Despite the big focus on digital distribution and Gaikai streaming shown during the PlayStation 4 reveal event, it seems that Sony still has big plans for Blu-ray powered launches, which will continue to be crucial for a number of emerging markets.
Jim Ryan, the leader of PlayStation division for Europe, tells IGN that, “Clearly, and this applies not just to games but to pretty much every form of entertainment, there is a trend to increased digital consumption, and that is happening now on PS3 and will continue and will probably accelerate on PS4.”
He adds, “But the primary delivery mechanism for the big games on the PS4 platform will continue to be Blu-ray discs, for the foreseeable future.”
Ryan believes that, in the foreseeable future, Blu-ray disks will be the only way to deliver content, including important video game launches, in a number of territories where Sony wants a significant presence.
He specifically talked about Southern Europe, but there are many areas around the world where Internet connections are poor and gamers still use brick and mortar stores to get access to their favorite titles.
Sony is aiming to have the best of both worlds by using Blu-ray releases in those areas where it can still move significant numbers of physical copies and by delivering day-and-date digital versions for those who want to use the PSN to access their games.
Shuhei Yoshida, who is the leader of Sony Computer Entertainment Worldwide Studios, promises that how a game is acquired will make no difference to the final experience.
The PlayStation 4 was revealed during an event in New York close to one week ago and since then, Sony has listed official hardware specifications, although the company has not unveiled a clear design for the device.
The PS4 will not be backwards compatible and will focus heavily on digital content.