Sony PS4, Xbox 720 download-only visions evaporated

By Alan Ng - May 31, 2012

We are used to reading about interesting Apple leaks from The Wall Street Journal, but one of their latest articles is sure to interest every gaming fan out there. According to the publication, both Sony and Microsoft were initially planning to release the next-generation PS4 and Xbox consoles with download-only capabilities.

It is not the first time that we have heard such rumors of course, but it is the first time that such a reputable source has said that this was actually in the pipeline from Sony and Microsoft.

It turns out though that unreliable internet connections around the world is the sole reason which caused both companies to have a change of heart and it means that the next console iterations from Sony and Microsoft will both feature optical disk drives. They have a point you have to say though, as imagine the hassles it would cause consumers on a 2MB connection to download a 40MB game from the PlayStation Store or Xbox Live Marketplace – it would just cause too many complaints from consumers you would feel.

Having said that, this whole new initiative about cloud game streaming could provide a workaround for those with slow internet connections, as all of the main horsepower would be handled from Sony and Microsoft’s end. They didn’t fancy it in the end though, so this discussion about disc-less consoles coming in the future will now most likely be put to bed.

Are you satisfied with having another optical disc format in next-generation consoles, or are you running such a fast internet connection that you hoped a download-only console would be possible one day? Give us your thoughts on this below. What is your current internet speed?

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Also See: Sony PS4 hits 6 million sales, 14 million games

  • Nod good for used game stores!

  • Monkeyumash

    you mean 40g tard?

  • jswalker95

    like .5 mb/sec

  • moorbre

    40 MB for a game hahaha that’s laughable, and if it was that small then it wouldnt be a problem at Mbps speeds

  • Agent_0047

    Hi all, first of all I think it’s absurd to even think of removing an optical drive just yet for many reasons.  For one, it just wouldn’t be fair to people who can’t afford a good internet connection and deprive them of gaming.  I have good connection at home but even that gets annoying sometimes so I can imagine how bad it would be.  Another reason would be not having to keep PS3 and 360 consoles to play their games and this would only be valid hoping and praying that the new systems are backwards compatible (you know what I’m talking about my fellow gamers).  Also, for those wondering why we couldn’t have games on USB drives is not so much because of the capacity of Blu-ray (25 to 50GB depending on single or dual-layer) over USB but the speed that it can read on.  Blu-ray drive’s read speed for just 1x is 36Mbps and it can go up to 12x so you can do the math. The current PS3 I believe has 2x which is around 72Mbps.  The fastest USB drives read at 39Mbps which is a lot less.  Therefore, we just aren’t there yet with the USB drives being fast enough to run our powerful games without lagging.

  • Hm

    Not everyone has an internet connection, and a huge number around the world that do are still on slow speeds. But even if this was not an issue, modern games take up anywhere from 6 – 25Gb! How many folk have a hard drive capable of holding more than a dozen or so games of this size, let alone want to? 

    Wait, it gets worse – next gen consoles will be capable of considerably higher resolution graphics and complexity, making their size even bigger – 50gb could become quite normal. There is no sensible way to handle these kind of sizes on a large scale with current technology, and I don’t see this changing for at least another generation, 10+ years or so down the line. 

  • Liam

    What about all the 360  and PS3 games everyone spent hundreds of pounds on. Sony and Microsoft would be dumb to not allow people to keep playing. I prefer to have something solid anyway.

  • Look2theskye11792

    well isnt usb better than disks? carnt they hold more gbs

    • I’m no technical wizard by any means, but I have to agree with you there. I’ve wondered quite a bit over  the past few years why games on USB drives couldn’t be a next step. The only issue i’d have with USB only is that i’d like to have a blu ray/dvd drive for movies. So from my perspective, games on  blu-ray are a good idea for the time being. Blu-ray though, NOT dvds as the 360 currently is held back by.

  • Mick

    Having the cloud as an option is a good idea, but I don’t see any good reason to get rid of optical disc drives. Unless games were sold on USB drives instead

  • Dodgebizkit

    Reliance on online or cloud services is a ridiculous idea until there is a good minimum standard that is adopted and available to everyone