Sony 'not planning' games-on-demand service

PSN director Eric Lempel says full-scale PS3 games are too large to offer as digital downloads, but "opportunity there in the future."

237 Comments

As part of its 2009 Electronic Entertainment Expo presence, Microsoft announced that it would be introducing a games-on-demand download service through Xbox Live. The initiative, which replaces the publisher's current Xbox Originals program, will let Xbox 360 owners download full current-generation titles when it launches with a library of some 30 titles, including Mass Effect, BioShock, and Assassin's Creed.

Warhawk is already flying the digital distribution skies.
Warhawk is already flying the digital distribution skies.

For its part, Sony Computer Entertainment does not plan on countering its archrival's on-demand game service. Speaking with IndustryGamers, PlayStation Network Operations director Eric Lempel said that the size of PlayStation 3 games is a primary factor as to why full, current-generation software downloads won't be coming to the service he heads up anytime soon.

"It's not something we have planned, just because the size of the games is massive," Lempel said. "With Blu-ray we can put up to 50 gigs on a dual-layer disc, while [Xbox 360] is still on a 9-gig media. So technically it's possible, but I think the issue would be, 'Do you want to download 40 gigs and keep that on your hard drive?' I think there's great opportunity there in the future, and it's something we'll always look at, but for the time being it's not a direction we're going in."

Though no dedicated games-on-demand service is planned, Sony is already involved with offering full games through the PSN. In 2007, Sony released its multiplayer-only action title Warhawk through the PSN as well as at retail. Similarly, Slant Six's online-only competitive shooter SOCOM: U.S. Navy SEALs Confrontation was offered as a digital download and boxed product in 2008. Third-party publishers have also lent their wares to the PSN, with EA releasing Burnout Paradise through the service in September. The PSN also offers numerous full PSP and original PlayStation games for download.

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deactivated-5cd05fa50bb7d

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Not to say that MGS4 also had MGO in it which was great--in mgs3 substance mgo was on a different disk.

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AcidRainPain

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With the games all being formatted on to Blu-ray it makes sense.

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Jimmyjit

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I would not download a full game for the same reason with downloadable music. A physical disc is better, if you want to bring a game to a friends house inside the case. If I lose my I-pod without a cd back-up, I've lost my investment, and my music. An add-on is different.

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thenephariouson

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OK, i dont own a PS3, but have played MGS4 and it is a truly great game. The fact that it did use almost all of the 50 Gb disc capacity is simply due to the fact that Kojima cares so much about attention to detail, that in his mind it is the perfect game, and all he wanted to do was unleash its potential and provide gamers with an accurate representation of what MGS4 is all about. Blu Ray simply allowed him to 'flesh out' all his ideas with little restriction. However like Kojima has already said, even 50Gb storage still wasnt enough to really fullfill its potential. @Valen_Ca, XBOX originals are staying.

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Valen_Ca

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So wait, does this mean that they won't be selling the Xbox Originals anymore?

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10679

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@brendanhunt1 yep i meant hideo kojima. Thats true but there were cut scenes like the ending movie which was completely unnecessary which ultimately took up alot of space plus the uncompressed sound was also unnecessary for the game. take those two away and the amount of space the game used will drop dramatically.the game can do without those things.

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thenephariouson

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Who cares if MGS4 used all of its 50 Gb capacity, so what! i used to play games on cassette and they provided way more longevity. You could give a dev 100Tb of capacity and ill bet the game still only lasts 8/12 hours gameplay : )

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Red_Dawn345

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sony is going to fail this generation

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brendanhunt1

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@10679 by creator you mean Hideo Kojima. he never has said the exact amount but he has confirmed that the game was on a 50gb blu ray disk. knowing that the game had to be reduce in languages says that it is close to 50gb. and just playing the game and all the cut scenes, it does look like it uses alot of data

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thenephariouson

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Personally, i think unless MS and Sony allow 'On Demad' products to be downloaded to external sources (eg. my new 1TB external HDD), then this will fail, as (i personally) absoloutely refuse to be bullied by MS whereby they expect me to purchase what is effectively a standard 2.5" with a pityfull 120Mb storage capacity for an over inflated price, simply because it has the MS logo on it! Therefore give me the option of 'Choice' whereby i can choose which of my external devices i wish to store my purchased product (Games Drive, Music Drive, Demo Drive, etc). Untill this option is made available, they can take a running jump. I fully understand that Digital Distribution is the future, but 20/60/80/ even 120Gb storage capacity??? get real! Sorry for the rant. Just my Personal opinion.

