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back to article Sony PlayStation 4 will not be download only

Sony's next PlayStation will feature an optical drive - Blu-ray, presumably - after all. Plans to drop disc and go download only have been seemingly shelved. The change of mind was signalled by the inevitably anonymous moles claimed to be familiar with what the Japanese giant is up to. They also told the Wall Street Journal …

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Anonymous Coward

Good

If that is true it will give it a massive advantage over the next xbox if the rumours about that having no drive are true.

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g e
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Re: Good

My exact thought, also.

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Re: Good

I can't believe that Microsoft would go for download only, they must have come to the same conclusion as Sony.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Good

They are still pushing ahead. They already have an army of braindead idiots that are willing to pay to play online, they can milk plenty more cash out of them before they work out that they are being ripped off.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Good

"They already have an army of braindead idiots that are willing to pay to play online"

Playstation network can afford to be free as it is subsidised by selling all your logon and credit card credentials.

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FAIL

Re: Good

PS4 wow we are getting ahead of ourselves here aren't we? Sony has a good chance of going bankrupt in the next few years based on how they are burning through cash and based on the success of the Vita the next CEO (current one won't last more than a year watch) might well decide to get out of the money losing console industry ($2.8 billion loss in FY 2012).

http://www.macroaxis.com/invest/ratio/SNE--Probability_Of_Bankruptcy

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FAIL

Re: Good

Sony is now one fifth the size it was in its heyday and that was before they laid off another 10,000. Sony is a shadow of its prior self.

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Re: Good

That is get out of making console hardware not games. Software are where Sony still makes money.

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It would mean that all the games for the PS3/Xbox 360 wouldn't work on it (unless you bought them again as download).

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jai
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Is there any guarantee that the PS4 will be backwards compatible?

It was a selling point for the PS3, but didn't they drop it after a year or two?

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It was removed after a load of idiots complained that features cost money. The PS3 was lambasted as being too expensive despite being more powerful, having way more kit, having better backward compatibility, etc, etc, etc.

Not really surprising to see the console makers backing down on this one. They all want an online-only console where they can screw the customer over to their heart's content, but they also all know full well that the first console to do it will get savaged. If the Xbox 3 tried it, the PS4 would come out with a disc drive, keep the important 2nd hand and discount markets, and easily win market share.

It's just console makers acknowledging that online-only is bad for consumers, and they don't want it.*

(*On console. On PC we have Steam, and fairly reasonable pricing, and sales, and competition within the platform, etc, etc, etc.)

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"selling point for the PS3"

My UK 80GB version was never backwards compatible with PS2 games, only PS1. I alwasy thought it was only America and Japan that offered PS2 backwards compatibility

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Anonymous Coward

Re: "selling point for the PS3"

AFAIK it was only the 60gb model with the four usb sockets that is backwards compatible with PS2. At least that's whay mine is and it works.

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Re: "selling point for the PS3"

My UK 40GB version, bought in the week of the PS3 launch, supports PS2 games. Albeit with occasional glitches, such as getting trapped amongst the scenery in games like Black which I assume are due to differences in the way collision detection works.

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Re: "selling point for the PS3"

Assuming that it works the same way as the 60GB PS3, get a copy of Burnout 2 (black box). The game works, but all the car wheels are missing, and instead there's this unearthly glow where they used to be. It's frickin' awesome!

The only other game I've found with any bugs (and the only one with any game-breakers) is Gungrave, where there's a door partway through the game that you simply can't enter. But then, Gungrave is a piece of shit anyway, so who cares?

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Re: On PC We have Steam...

...in itself a reason why quite a few people, myself included, avoid such games like an AIDS-infected leper with bubonic plague.

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@M Gale, Re: On PC We have Steam...

Did you read the rest of my post, or just get to the word "Steam" and type in reflex rage? Steam might be the biggest and best known, and you can't deny that it's a damn sight cheaper than console markets, but I did mention "competition within the platform". If GoG continues the way it's currently going, it could very well give Steam a run for its money. While I have an embarassing number of games on Steam, I've recently bought a few games from GoG because they were cheaper, DRM free and came with more stuff. That's a set of incentives that will undercut anyone.

On console, you have Sony's store, and Microsoft's store, and both are a rip-off. Though, to be honest, the company with the shittiest online service is definitely Nintendo. Apart from it having the barest of feature set, and games almost never receiving patches or updates, if you actually look at some of the real-world pricing for the Wii Store, it's astonishingly expensive.

