All PlayStation 4 games will be available as digital downloads

Credit: Raymond Wong/DVICE

Digital video games are great, especially if you hate physical disc clutter. On the PlayStation 4, Sony's making a concerted effort to ensure all games will be available as digital downloads, as on the PS Vita.

In an interview with The Guardian, Sony Worldwide Studios President Shuhei Yoshida explains how digital content will play a central role on the PS4, particularly for attracting smaller studios:

"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. The Witness will be a digital release and 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."

It's no coincidence that Sony is betting big on digital with the PS4. The new console has a secondary processor and 8GB of ultra fast memory that will allow games to be played while they download, as opposed to after they finish downloading.

Yoshida also hinted at the possibility of creating subscription packages for gaming, similar to how cable providers bundle TV channels together and sell it at flat fee:

"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."

That sounds a little bit like Xbox Live's Gold membership option, where users can pay monthly or yearly to access more online features both in games and out. Sony resisted charging for the online features on the PlayStation 3, but finally announced its own subscription service, PlayStation Plus.

But the most interesting bit in The Guardian's interview with Yoshida has to be the concept that chunks of PS4 games will be playable on any device:

"In a couple of years I'd like to be playing PS4 games on all my devices, with the main experience on the big screen, and smaller sections on mobile screens … It will all be connected."

PS4 games on my smartphone or tablet? Maybe streamed from the cloud? I'll take it!

Via The Guardian

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