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Avatar image for Glade_Gnarr
Glade_Gnarr

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This won't work until we get our 20 tera hard drives.

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slqmaster

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I download Movie Content daily. Does Anyone have an idea how long a 3GB file takes to load with a cable connection of 1.0Mbps? Its about 4 hrs using ALL of your internet speed. This means NO online playing until its finished. bummer!!! also this means you must invest in a new M$ hdd, which i'm sure will cost you a fortune while microsoft gets filthy rich from direct profit. Second, Once you have downloaded the contect. You must install the software, which only means it will eat up even more hdd space and waste more time. (only advantage i can see as a hardcore gamer is increased Load speed if you installed a 7200rpm+ hdd. YOU BETTER PRAY FOR SOLID STATE DRIVE FROM M$ Third, you're getting screwed over hard. As a mid 2000's gamer you must pay $60 per a new release. No disc means you can't recoup cost if you truely hate the game or completed the game and it has no replay value. your lose $60 and M$ once again takes you money as complete profit because someone can't buy your copy when your done playing, they must buy it directly from M$ at top dollar Lately I hate the gaming industry bacause I will pay $63 for a game, and two months later Walmart and other retailers will drop that price down to $39.99 (top sellers) and $29.99 badly sold games, $19.99 too many copies of outdated games (outdated only being 180 days, very sad) So I paid $63 and 45 days later the game is only worth 29.99 NEW.

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10679

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@brendanhunt1 proof that mgs4 uses up most of the 50 gigs. the proof has be from the creator himself and he has to say the exact amount of space used.

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APCTool88

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i think sony is smart on this one my 40gb is already almost maxed out and i got it a couple of weeks ago

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KhanhAgE

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Even if they did offer this service, no one in Australia would be crazy enough to use it. As most Australians (like myself) are on a capped data allowance plan. Will these broadband providers ever give us unlimited data (without charging us through the ***?). *sigh*

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ieatnoobs18

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Digitaly downlodaing games doesnt make any sense...If you sont want a hard copy of a game anymore, you can just sell it, you cant do that with a download. And thatll take of a ton of HDD space. However, this probaly is the future of video game distribution.

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YIRock

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i think Microsoft is going to need to realese new 360 systems with really really big hard drives to be able to do this but sony is making the right desision not to do this. PS3 kicks @$$

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thenephariouson

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Up next: Holographic Discs, that can store upto 4Tb, although currently only used for corporate use, it wont be long untill the demand is increased to such a level that manufacturers will be required to make them more accessible to the public domain.

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brendanhunt1

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mgs4 did fill up most of the 50gb disk

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wars45

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soneys right wot happens when u fed up fo the game are u going to delete and lose money

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Ian_Michael

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@ BigBacon87. Totally agree with you there, I like to see my games on my shelf and pop 'em in my PS3. And the PSP Go is a great idea for a portable. My daughters keep misplacing their DS games just in the house, I'd hate for them to lose them when we're somewhere else, at $30 a game that's way to expensive to lose at a park or restaurant. PSP downloadable games is a good choice for the PSN.

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10679

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@wallywallas the link that you gave me still doesn't prove that mgs4 used up all 50gb. the article only talks about how he complains that the blu - ray space is small. He didn't specify at the end how much space was used to make the game. Even if its true the game could use some re editing as there are stuffed that was unnecessary in the game.

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Krammin

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That's a good thing! Why compress for the sake of download where you can get the disc at the highest quality. The world isn't ready for high end downloads. 10 years and this will be the way but now, I'd rather keep my disc space for Hard Drive installs and demos.

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Jhoalot

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i preffer a disc but i dont understand this, if assasis creed can be downloaded from the xbox live, why not in the ps3 just crompres it! give the 8 core procesor a use!

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izmickey

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@ XanderZane are you using a direct connection or are you using the wifi? Maybe its your ISP. I download demos and games and it doesnt take long at all. I downloaded FF7 which was 1gb and X mbs. It took me about 25 minutes.

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Cillerboy

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i would never be able to download 40 gig games it wud just take too long. hell, a 1 gig demo takes hours anyway!

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Ronin893

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I would only want or need this for games that are impossible to find but I would rather have the box for any game that I own so its not stored and taking up space on my system. I would want to be able to share it at will as well.

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thenephariouson

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XeonForce, I agree, i just think MS needs to allow DL content to be stored on External devices, in the same way as demos, job done.