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MJI
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Quantity of data > HDD

Blu Ray 50GB in PS3 compatible

HDD 320GB PS3

Imagine a fan of Uncharted Killzone Resistance and Gran Turismo. Sizes are estimated

22 25 50

12 50

22 18 30

50

Then add in one or two more series - say Ratchet & Clank or Motorstorm - and of course DLC - full hard drive

Prologue left off

BTW We have all of the above except Prologue and All 4 One

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jai
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more downloads

The industry is clearly going towards download distribution. Removes the costs of manufacture and physical distribution, kills the pre-owned games market.

Plus, from a consumer view point, faster loading times and no longer boxes and boxes in storage full of old games that i'll never get around to playing again anyway

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Re: more downloads

That's what ebay's for, let someone else have the benefit of the stuff you no longer need!

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Pirate

Re: more downloads

I do 'em one better, since 2nd hand sales are just as bad as piracy and all that: I just pirate.

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Sounds good to me

I buy nearly all my PS3 games off eBay for a fraction of their new price and have a broadband speed that makes downloading a waste of time even trying.

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Coat

Re: Sounds good to me

I buy nearly all my PC games off Steam for a fraction of their new price

Sorry - I couldn't resist.

But seriously, you don't need a gaming pc to play most of the older games.

My d/l just gained 1mb/s when Telstra replaced a bit of cable in the road after a tree fell on it, so I'm happy. It can still take a day or so to d/l stuff, but my trusty draytek has bandwidth control so I can even out the data over my off-peak period allowences.

I tend to get all the old stuff anyway. Less focus on visuals, more on gameplay. I'm not falling for buying another CODBLOPS.

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Here is a simple way to hasten digital downloads

Stop ripping off people who buy them. Digital downloads are supposedly piracy proof and second hand proof. Yet they cost MORE than discs through retail. Discs that have production, shipping, returns costs associated with them plus all the middle man costs retail less than a bunch of DRM protected bytes on a server.

I don't single out Sony with this since the same is true virtually regardless of the service. Go to Steam and see how much a new title costs. It retails for the RRP when the physical copy is discounted for 30% including free P&P. To add insult to injury the physical copy might be steam enabled anyway so you're not even suffering from disc based copy protection either.

It's a scam pure and simple and I think people recognize it too. If downloads were cheaper it would motivate people to use it more, which in turn would have knock on effects for ISPs to provide the broadband to do this. And perhaps then physical media could be done away with or at least consigned to some expansion peripheral.

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Re: Here is a simple way to hasten digital downloads

"Go to Steam and see how much a new title costs."

True, but go back six months after release or during a sale and see how much it costs then. Don't know if that will translate to the console market though. Those games never seem to go down in price.

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K
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Re: Here is a simple way to hasten digital downloads

Simply does not work!

M$ has fixed prices on Xbox Live, £39-£44 for new games, when they drop to budget though, they remain at £19.99.. Aside from very rare special offers, I have never seen a premium title offered below this. Yet I can go to my browser and order the same title from Amazon for £10!

As long as M$ control the download distribution and console, you can wave goodbye to all those nice cheap games we each enjoy picking up! This would be an epic disaster for consumers.

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Linux

@K

I would say exactly the same about the pricing model for the Playstation store, Digital Download version are always full price. One example, for me was Black Ops ... I had a failing BluRay drive and was considering buying the download version of BO, until I noticed the £49.99 price tag. Amazon are selling BO for £15.71 with free Super Saver delivery.

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MJI
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Re: Digital download prices

Both Sony & MS.

This is because they have been threatened by the stores - do not undercut us or we will not stock your games.

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"But Sony, it seems, feels that too many punters either want physical media - which they can, of course, sell when they've finished with the game - or lack sufficiently broad broadband to cope with multi-gigabyte downloads."

MS, on the other hand, will do what they're doing with Windows 8: Shove their fingers in their ears and sing "La la la la we know better la la la!".

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I imagine they'll sell it as a feature then remove it later in a software patch. Oh wait, surely Sony wouldn't do such a thing,

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K
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Coat

lol ..

1980;s - Rockstar ate my hampster

2010's - Console ate my Blu Ray

Not quite the same ring to it :D

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i would like to see them remove physical h/w (optical drive) via a patch. they could disable it for games i guess.

i bet we will see developers doing download only games.

the thing is we should be able to lend games to mates or take games around to other people's houses.

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Re: lol ..

1980s - Freddie Starr, surely?

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Re: lol ..

In the imortal words of Fishbot.

"There is no P in hamster.

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Mushroom

Re: lol ..

> In the imortal words of Fishbot. There is no P in hamster.

My kids hamster would beg to differ. Fecker P's everywhere....

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Coat

Re: lol ..

When Freddie Starr was done, there was no F in hamster either.

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now we just need MS to follow with the xbox

I have both an Xbox and PS3 but the PS3 is rarely touched for gaming purposes as I prefer the 360.

