Sony PlayStation 4 to Continue Using Optical Disc Drives

Sony: Blockbuster Games to Keep Being Distributed on Packaged Media

by Anton Shilov
01/12/2010 | 04:01 PM

There is a rather clear trend towards digital distribution of various content, including electronic books, movies, music, video-games and so on. However, a high-ranking executive of Sony Computer Entertainment believes that high-profile blockbuster games for PlayStation 4 will be still distributed on optical discs.


It is relatively easy to distribute books or music via the Internet due to high-speeds and relatively small file sizes. However, movies and video games can now require from 8GB to 50GB and need either dual-layer DVD or dual-layer Blu-ray disc (BD) media to be distributed. Quite naturally, it is hardly convenient to download such games or movies, moreover, forty 50GB titles require 2TB of storage, an unbelievable amount for 2006, when the PlayStation 3 was released. Needless to say that going forward storage requirements will only grow. Sony believes that even when the PlayStation 4 is release, optical discs will still be required for high-profile titles, whereas smaller games can be released digitally.

“Game developers now have to use the entire capacity of a Blu-ray disc. In addition, we also offer smaller titles from the PlayStation Store, but the big blockbuster games will continue to appear on media,” said Shuhei Yoshida, senior vice president of product development at Sony Computer Entertainment America, in an interview with web-site.

Even though Mr. Yoshida did not confirm that PlayStation 4 will use Blu-ray disc or a next-generation optical format, it is highly-possible that the console due in several years will use optical discs to store huge next-generation video games. Moreover, considering the fact that Sony is working on increase of per-layer capacity of BDs, whereas other companies propose multi-layer Blu-ray media. The bottom line is that even with BD it may be feasible to store hundreds of gigabytes of data in the next five years.

At present X-bit labs is running a poll on the front page asking which product categories, technologies or trends do our readers expect to cease to exist by 2020. Among other technologies in such “death row” there are packaged media and optical discs. Will they cease to exist in ten years? Tell us your opinion!