PlayStation 4 side-steps PSP Go-shaped landmine as Sony decides against download-only games

According to the Wall Street Journal, Sony considered making PS4 a download-only machine, but subsequently decided against the idea, arguing not only that high street and online retailers would suffer if there were no boxed copies to sell, but also that the network infrastructure is still not reliable or widespread enough to make it feasible.

It sounds perfectly logical to us – PSP Go was clearly 'testing the water' and proved, monumentally, that the market is not ready just yet to go download only. You could argue that the online PSP store's incomplete software library had something to do with it, or perhaps that customers were forced to buy all their existing games again, but that's besides the point.

Above: Remember this little fella? My wallet sure does

If true (and we'll come to that shortly), the news means PS4 is firstly a physical machine and not just an online service - something PlayStation expert Dan Dawkins discussed at length in our GRUK Podcast this week. It also means that said machine will take physical media. Sounds good to us – we're not quite ready to give up on having an actual games console under our tellys just yet.

But why are we saying 'if true'? Surely the Wall Street Journal checks their sources, right? Well, we can't help but be skeptical when the entire article is full of disclaimers about how much the journalists (plural!) writing the article actually know about the subject:

"people familiar with the matter said"
"people familiar with the matter said"
"one of the people familiar with Sony's thinking said"
"the person said"
"according to a person familiar with the matter"

With Sony itself refusing to comment (of course), we're left to assume that the Wall Street Journal has an inside source somewhere, and not just 'the bloke behind the counter in the game shop'. We'll find out either next week, or next week plus one year.

Source: People unfamiliar with the matter

Justin Towell

Justin was a GamesRadar staffer for 10 years but is now a freelancer, musician and videographer. He's big on retro, Sega and racing games (especially retro Sega racing games) and currently also writes for Play Magazine,, PC Gamer and TopTenReviews, as well as running his own YouTube channel. Having learned to love all platforms equally after Sega left the hardware industry (sniff), his favourite games include Christmas NiGHTS into Dreams, Zelda BotW, Sea of Thieves, Sega Rally Championship and Treasure Island Dizzy.