However, were Sony to release a disc based PS3 against a DL-only xbox I would make the switch without even thinking about it! DL-only would be disastrous for the consumer as it effectively gives a monopoly on games. No competition and a take it or leave it price!

I honestly dont understand the download stores on the consoles and like so many have said. They cost so much more than you can physically buy a copy for WHICH YOU CAN SELL ON! When Halo:Reach came to xbox live it was about 2 months late and retailed at £50! where do they get that from! I never even saw it at that price in lamestation! I picked it up from sainsburys for £30.

Download-only is fine for things like phones where the price of games is measured in pennies rather than pounds but when you start selling games at those kinds of prices your just having a laugh.

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Anonymous Coward

PS4 - 4K

For anyone that is interested - I have it through a reliable source in the games industry that the PS4 will support 4k res movies/games.....

Try downloading one of those with a data cap!

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Re: PS4 - 4K

4k 3d games shouldnt require much extra bandwidth. maybe bigger textures.... not that anyone can afford a 4k tv yet let alone a 4k projector!

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Wassat?

Is that like the PS3's support for 2K?

...and the PS2's support for "HD"?

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bah, Sony

Weren't they looking at personalizing games, so it'd be impossible to resell your games when you're done with them? didn't buy the PS3 and not going to buy the PS4 either. I'll stick with Microsoft, the 360 has served me well over the past years.

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From what I remember hearing, they decided to do this / this was leaked months ago. Is El Reg just slow on console uptake?

The plan I heard was that their primary market would be through digital download, and games you bought would be well... PC games, you intall them on the HD, type in the CDKEY given and then download a small patch which enables teh game.

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Linux

Yeah, nah, not interested. Burnt by the PS3, not going back.

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Anonymous Coward

Ok, so we get discs...

....but I bet you the assault on the 2nd hand games market doesn't end there.

Suspect it will now take the form that we see from the DLC codes in current console games, only it won't just be an in game item we unlock, but the whole damned game.

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I disagree with everyone (not just my wife)

I'm going to say I'd be glad to see the back of the optical drive. Because...

A huge number of BluRay drives fail - basically the less moving parts, the more robust the machine will be. I speak from bitter experience. I really like my PS3, I don't like the fact I'm on my fourth though. One of my three failures was down to a failed BluRay.

Discs are a pain in the arse. They get scratched or lost. I'd prefer my digital media to be stored by the vendor. DLC on PSN seems OK to me. Some retard will mention the PSN hacking debacle no doubt.

And lastly, I've never managed to get into double figures on down thumbs - even slating Apple didn't work. I reckon this post might make it.

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Facepalm

Re: I disagree with everyone (not just my wife)

If you are scratching and losing discs, may I suggest you are doing something wrong.

You can get protective cases for your discs, they quite often come with the game name on it and some artwork. If you put the disc back into the protective case and then put that on say a shelf with the spine showing, you can always find the disc by it's name and it isn't scratched!

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Re: I disagree with everyone (not just my wife)

Sure, but the combination of a wife who insists on her own organisation plan for the house, 3 children with attention spans running at milliseconds, and a miniature schnauzer with rather sharp teeth contends with my attempts to create a little order around the place. It's also a bit of a flap swapping them around to play different games anyway. Apparently MW3 on XBox requires separate discs for mutliplayer & campaign. It's just too much of a faff.

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Re: I disagree with everyone (not just my wife)

Kids - training, else they will grow up to scratch discs too, had to retrain the wife on that as she was brought up to simply stack discs on the side, normally shiny side down.

Dog - sharp teeth can't get at them when the discs are in a case and on the shelf.

"Apparently MW3 on XBox requires separate discs for mutliplayer & campaign"

No it doesn't. Source: I haven't changed the disc for months and played all MW3 modes

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I'm glad Sony made this decision. I prefer physical media because where I live the fastest internet connection available is 1.5mbps. It takes days to download a 10gb file and PS4 games are likely to be at least that big and probably bigger.

As far as backwards compatibility goes, I would like the PS4 to be backwards compatible but the rumors suggest this is unlikely. The rumors are saying that Sony is switching to an architecture closer to x86 to make coding for the console easier. If this is true it's unlikely the new machine will be able to emulate the cell processor fast enough to make PS3 games work. It could probably emulate PS1 and PS2 games well enough though if they put enough effort into the emulation engine.

It was only the first two or three models of the PS3 that backwards compatibility with PS2 games. The original 60gb model had hardware support for it and the subsequent 80gb model had software emulation.

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Not quite true. As I understand it, the 60GB model in the US had hardware support, as did Japan, but the 60GB version in Europe was software based.

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