Sony’s UK head, Fergal Gara, says that retail is needed when the next-generation of consoles arrives. It was Sony’s next generation console that was rumored to be supporting used games, and bringing digital downloads.
Personally speaking we don’t think digital download-only futures are here, mainly because the bandwidth isn’t widely available, and neither does Sony
Speaking to video game website MCV, Sony’s UK head – Fergal Gara – believes that retail is staying and the retail industry is readjusting following the market’s decline in 2008. Video game chain GAME closed many of its stores across the UK because of revenue issues, but since reopened some.
Sony of course recently acquired could streaming service Gaikai despite Gara saying Sony is sticking with retail stores. Sony has been making moves with PlayStation Plus, its subscription service which offers free games for $15. It’s good value; people are actually recommending the service. Previously users didn’t understand why it existed.
Gara added he hopes retail stores stay for the next generation because there will be another range of games coming in when the consoles arrive, which is actually starting with the Wii U this year (though what titles are going to be around on launch isn’t known).
At the beginning of this generation, Sony didn’t exactly make the PlayStation 3 attractive to users: the infamous $599 pricing by now-president Kaz Hirai put many consumers off. Now we’ve seen price cuts, HD collections, a worthwhile PlayStation Plus, a slim model of the console, and another rumored slim model. Sony’s created value, just like Microsoft and Nintendo did with the Xbox 360 and Wii respectively.
On the rumors which suggested Sony would block used games, GameStop said it won’t happen. Ultimately used games are important to GameStop because the developers/publishers don’t take a cut, so making them worthless by blocking them on consoles and requiring an always-on connection – as has been suggested – would damage retail stores.
Super Slim PlayStation 3?
The FCC Filing for another slim PlayStation 3 model could be announced as early as next month, and Eurogamer – who was told the announcement could happen at Gamescom in August – said it was showing a Super Slim model. The website asked Shuhei Yoshida of Sony whether another slim model would arrive, which wasn’t ruled out.