If there’s one company that knows a thing or two about the risks of a download-only platform, it’s Sony. The company launched the famously-troubled PSP Go, a system that only played downloadable titles, in 2009 and near-helplessly watched it crash and burn throughout the following two years.
That’s probably a big factor in Sony Worldwide Studios boss Shuhei Yoshida saying that it’s just not the right time for a download-only system, then. The company exec has revealed as much to Edge (via) in a recent interview.
“We believe, for some consumers, the time is [right], but for other consumers, the time is still not [right],” he said, referring to the demand for digital titles on Sony’s upcoming PS Vita.
“So we believe the time is still not right to go download-only as a platform. Some PS Vita titles, like Uncharted: Golden Abyss, will be close to 4GB in size, which could be too large to download for consumers who do not have a fast broadband connection.
“Also, some consumers like shopping in retail stores, talking to knowledgeable store clerks, buying and playing games on the spot. We do not want to remove that capability from consumers.”
Sony Computer Entertainment Europe boss Jim Ryan backed up Yoshida’s statement, saying: “There are consumers in parts of the world – this is a global device – where the digital model has not yet fully been embraced.”
Digital-only or not, there’s still much debate as to if the market wants a dedicated gaming handheld anymore. We can only wait until the Vita launches to find out.