Simultaneous Digital Releases for NGP – Sony

Speaking in an interview with MCV, SCEE President Andrew House has spoken about Sony’s plans for their upcoming PSP successor, the NGP. Commenting how ditching the the much-maligned UMD format in favour of Flash cards was a decision fuelled by a desire to reduce bulk, weight and the device’s power consumption, House also has spoken about how, in terms of the digital distribution revolution, Sony are planning giant strides. House states:

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One thing we learnt from PSP, is that we want to have simultaneous delivery in digital and physical for NGP. Just to clarify that, all games that appear physically will be made available digitally. Not necessarily all games have to be made available physically. And having the option of a digital-only method affords more creative risk-taking, and that’s because you don’t-have that in-built risk of physical inventory.

What I’d like to see is a hierarchy of different games of different sizes. So at the high-end you’ve got these big, premium games, which by and large will be available physically because that is the most convenient way to access them. And then there’s an opportunity for digital-only, where we might see more experimentation.

Of course, House has been singing from this hymn sheet before, though it is interesting to hear the reiteration about how all games will appear digitally, a feature that the original PSP has not enjoyed.

House goes on to touch upon the logic behind PlayStation Suite and how opening up the platform should not damage the attraction of the NGP. He also reveals that, in terms of PS3 connectivity, 92% of all PS3s in Scandavavia are online.

Source: MCV

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31 Comments

  1. Simultaneous releases? Will they also have identical prices or will the digital release be made available at cut price? Nope?

    • It’s unlikely that Sony would risk the wrath of retailers by selling digitally for significantly cheaper. There’s just no logic in that model. It may make sense for you and I, but we have to remember that Sony has to keep retailers on side or those big games won’t be stocked and, hence, won’t be sold. It’s a tricky balancing act, and one that can’t be explained by a simple: “There’s no disc, it has to be cheaper.”

      It just doesn’t work that way.

      • TSA – saying the things I long to say every week since 2009.

      • Sure they’ll have to keep them on side. I wasn’t thinking anything too drastic with the price different for digital download, but there _should_ be an incentive for users who were to download digitally.

      • Never really thought of it that way; makes sense!

      • It’s quite simple, they just need to wholesale digital content to etailers the same as the physical product. The reason digital copies of physical games don’t work is that the PSN store has the distribution monopoly and is forced to sell at RRP which practically no one does for physical media so you have this situation where the cheaper distribution model is at a higher price. By allowing etailers to sell them places like Play and Amazon would be able to apply the same sort of discounts they do for physical media, maybe sell them for slightly cheaper as they save on distribution costs.

        Sony could still control the content and distribution through licencing agreements to give etailers a link to the PSN store. For example you buy it from Play and Play send instruction to add it to your PSN download queue. Publishers could also have Buy Now options on the game’s website.

        As long as there is only one outlet for digital content it will never surpass physical media IMO…

      • Just make both versions cheaper. They are WAY overpriced anyway.

      • @Apnomis that’s a genius idea. Why has no-one in the industry thought of that before. It would work so well and also (possibly) reduce prices due to that lack of distribution and making the disk in the first place.

  2. In… where exactly?

  3. Day and date digital downloads don’t matter to me as much as the prices finally reflecting that these games are digital, and have no physical production and transportation costs.

    In other words, they need to compete with the retailers. If they can do that, then for day one purchases, I can see myself going digital. For purchases a little down the line, this becomes less likely as retailers will inevitably cut prices earlier and deeper than PSN will.

    • It wouldn’t surprise me if the physical and download versions are the same price on release day.

  4. Scandavavia? Random … cant wait till xmas :)

    • Scandinavia has high connection rates because of their region’s progressive broadband strategy – low-cost, high-speed fibre connections are commonplace.

    • I thought that to. It’s like watching a film and saying ‘wow, that extra in the background is such a good actor’. Wierd :/

    • Scandavavia? Prepare for a viking raid Mr. Lee!

    • Same here roll on xmas

  5. I still don’t understand how this could ever be a good business plan

    • Why not?

    • yeah, why not, it seems to have worked fine for the ps3.

  6. Lets hope its something that actually happens this time, i feel so sorry for the PSPGo…..all that wasted promise *sob*

  7. Isn’t it kinda funny in a way how piracy seeded the age of the digital download.

    • sorry i should have said distribution, not download.

    • i wouldn’t say piracy brought about the rise of digital distribution, game piracy has been going for much longer than downloads have been popular, by at least a decade probably.

      su[perfast broadband and ever larger hard drive sizes have played a bigger part i reckon.

      • No, what i mean is that where game distribution is now, piracy got there first. Music, movie and game industries were all late to the party. Media was being distributed digitally on a mass scale well before any of the industries got on board.

      • ah.
        well that’s true, hackers and pirates have always been quicker to make the most of new technologies.

  8. if it will be like the ps3 with big blockbuster titles available on physical formats and the smaller more risky titles going download only then i’d say that’s a good thing.

  9. As long as there isn’t a huge price difference (like ME2 on the Store) I can see myself going digital downloads over physical ones. I just don’t like the thought of having to carry around multiple memory cards – I’m bound to loose them.

  10. I agree as long as the pricing is right it will be a great plus for the NGP.
    I have a horrible feeling that the digital side will be heavily overpriced.

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