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lobotomies4free

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what about renting? maybe even in parts like games used to be

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oflow

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they need to add some maps to socom and add the old controller config from socom 2...whatever fat princess is still coming! :P

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kkevguy47k

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@kavadias1981 I can't say because i've never used external hard drives. It was fairly easy to install the new internal hard drive(except for the tray screws, they're tight as ****).

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XeonForce

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With full game downloads and disc-game installs, Microsoft needs to get some bigger hard drives (and so do I), but I sure as hell won't be paying their outrageous prices.

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BigBacon87

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As lame as it sounds and is, I like looking at my collection. Downloadable titles have their place on the HDD but for the time being, I'll continue buying cased games irregardless of Sony's decision on this. Now the PSP on the other hand Im all about the Go. I haven't had a handheld since Sega's gamegear because games and cases are excessive and totally not why Im taking something with me. If I ever do buy a handheld it will be the Go or something without the extra hardware involved. Consoles sit in my living room, I have enough space for my games and friends come over they have no interest in browsing through my HDD for games, if they are casual gamers they will still ask me to throw in UFC or COD if they see it on the shelf when were knee deep in whiskey.

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dzfunk64

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kansaspwnage, I know most people still have the original hard drive in their PS3. I was just saying that it is possible to have a really huge hard drive on the PS3, whereas the Xbox 360 is limited to a maximum of 120 GB. I'm guessing they'll release a bigger hard drive when this starts, but we still won't have the same freedom as with a PS3. I do realize that Sony wouldn't want to make such large games downloadable, but I was only trying to compare the hard drives, and point out that it would work better with a PS3 than an Xbox 360.

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BalramRules

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Xbox is gone CRRAAAAZZZZYYYYY

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BalramRules

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Sony's got the good idea : )

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izmickey

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If only somehow we can rent games from PSN or XBL. I would like to see that someday. Unless its already out there. If it is, i must've been living under a rock lately.

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maverick_76

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I personally only slightly prefer the physical media and that is mainly because I can always delete data on my HDD and reload it at any time from the disk. Who knows what rules the new service will have as far as that but I do agree that it would be nice to pick up the newest game without even having to head out of your house.

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Laiska_pummi

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PS. And I still would buy games on boxes, so you could sell them or something. ANd to leave room for demos and stuff.

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Laiska_pummi

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It's nice to buy games on the boxes, but Xbox originals is cool I have bought 3 games from there. But for PS3 it wouldn't work. They would need to make extrenal HD's or something like that.

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Dragonspear2462

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Ugh.. I prefer buying games with the box...So I can put it nicely in my game library......Those who agree...Put positive.or vice versa

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FusionRain

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i don't think it matters thats why they got both forums of media that u can buy they are still making money ps: @Kleeyook just finished shuffle! it was great lol

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Avatar image for deactivated-57fce817a4cf5
deactivated-57fce817a4cf5

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@kkevguy47k If you buy an external hard drive and hook it up to your PS3 can you still see whatever is stored on there on the XMB? Does it access it just as fast as if it was stored on the PS3 itself?

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Kleeyook

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I don't like digital distribution because I can't buy games online.

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keyboarder20

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I dont care about downloads. I like to return crap games and i love to buy pre-owned cheapf good games. I was really disappointed with the future psp being download only. I won`t be buying that one. I will stick to my PSP 3000 , which is great. And for the 360 and the PS3 i will keep buying the disks. Not only i like to have the hardcopies but i also hate to pay for stuff over the net. No downloads for me. Thank you but no thank you.

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raahsnavj

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Look at that, bluray's size getting in the way of digital distribution... I hope it pays off, I don't like the idea of digital distribution for major titles I'll want to replay many years after the console life ends.

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StuDevo

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I prefer to have a physical copy of a game. If its crap then you can trade it in and at least get some return, whereas you cant with a downloaded game. Also i agree that the size would be a problem even with my 320 GB hard drive that is only like 10 games.

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Hvac0120

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@XanderZane I don't know what area you live (don't need to) or what your broadband speed is supposed to be, but PSN downloads are MUCH faster for me than Xbox 360 Marketplace downloads. The PSN in general is much faster. [quote=" kavadias1981"] I dont know about you guys but it takes about 30-40 minutes for my PS3 to down a 1.5GB demo [/quote] Yeah. About the same for me. Sometimes faster, but I'd say that's average.

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kkevguy47k

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This is why i have 187 gigs left in my ps3. out of 250 btw. 40 gigs wasn't enough for me.

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deactivated-57fce817a4cf5

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I dont know about you guys but it takes about 30-40 minutes for my PS3 to download a 1.5GB demo. Just imagine a full 15GB game lol.

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