New information on Sony’s PlayStation 4 plans has been revealed following last week’s glitzy New York launch event for the next-generation games console. No, it’s not a shot of what the console actually looks like, but rather the possibility of an “all-you-can-eat” gaming subscription service accompanying the machine, as well as the news that every PS4 title will be available to download digitally alongside those that can be bought physically at retail.
“PS4 will be similar to PS Vita in that every game will be available as a digital download, and some will also be available as a disc,” Shuhei Yoshida, Sony Worldwide Studios head told The Guardian.
Like PSN and the Xbox 360’s XBLA games, some titles won’t get a physical disc based release at all. This is because “of the flexibility of the digital distribution scheme”.
“We can have more small games that might be free or available for a couple of dollars, or different services like free-to-play or subscription models,” stated Yoshida.
Yoshida also hinted at a more comprehensive subscription service than what is already available with PlayStation Plus when the PS4 hits stores:
“As more and more services and contents become available digitally, we’ll have more of an option to create attractive packages. So hypothetically we can look at different models – like a cable TV company. We could have gold, silver or platinum levels of membership, something like that.
“We can do subscription services when we have more content – especially now that we have the Gaikai technology available. With one subscription you have access to thousands of games – that’s our dream.”
As well as potentially shouldering the burden of a subscription model, the now Sony-owned Gaikai will also power the console’s social features, such as live game streaming, screen sharing and Facebook and Twitter connectivity. Gaikai’s cloud-streaming tech will also be the only way gamers will be able to play older PS3 titles on the PS4, as the console isn’t backwards compatible.
Set for a “Holiday 2013” release, expect to see more information on the PlayStation 4 revealed in the run up to this summer’s E3 gaming expo.