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Hirai: discless consoles "way off"

Sony Computer Entertainment boss Kaz Hirai has said that the era when download distribution of games takes over from disc media is "way off" because, by and large, the internet isn't ready.

Speaking of theoretical 'discless consoles' that would rely completely on a Steam-style downloads, Hirai said: "I think that's going to be a little way off.

"Even with PS3, today, you're talking about games that take 14, 15Gb, even upwards of 20Gb," he explained. "If you try to offer that complete game as a download, you can do that, but what is the consumer experience going to be like?"

It would take ages, is what he's saying. And the world's internet infrastructure and install base isn't there yet.

"You also have to realise that different countries all have broadband, but the speeds are different, and then there are some territories where there isn't too much broadband infrastructure at this point in time."

So discs are here to stay. "When you look at it from a worldwide business perspective, the most efficient way of delivering 50 gigabytes, say, is going to be on a disk for a while to come.

"That's not to say we're not doing the online stuff - which we are, through the PlayStation Store, but it's basically a combination that makes the most sense for us and consumers.

"That's why in some instances, we'll offer both versions, like with Gran Turismo 5: Prologue," Hirai told semi-official blog,ThreeSpeech.

Courtesy of CVG

May 30, 2008