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[Update: Sony officially confirms the PS4 has no used game DRM]
Sony has confirmed a few more details for the PlayStation 4 leading up to the next big reveal at this year's Electronics Entertainment Expo. The home console will support Blu-ray discs with up to 50GB of storage and a confirmation of cross-game party chat, a feature that will unfortunately never see the light of day on the PlayStation 3.
Sony Computer Entertainment Europe's president and CEO Jim Ryan spoke with IGN about the plans for the PS4 and, unsurprisingly enough, the console's future-proofing. Ryan stated that...
"Clearly, and this applies not just to games but to pretty much every form of entertainment, there is a trend to increased digital consumption, and that is happening now on PS3 and will continue and will probably accelerate on PS4," ... "But the primary delivery mechanism for the big games on the PS4 platform will continue to be Blu-Ray discs, for the foreseeable future."
This is great news, because I don't know about anyone else but I really, really, really like having my console games on discs. PC games? Not so much.
Ryan also confirmed that some of the upcoming AAA titles for the PlayStation 4 will exceed 45GB, which is about 13 more gigabytes than the PC version of Max Payne 3, which is probably one of the most recent, graphically intensive games on PC at the moment alongside Crysis 3. That's pretty darn impressive. I'm also curious which game(s) he's referring to?
According to Jim, all-digital-downloads for games just isn't sustainable right now due to piss poor digital infrastructures. America, despite being a superpower, has some of the worst net speeds out there, in fact the good 'ole US of A ranks 29th in the world in terms of net speed. So downloading 45GB will turn a day-one purchase into a week long download...
"If you go down to Southern Europe, where we have very big and important businesses, it can take you 3 days over a standard internet connection to download a file of the size, and that’s not fun. There are certain gating factors in terms of internet infrastructure that mandate that the disc-based solution is going to be the primary delivery mechanism for the foreseeable future."
Foreseeable future? I wouldn't doubt that the generation after this one is still disc-based unless affordable cable/DSL rates become standard. Right now people are paying arms and legs for piss-poor data rates (or data caps, at some places) and today the six-strikes deal goes into effect, as noted by Tech Dirt, which can throttle your net-speeds if you're suspected of downloading illegal material.
Anyway, on the upside, Sony is aiming to make the PS4 as convenient as possible, and they confirmed in the Sony Computer Entertainment International corporate information sheet on page 2 that...
Through PS4 , users are able to deepen their connections through co-op play or “cross-game chat”.
Looks like the checklist of drool-worthy features is now complete: Blu-ray? Check. Uber-specs? Check. $60 pricing ceiling for AAA games? Check. Easy-development environment? Check. Bigger focus on digital downloads and indie games? Check. Cross-game party chat? Double check.
I think the PS4 will be Sony's greatest console yet.