A man looks at Sony's PlayStation game softwares next to its advertisement board at an electronic shop in Tokyo May 10, 2012. Shares in Japan's consumer electronics giant Sony Corp slipped quietly to a quarter century low this week, a sign of how the Walkman and PlayStation maker has lost its innovative edge and fallen far behind rivals Apple and Samsung Electronics. (Photo : REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon)
According to a report in the Wall Street Journal, Sony Corp. has declined a download-only plan for its next videogame console and will continue to use an optical disk drive for its next generation console.
As the online revolution continues, the gaming industry has seen an increase in its downloadable content. Sony and its direct competitors Nintendo and Microsoft currently have gaming consoles with optical drives, but the consoles also enable downloadable games, television shows and music without the need for disks or cartridges.
Sony's decision however ultimately resulted from internet connections being too inconsistent worldwide. With large game files, customers in countries where Internet connections are relatively slow would be likely face great difficulties and expenses in downloading games.
Nintendo's next generation console, the Wii U, has already been announced to come with an optical drive and Microsoft Corp also stated that the company's next generation console would include an optical drive. While the Wall Street Journal makes no mention, it is possible that Sony does not want to be the only console that is restricted to downloadable games with such questions about bandwidth.
The news comes days before Electronic Entertainment Expo, E3, takes place in Los Angeles next week. New consoles will be the big news as Nintendo is set to expand on last year's announcement of its new Wii U console.
Sony is planning a 2013 release for the successor to its PlayStation 3 console, according to the Wall Street Journal, but will not be making any formal announcement at E3. Microsoft is also unlikely to make any formal announcement regarding its next generation console. According to Xbit.com, both companies are likely to use Blu-ray disc technology, including its 100GB/128GB flavor known as BDXL.
Sony's gaming business is its most lucrative at the moment as the company faces issues in other sectors. Despite a slow beginning for the Playstation 3, the console has reported a profit in the last two years from the gaming machine. Sony's unit and Microsoft's Xbox 360 are currently in strong competition over market share as the No. 2 game machine, behind Nintendo's Wii, among the current generation of game machines. Unlike its two predecessors the Playstation and Playstation 2, the PS3 never became the world's best-selling console. Sony's Playstation 2 was one of the best selling machines of all time and was the clear cut winner in the prior generation of video game console.