In a clear effort not to make the same mistakes committed with the original PSP, Sony Europe’s Andrew House has announced its upcoming Next Generation Portable (NGP) will release both a physical and a digital edition for every title release, though not every downloadable game is forced to have a retail counterpart.
In House’s words: “One thing we learned from PSP, is that we want to have simultaneous delivery in digital and physical for NGP… Just to clarify that, all games that appear physically will be made available digitally. Not necessarily all games have to be made available physically.”
This looks like a logical decision from Sony, after a lackluster reception of the latest incarnation of its portable line, the PSPgo; a digital-only system that despite its good looks and practical design, won’t ever be able to play gems like Crisis Core: FFVII, among others. The publisher still wants to push the digital-only format, though, as House stated that “having the option of a digital-only method affords more creative risk-taking, and that’s because you don’t-have that in-built risk of physical inventory”.
In conclusion, Sony’s goal is to free developers from the barriers of a physical format, without ditching the traditional way of releasing games; “It is also a matter of having flexibility in terms of storage capacity. When you are committed to a disc format you have a one-size-fits-all solution for the platform’s lifecycle… What I’d like to see is a hierarchy of different games of different sizes. So at the high-end you’ve got these big, premium games, which by and large will be available physically because that is the most convenient way to access them. And then there’s an opportunity for digital-only, where we might see more experimentation.”
Stay tuned for more info on the NGP as it slowly gets closer to its 2011 holiday release.