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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

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Comments (35 posts)

mexgeo86
Sunday, July 12, 2009 @ 10:37:18 PM
Reply

Given how long it takes to download even a 1-2 GB game, I'll stick with physical media for full 50 GB games. Besides, physical media can be returned to the retailer whereas you're stuck with the digital.

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Highlander
Sunday, July 12, 2009 @ 11:07:58 PM

An excellent point.

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Naga
Sunday, July 12, 2009 @ 10:51:33 PM
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Multi-plat devs don't even use the full advantage of Blu-ray and always end up being inferior to the PS2 games so why do a on-demand service?
The only games I'll ever download would be any sequel to Warhawk or any good Dragonball game

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kreate
Sunday, July 12, 2009 @ 11:24:26 PM
Reply

the problem no one really mentions is that its not practical to download games to ur HDD if u have a xbox360.

i have 20GB HDD. my actual HDD space is 13GB max. what am i suppose to do with 13GB? user profiles, game saves, couple trailers and 1 demo pretty much fills up the 13GB.

this would sound much better if xbox supports third party hardware like the ps3 (EX:usb headset, harddrives)and why is 120GB HDD the max on the xbox?

my next question is... can i get a digitial form of the xbox360 games i already own? or do i have to re buy them if i want a digital version of my games?

Last edited by kreate on 7/12/2009 11:30:03 PM

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Highlander
Monday, July 13, 2009 @ 10:29:53 AM

As ffrulz says, the difference is in the way a true GB is calculated versus a marketing GB. Because marketers at HDD makers believe that most people don't understand. They decided that it would be more immediately understandable if they called 1,000,000,000 bytes a GB despite a GB really being 1024x1024x1024 bytes. So for labeling and marketing a GB is counted differently. To me, the logic is wrong because most consumers buying an HDD have 1 question on their mind as soon as the HDD is formatted - "Where did those other GB go? It says 250GB on the box, but Windows reports less. What gives!?"

As for the question of practicality, I've said for years that downloadable movies in HD, and streamed movies in HD, and downloadable - FULL retail - games are impractical. Good grief it takes hours to download a 1GB demo. Can you imagine if it takes hours (say 3) to get 1GB and I am downloading a 4GB video release (SD quality) It'll take half a day to download a 2hr video. If I download an HD version it could take more than 24 hours to arrive, FedEx would be quicker!

I have a 3MBits/second DSL connection which is pretty average,. I think the national average in the US is 2MBits/second. The UK is about the same, and the government there is mandating a 2MBit/second standard connection for everyone. 2MBits/second is barely enough to squeeze heavily compressed SD video, it's certainly not enough for multi-GB downloads any time soon.

Sopme people and companies (Microsoft I AM looking at you) want to spread the myth that optical discs are dying and being replaced by digital download. Apart from the obvious capacity issues on local HDDs tha users have, there is the issue of bandwidth. Apart from the elite users with fiber or high capacity cable hookups, most consumers consider themselves fortunate to get 3MBits/second. which just won't do it, and the broadband market penetration in the US is no where near 100%, there are still a lot of dial up users out there and people with no access at all.

Last edited by Highlander on 7/13/2009 10:37:40 AM

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kreate
Monday, July 13, 2009 @ 6:48:13 PM

"Some people and companies (Microsoft I AM looking at you) want to spread the myth that optical discs are dying and being replaced by digital download"

this is so true and i cant agree more, i had never thought about that. i wonder what the next xbox would be? go with blu ray? or wait for the consumers to catch up to the digital arena? either way microsoft's future doesnt look well, on their software side or the hardware side.

and wasnt there a article long time ago that toshiba and samsung are working on a blu ray add on for the 360? i wonder what had become of it.

i also hope developers would not stick with DVD's anymore cuz DVD limits them from making games that are 'massive' and 'epic'

Last edited by kreate on 7/13/2009 6:51:19 PM

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somethingrandom
Tuesday, July 14, 2009 @ 2:44:08 PM

Mines 512Kbits/s. It took me 3 nights (the only time I can actually reach the max speed) to download the Sony E3 press conferences in 720p from the PS Store.

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Oyashiro
Monday, July 13, 2009 @ 12:07:25 AM
Reply

I'm glad Sony is not going to be going in this direction with the PS3.

Agree with this comment 11 up, 2 down Disagree with this comment

Jove
Monday, July 13, 2009 @ 12:24:51 AM

why? because microsoft is? you dont have to buy them if they come out with them you know...

