Sony PlayStation Portable has become a rather popular device and Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. has been making a good job in making this originally gaming device a communication and lifestyle gadget. One thing that the PSP lacks is digital distribution of video games, something that would make lives of gamers and Sony considerably easier. But Sony claims that video game distribution via the Internet is not in a short-term plan.
"In North America we have not made a firm decision if and when we are going to launch day and date, retail and digital. In Japan we do, and Europe is going that way. In America we are looking at the opportunity. Digital kind of fits our view of the world in the mid-term, not in the short term – three to five years out. We want to start providing the content to the consumers and start to get them to a place where they can accept digital distribution,” said John Koller, a director of hardware marketing at SCEI, in an interview with Gamesindustry.biz web-site.
Obviously, the vast majority of gamers do have high-speed Internet connection to download video games for handheld game console and they would be eager to acquire games via the Internet since this might be cheaper. But Sony claims that it still makes sense to sell video games for mobile devices via retail outlets.
"Music hung on to the disc format for as long as possible, when consumers were actively saying we are very interested in digital. We are very happy to provide that content and at least allow the consumer to make that choice. We want to provide the option to wake up in the morning and get it on-line or walk to the store and buy it,” Mr. Koller is reported to have said.
Obviously, retail model of selling allows Sony to sell more devices since retail outlets carry more items compared to online stores and, potentially, a gamer that came for a video game also might acquire a Blu-ray video as well as a CD album produced by Sony.