Hands up, how many of you have downloaded an entire game over the magic of the interwebz? Yep, pretty much all of you. It’s not too hard to imagine game purchases becoming a more digital affair in the years to come, at least in nations with a better online infrastructure at least. Cutting out the middle man and grabbing some more profit is pretty much a dream for developers and publishers, and it right now, it’s an idea that Sony is going to pursue with the Playstation 4.
Speaking to the Guardian, Sony Worldwide Studios president Shuhei Yoshida explained how the shift to a more digital storefront for Sony came about, as every single PS4 game released in the future will also be available as a digital download. “We’re shifting our platform more and more to the digital side – PS4 will be similar to PS Vita in that every game will be available as a digital download, and some will also be available as a disc,” Shuhei said.
Because of the flexibility of the digital distribution scheme, we can have more small games that might be free or available for a couple of dollars, or different services like free-to-play or subscription models. As more and more services and contents become available digitally, we’ll have more of an option to create attractive packages. So hypothetically we can look at different models – like a cable TV company.
We could have gold, silver or platinum levels of membership, something like that. We can do subscription services when we have more content – especially now that we have the Gaikai technology available. With one subscription you have access to thousands of games – that’s our dream.
Which eerily sounds much like the movie service Netflix. A service where you don’t own any of the thousands of movies and TV episodes available, but you still have the option to watch said streaming content whenever you want, provided that your subscription is paid and up to date. I’d bet a large amount of cash contained in a bag with a big dollar sign on it that in the next ten years, we’ll see games going into that direction.