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#1 BajiRav

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Posted 18 June 2013 - 22:37

http://kotaku.com/so...for-p-514144920

 

 

Sony's successful, if counter-intuitive next-gen message for the PlayStation 4 at last week's E3 is that things won't change. No disc DRM changes. No new online checks for PS4. You might think Sony doesn't want gaming to change in the PS4 era. Oh, but they do.

In fact, if you listen closely, they're veering closer to what Microsoft is envisioning for Xbox One than you may have thought, had you only been focused on the Sony and Microsoft's dueling press conferences.

The two are not the same.

 

Only Microsoft is planning to make your games not work if you have lost Internet for 24 hours. And, to be fair, only Microsoft is talking about a 10-member "family" game-sharing plan.

Both Microsoft and Sony, however, seem to be ready for console gamers to shift their gaming to digital, to bring console game closer to PC and phone gaming, where the default way to get a game is to download it.

In fact, it was Sony people who seemed most eager, in interviews with me, to enable a more download-heavy gaming future.

"The things we want to see change," Sony's head of worldwide studios, Shuhei Yoshida told me at E3, when I asked him about Sony's hopes for changes in the next gen, "[is to have] more people embrace the digital side and have more people connect." He wants more people to download Sony's ever-growing line-up of interesting and often independently-made downloadable games. Frankly, the PlayStation store is where Sony is presenting some of the system's more innovative stuff.

 

 

Yoshida: "The things we want to see change [is to have] more people embrace the digital side and have more people connect."

 

 

It's not just the artsy games—the Journeys and Unfinished Swans—that Sony is selling online. PlayStation v.p. of hardware marketing, John Koller, told me that the company is also committed to continuing to release its big games for download on the same day they come out in stores on disc.

Both the PS4 and the Xbox One have the 500GB harddrives to support a gaming future that involves a console user's radically increased consumption of downloaded games. And one can imagine that the DRM for downloaded games isn't going to be all that flexible on either system, not as flexible as it was in the age of trading or trading in game discs. In fact, Microsoft is at least the one articulating a family-sharing plan for digital games. Neither has been clear if there is a real used-game digital plan (and, yes, that concept may simply not make sense) nor have either outlined any ability to lend a friend a downloaded game.

 

 

Koller: "The difference between an eight hour download and a 15-minute drive to retail—retail is winning that every time...Solving that with PlayGo... is a big win for the digital side of the business."

 

 

Some gamers will always prefer to get their games on disc. They like to hold a game in their hands. They like to feel as if they possess it and aren't just getting a license to some bits. As long as games are multiple Gigabytes and online connection speeds aren't fast enough to pipe those files through quickly, then discs will stick around. Safe assumption. Well, sorta safe.

Sony's Koller said something to me last week that stuck out. He talked about buying discs at a store as if that was a problem, something that the industry needs to solve.

"We're very bullish on digital," Koller told me last week. "One of the things we noticed through the progression of building the PlayStation 4 and now that we've announced it, is that immediacy is a big problem in this industry. Digital is really harmed by that. The difference between an eight hour download and a 15-minute drive to retail—retail is winning that every time. Physical gaming will proliferate as long as that continues. Solving that with PlayGo, which gives you a chunk of the [currently downloading] game you can start playing while the rest is buffered in the background, is a big win for the digital side of the business. I think digital will grow a lot more rapidly as a result of that particular point."

 

 

Koller: "We need to make things easier for people on an immediacy basis, as an industry. We need to make games more accessible."

 

 

As a games reporter, I can often just get a disc mailed to me for free; even still, lately, I've opted for paying for a download. It's that much less of a hassle. But I have a choice. I could get the game on disc. More importantly, Sony isn't really going out of its way on PS3 to make downloading a game the better option than getting it on disc. It sounds, from Koller, like they plan to make digital more attractive on PS4. Except, as is the nature of next-gen talk these days, the question then turns to what the DRM on downloads will be. Sony's not talking about digital DRM right now.

It's easy to think that Sony would like to shift gaming toward a download model just to cut out game shops and make more profits selling games directly to gamers. It doesn't sound to me, however, that it's close to being that simple. Koller articulated another reason that it's so important for Sony to offer the combination of downloadable games and a PlayGo service that lets you start playing partially-downloaded games almost as soon as the download starts.

"There's 220 million Americans who game," he said. "Many of them game on tablets and mobile. When you play a game on tablet or mobile, you may not be playing the deep, rich immersive games you play on console, but you are immediately accessing that content. There's not a lot of lag. So we looked at that. And, as we talked to gamers who were starting to say, 'You know I love console gaming but tablets and mobile are engaging my time,' we realized that as an industry we need to solve that. PlayGo was born of that. We said, 'We need to make it easier for people to get into digital content, so that people don't have to wait around.'"

