to use online digital services. On Bit-tech I am sure the majority are fully able to use digital services. However I can tell you most of my family would be totally lost. Even if the U.I was simplified.

I for one am glad Sony has made this move and I think it was the right choice. I want the security of being able to game when and where I want and choose what price I pay for my games as well as what I can do with them (re-selling etc...).

I think digital distribution is a viable way to obtain games, however making it the sole option would be bad on all counts, well apart from the money you'd save by omitting a disc or card reader.
jrs77 9th October 2011, 15:42 Quote
Even tho I've got enough speed top download games, software or music I still like to have hardcopies of them, preferably without any DRM.

If you download something you simply don't get the same feeling compared to owning a physical copy with a nice booklet etc.
Volund 9th October 2011, 16:21 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Doctor Hades
@Volund - Have you ever heard of online shopping... you know... where you pre-order a game or whatever and get them at the same time they go on sale in the shops, or more often in my experience, a day earlier? It's been years since I last went into a video games shop, I do all my shopping online and save a considerable amount of money too.

Perhapse I should elaborate then.... if you really think I've never hear of online shopping :|.

I don't pre-order, and if I'm buying a game, it has most likely been out for months already. If I order it from steam or another digital download provider, I have it downloaded and installed within half an hour. If I order it from amazon/newegg/etc, I'm looking at 2 days minimum from time of order, plus I have to wait around the day it is being delivered, seeing as UPS refuse to leave packages unsigned for in my neighborhood :(.

I was just making a point with the shop comment
slothy89 10th October 2011, 03:43 Quote
Physical copies are a good thing. I for one like to have physical copies of games especially if I pay more then $50 Australian.

Solution for digital only however is to have game stores that offer devices with game demos for testing/browsing, then supply a high speed Internet connection where you can hook up your device or USB drive and download at the store. (local server with gigabit Ethernet anyone?)
Th3Maverick 10th October 2011, 05:42 Quote
Hell, I stopped buying games entirely on steam and I just order the 360 version because it takes longer to download a 500mb game (yes, 500, much less a 4-10gb full size modern PC game) than it does for international APO shipping from amazon to get to me.

I pay $100 a month for 10-20kbps, when the service is actually up.
Xir 10th October 2011, 09:18 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Metaporic
Sony is a global company. They don't just look at the 'developed worlds' internet connection. They need to think of the rest of there customers/consumers.
You're absolutely right there.;)
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheStockBroker
Pulling a full HD 3D film from a remote FTP server took just over an hour at max connection speed.
...if that's uncompressed (BluRay) that's 40-50GB it takes me about a week :)
GTAIV took me two days to pull from Steam.
Yeoo 11th October 2011, 21:58 Quote
What about people who do not have web access, there are people who only have internet access at work as they dont need it at home, or move house regulary or live in rented accommodation. this would block these people off from gaming.. admittedly a small market but i know if i was living somewhere for 6 months wth no net id turn to a console for evening entertainment
Log in

You are not logged in, please login with your forum account below. If you don't already have an account please register to start contributing.



Discuss in the forums