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Oyashiro
Monday, July 13, 2009 @ 4:20:13 AM

What? I am not for DD in any way, shape or form. DD is horrible for consumers. It eliminates the used games market, and competitive pricing.

This is why I will never buy a PSP Go. Oh and look at that! That's a Sony system isn't it? Its not good to make assumptions, as I had said nothing that could even be mistaken for the word Microsoft. It would do you a world of good with reading comprehension if you removed your head from your ass.

Last edited by Oyashiro on 7/13/2009 4:28:14 AM

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Jove
Monday, July 13, 2009 @ 12:40:16 PM

Hey man i wasnt claiming you were a fanboy or the sort for you to be talking like that. I only said you weren't forced to buy it. These are the kind of coments that they should moderate if they want video game blogs to be taken seriously considering the author writes about how he wants video gameing to be taken more seriously than currently. And how gamers always rile up over nothing.

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Alienange
Monday, July 13, 2009 @ 12:56:15 PM

Hey jove just so you know, it's you that wrote in such a way that made it look like it was you that was "riled up." And no you didn't "only say that he wasn't forced to buy it." You said "why? because MS is?" as if he was on the attack.

So really, who started what? It's your own fault you got pwned by his second comment.

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Ricochet
Monday, July 13, 2009 @ 12:19:48 AM
Reply

I agree with this article. I can't imagine MGS4 or KZ2 as a downloadable game. Games-on-demand may be the right move now if we're still using the GC/Xbox/PS2. So unless the majority for the world transfers to Fibre Optics with ungodly speeds and 500 TB hard disks are on sale, then I see this as a potential for the PS3 owners. But with a limited wireless bandwidth and such, I doubt it. The PS3 is the only console to date that has "large" capacity games due to uncompressed data and such, I can see the Blu-Ray is the natural enemy to the "games-on-demand".

I guess that's why the 360 is coming out with a new 1 TB hard disk. Wonder how much that will cost?

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007
Monday, July 13, 2009 @ 12:43:54 AM

I think it will cost the same, that is, if Microsoft is smart.

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b3mike
Monday, July 13, 2009 @ 1:00:05 AM

Judging by their current pricing schemes they will cost $1200.00


Plus tax if applicable

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Highlander
Monday, July 13, 2009 @ 10:46:30 AM

Even with a 1TB disc you'll run out of room trying to keep up with the digital downloads.

If I keep my music and photos on my PS3 and I download a couple of dozen movies in HD and a few TV series in HD and a dozen full size games with a few PSN games, I will fill a 1TB drive very quickly.

Local storage capacity is a big issue for downloadable media. The majority of user's broadband network speed today does not support streaming HD content. So they have to download it (painful enough considering how long it takes) and store it locally. When you're talking about downloading true 1080p HD video files you can pull 20GB files pretty easily, it only takes 50 of these to fill a 1TB drive. And that doesn't even include games, music, photos and of course SD downloads.

The real issue for me with digital downloads is the propensity for HDDs to fail. They do fail, sometimes the HDD hardware fails, sometimes they become corrupted - corrupt partition information anyone? How many people here have a spare 1TB HDD sitting around that they can use for backup? Any idea how long it would take to backup a 1TB drive to a USB drive - even assuming you have a second 1TB drive for the backup?

Downloading games that range from a few hundred MB to perhaps 1GB still makes for a painful download session if you have to rebuild from a failed HDD< but it's at least bearable.

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kreate
Wednesday, July 15, 2009 @ 2:39:06 AM

@highlander

did u actually filled up ur HDD before?
cuz i got a 500GB HDD on my ps3 and i still have 300GB left after like.. 14 gamer profiles, bunch of movies, demos, trailers, random crap. even after it gets filled sometime in the future, i still have a 160GB external portable drive. that i dont think i will be filling up anytime soon.

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Ultimate_Balla
Monday, July 13, 2009 @ 4:43:34 AM
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How Long Does It Take To Download A 1Gig Game Ect. In A High Speed Service Place By The States. . .

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Jawknee
Monday, July 13, 2009 @ 9:30:16 AM
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Downloading an HD movie from the PSN is bad enough. I can't imagine downloading a whole Blue Ray game.

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Alienange
Monday, July 13, 2009 @ 12:44:52 PM

I agree with you... this time.

