Sony testing digital-only distribution for mainstream releases.
If you’re one of the many out there who wasn’t, shall we say, the biggest fan of Sony’s UMD format then please, please buy a copy of Patapon 2; for two reasons. First; as the sequel to Patapon it’s bound to be great, and second; Patapon 2 might be the game to kill on UMD.
That’s right, as Patrick Seybold, SCEA Senior Director of Corporate Communications, confirmed in a statement Sony is: “considering a digital only format for the Patapon 2 release as a one time test case as we continue to explore consumer preferences for digital content.” So, while the game will be available “both retail and via the PlayStation Store,” either method of purchase will require downloading Patapon 2 to a memory stick to play it. Retail boxes will simply have a download code.
As if that wasn’t an encouraging enough sign that Sony might just be ready to put UMD to bed where it belongs, rumour has it that the retail game will be more expensive than the downloadable version. That only makes sense – there’s no packaging or shelf space to pay for on the PlayStation Store – but coupled with Sony ‘testing’ what should actually be a popular game it does give the impression that Sony is giving digital distribution is the best chance possible to prove itself viable.
Here’s hoping the one-time test case leads to a complete overhaul of how Sony’s release methodology.