He bottom lined it, talking about PlayGo and Sony's 2014-scheduled Gaikai service that will stream PS3 games to PS4: "We need to make things easier for people on an immediacy basis, as an industry. We need to make games more accessible."

Sony wants gaming to be more sudden: You hear about a game and—finger-snap—you're playing it. There's no drive to the store. There's no shrinkwrap to cut. There's no waiting for a progress bar to finish. There's no delay. It happens right away. And, in that scenario, there's no disc in sight.

 




#2 +Audioboxer

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Posted 18 June 2013 - 22:44

Continue to make improvements to PSN and the PS Store, stay up to date with digital services (streaming/multimedia), show the Gaikai purchase to be worthwhile, give indies a place to love AND do all this without stupid DRM, then the future looks good.

 

What some of the MS fans seem to think is you cannot offer digital unless you abandon a physical model, that's the stupidest thing you could ever think in this digitally progressing world. Both can coincide, have done already this generation, and will do next gen at least on the PS4 and Wii U. You don't have to remove something (discs) in order to improve something else (digital). Look at any industry that offers digital and physical options.... I can stream 20 millions songs to my Nexus, but I can also go buy my parents audio CDs for their Christmas... What would be the point in removing that option? How would that be good for the music realm?



#3 FlintyV

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Posted 18 June 2013 - 22:50

Continue to make improvements to PSN and the PS Store, stay up to date with digital services (streaming/multimedia), show the Gaikai purchase to be worthwhile, give indies a place to love AND do all this without stupid DRM, then the future looks good.

 

What some of the MS fans seem to think is you cannot offer digital unless you abandon a physical model, that's the stupidest thing you could ever think in this digitally progressing world. Both can coincide, have done already this generation, and will do next gen at least on the PS4 and Wii U. You don't have to remove something (discs) in order to improve something else (digital). Look at any industry that offers digital and physical options.... I can stream 20 millions songs to my Nexus, but I can also go buy my parents audio CDs for their Christmas... What would be the point in removing that option? How would that be good for the music realm?

 

 

Last time I checked Xbox One games will still be available on bluray.



#4 +Audioboxer

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Posted 18 June 2013 - 22:51

Last time I checked Xbox One games will still be available on bluray.

 

True, but they do not function like 99% of gamers would expect from previous generations and how other industries of entertainment do (DVD/Blu Ray Movies/Music CDs). Try to tell a bunch of kids or parents why they can't just use a gaming disc how they have the past 10 years (Playing/Buying/Selling/Trading/Taking to a friends/Using offline).

 

When you buy something on PSN/XBL digitally you know what to expect, you know it's a software license tied to your account and it's never existed as something else previously. MS are trying to change what we expect from a disc, something we've been putting in consoles since the PS1 with the same results since.



#5 Atomic Wanderer Chicken

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Posted 18 June 2013 - 23:21

I think Microsoft's future is radical and confounding with their DRM policy's and move to a "steam" like model. The future should stay more of the same with installing game data and having to put a a disc in and with digital option. Sony is putting its loyal consumer base first by sticking with their tried and true game model that it had since the PS1.  So, with the Xbox One in order to lend a game, you need to have your friends on a list.  With the Xbox One also, you cant sell your game directly to someone, which is absurd. Sony is still moving forward with the PS4, but is slowly and cautiously doing it (keeping restrictionless games and no mandatory internet).



#6 OP BajiRav

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Posted 18 June 2013 - 23:35

True, but they do not function like 99% of gamers would expect from previous generations and how other industries of entertainment do (DVD/Blu Ray Movies/Music CDs). Try to tell a bunch of kids or parents why they can't just use a gaming disc how they have the past 10 years (Playing/Buying/Selling/Trading/Taking to a friends/Using offline).

 

When you buy something on PSN/XBL digitally you know what to expect, you know it's a software license tied to your account and it's never existed as something else previously. MS are trying to change what we expect from a disc, something we've been putting in consoles since the PS1 with the same results since.

There are only two things different in MS' model

1. You can't do private sales

2. You can't loan games to friends

 

I hope Microsoft did enough research to alienate these two scenarios this drastically. You will sing praise of Sony no matter so it's pointless arguing with you on this but there might be legitimate+viable business plan in all the XB1 plans.



#7 compl3x

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Posted 19 June 2013 - 00:53

People are aware that trying to make Sony look bad doesn't automatically make Microsoft look good, right?

 

 

To say Sony is interested in developing the digital space isn't proof of duplicity on their part, of course they want to take advantage of digital retail they're a business which wants to sell products, duh.



#8 JonnyLH

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Posted 19 June 2013 - 14:14

 

Sony's not talking about digital DRM right now.