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BikerSaint
Monday, July 13, 2009 @ 10:24:49 AM
Reply


Great decision, glad to see you've listened to the voice of your comsumers, Sony!

"Just say "NO"

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Highlander
Monday, July 13, 2009 @ 10:48:36 AM

Indeed.

Although, downloadable games for the PSP might work because of the smaller size of the games.

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MornelitheVT
Monday, July 13, 2009 @ 10:27:17 AM
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Physical, download, I don't really care at this point, whatever medium brings me Gran Turismo 5 first, will win. Although, I'd most certainly re-buy the physical copy, when that came out.

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The Stig
Monday, July 13, 2009 @ 10:59:51 AM
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Its understandable that Microsoft are pushing digital distribution on the 360 since you HAVE to buy their HDD, $$$$.

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coverton341
Monday, July 13, 2009 @ 11:37:57 AM

That is a very good point. If they go with DD then their user base will start filling HDD very fast and either have to buy another HDD or delete games to make room. And what is their policy going to be about re-downloading something? The way they are about their OS it might just turn out that after you DL something 2 to 3 times then you're hosed.

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Robochic
Monday, July 13, 2009 @ 11:53:54 AM
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I really don't like the idea of downloading a full game for many reasons probably take to long and say u're console doesn't work AKA won't turn on so u obviously can't get the content off the Harddrive now with PS3 not sure if when u download something it only reads that serial number to that console it was downloaded on or if you can take the hdd and use it on another console with a different serial number.

My friend owns a 360 and he was on the phone with techinical support he got RROD and he had a crap load of downloadable games and content and they said it'll be a few weeks before he gets the point to repurchase that stuff, due to the DLC security he can't just put his hdd on another console so he is not impressed or happy that he has to wait about a month all together for the replacement console and new points to get his content back so thats the big reason why i don't like the idea but it may be very different with sony i like having the physical disc cause if my console breaks i can use the game on another console.

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Highlander
Monday, July 13, 2009 @ 12:34:28 PM

As long as you use your PSN account ID, you can activate another system for most types of content (almost all games will work this way). some video and music (SingStar for example) is effectively locked to the PSN account and system you download to. So you can tak an HDD from one system to another, as long as you make sure that you activate that new system for games and/or video for your PSN ID.

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Alienange
Monday, July 13, 2009 @ 12:42:52 PM

What you're describing there is one heck of a nightmare that I've never thought of. Imagine buying let's say 5 dd games for 60usd a piece. How the hell do you bring your games to your friends house to play? Worse, your ps3 hdd is fried, you can't even pick up your games and put them into another system. You'd be like "I'll be there for 4 so we can get playing by 7."

Last edited by Alienange on 7/13/2009 12:44:18 PM

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kreate
Wednesday, July 15, 2009 @ 2:42:50 AM

umm.... if u take ur HDD out of ur ps3 and try to install it to another ps3, the new ps3 will format that HDD and delete everything that is in there. correct me if im wrong.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Monday, July 13, 2009 @ 1:34:10 PM
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DD works for some things but as a replacement for discs it just fails. That is all.

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RadioHeader
Monday, July 13, 2009 @ 3:04:54 PM
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"Proof of blu-ray's irrelevance" ...sayeth the bots.

M$ is providing their army with ammunition, whilst extracting even more cash from them for bigger Hard-Drives.

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artson1966
Monday, July 13, 2009 @ 4:42:08 PM
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I think video on demand would be an advantage for the PS3 in so many ways, not only would it lower pirating, but it will also lower costs of games. I also believe with the PS3'3 abilty to upgrade it's hard drives with ease and much lower costs and the ability to download and erase games and redownload any purchase games its a no brainer. I agree that its much bigger files but with download speeds increasing every day its very possible a idea that Sony should keep close.

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Dingodial
Tuesday, July 14, 2009 @ 2:35:41 PM

Sony already has VOD (video on demand), the only difference is that it isn't netflix. you can download movies & tv shows, although I'd rather watch them on youtube for free (using PS3's internet browser). The only problem is that youtube has such a small selection...

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Dingodial
Tuesday, July 14, 2009 @ 2:29:39 PM
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Who would want to blow money on a 2-Terabyte hard drive just so they could download all these massive PS3 games?!

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somethingrandom
Tuesday, July 14, 2009 @ 2:45:24 PM
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The reason Microsoft is doing this is to cut down on piracy. Many people who pirate games only do so to get it faster.

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