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PS3 Could Support Digital Distribution

Development sources close to Sony Computer Entertainment have recently reported on the possibility of providing game content through a digital distribution system. This would seem to be a no-brainer considering that the rest of the next-gen competition already has this in the works. Microsoft's Xbox Live Marketplace currently offers demos, interface tweaks, and whole games over its Arcade service, while Nintendo plans to launch its Revolution with a Virtual Console, a catalog of downloadable Nintendo titles from generations past.

Interestingly, several developers have explored the possibility of distributing full PS1/PS2 games using this type of system with Sony. Though, according to sources, it currently remains a matter of technical feasability and has yet to be extrapolated into a full business model, the potential is certainly there. Despite the fact that many Playstation 2 titles span several gigabytes, most PS1 games are between 600-700 MB, not much larger than some Xbox Live demos. With broadband support and a meaty hard drive, the ability to distribute content such of this would not be terribly taxing on Sony or the user. At the very least, the system may support the ability to stream or download later content of certain games while users are already playing through the earlier parts.

Once again, it should be noted that this is not confirmed to be a final feature of the system, but we may get more details about Sony's online content plan this coming Wednesday when the company will be holding a conference in Tokyo.

3/13/2006 Cavin Smith

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