The PlayStation Vita is besting the PlayStation 3 in digital downloads, mostly due to the fact that all Vita titles are made available on the PlayStation Network on release day. Sony will now be continuing that strategy with the PlayStation 4, where every title will hit the PSN day one.
This news comes from a Shuhei Yoshida interview with The Guardian, where he was asked how important it was to help support small studios:
I believe it’s very important for the platform to have a wide variety of developers making things that are unique and creative. We’re shifting our platform more and more to the digital side – PS4 will be similar to PS Vita in that every game will be available as a digital download, and some will also be available as a disc. The Witness will be a digital release and because of the flexibility of the digital distribution scheme, we can have more small games that might be free or available for a couple of dollars, or different services like free-to-play or subscription models.
Shuhei then continued by answering a question if he thinks that the drawn out task of finding a game, downloading it, then downloading updates is a thing of the past:
Absolutely. Yes. I find myself spending more time playing Vita games and I think part of the reason for that is it’s immediate. I can stop at any time without quitting and it’s instantaneous to start again. I don’t have to quit out or reboot. It’s wonderful. That’s one part of immediacy – the other is waiting for downloads. That’s ridiculous, that’s crazy! We want to get out of this madness with PlayStation 4. The games are big, they’re 50GB; download isn’t instantaneous. So we’re making purchase available from any device, so when you’re at work, you can spend a couple of moments looking at PlayStation Store and choosing a game, and straight away it starts to download at home. It may take a couple of hours but that’s okay because you’re still at work.
Also, similarly to progressive download on some movie services, you don’t have to wait for all the data to download before you start playing. Once you have the minimum amount of data downloaded you can begin the game, and while you play, the remaining data downloads. It takes some engineering input from developers so we’re talking to the community. We’re evangelising it.
So, with the PS4, we can expect day one digital on every retail game, automatic downloads when you purchase a game from any device, and that the download sizes can reach 50GB.
Do you think you’ll be going digital or retail with PS4 games? Let us know in the comments below.