There’s a lot of hot gossip surrounding Sony’s plans for the next Playstation right now. It’s probably because E3 is just around the corner, but it’s also thanks to some fairly loose-lipped insiders dishing out secrets. The latest? The fact that, despite Sony’s cloud-streaming plans, the PS4 will still have an optical disc drive. But that almost wasn’t the case.
News has been filtering in this week that Sony is in cahoots with a major cloud streaming service to bring cloud-based gaming to its connected devices, as well as to its future consoles. The rumour is that that company is OnLive, but even if that deal proves to be true, it doesn’t mean Sony’s got its head completely stuck in the cloud.
According to sources close to Sony’s console plans, the company has toyed with, but ultimately dropped the idea of making a PS4 without a disc drive. The reasons for considering it in the first place are obvious: the cost of producing both the console and discs would be dramatically reduced, while Sony could keep a vice-like grip on game sales.
But the problem lies in web connection speeds, or rather the lack thereof. Sony’s apparently deemed that the world’s internet connection speeds just aren’t universally up to scratch to support such a machine. And it seems that Microsoft agrees. Still, it probably is coming, and brick-and-mortar retailers should probably be worried about it, right?
“If we all agree the technology is inevitable,” GameStop CEO Paul Raines said to the Wall Street Journal, “it’s still going to take longer to happen than it did for music and movies.” He’d better hope so: whether it’s an a la carte download service or an OnLive-powered streaming system, the future of gaming will eventually be disc-less.
Source: The Wall Street Journal