Sony Not Currently Pursuing A Games-On-Demand Service
You can indeed purchase several full titles on the PlayStation Store - Burnout Paradise and Warhawk included - but Sony doesn't plan on making this a common practice any time soon.
During their E3 press conference, Microsoft announced that they would provide Xbox 360 owners with a games-on-demand service that would deliver current-generation games in digital-only formats. However, according to what PlayStation Network Operations director Eric Lempel told IndustryGamers, Sony doesn't intend to offer the same service. Lempel says size is the primary obstacle; we are forced to remember just how large some of those Blu-Ray games are:
"It's not something we have planned, just because the size of the games is massive. With Blu-ray we can put up to 50 gigs on a dual-layer disc, while [Xbox 360] is still on a 9-gig media. So technically it's possible, but I think the issue would be, 'Do you want to download 40 gigs and keep that on your hard drive?' I think there's great opportunity there in the future, and it's something we'll always look at, but for the time being it's not a direction we're going in."
Who knows what the future may bring? Some are beginning to wonder if retail stores like GameStop will even serve a purpose in ten years time as digital downloads may be the wave of the future. However, most will agree with Lempel's assessment and say that physical media is in no current danger of disappearing. As far as I'm concerned, I will sorely miss the days of physical media if it ever does drop off the face of the earth...a collection of silly files on a video screen just isn't the same as a real video game collection with boxes and manuals. You know, tangible stuff.
7/12/2009 John Shepard