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Sony to Offer Same-Day Digital Release for NGP Cartridge Games

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Sony is jumping head first into the digital age. Many people have been in the situation of being forced to buy a UMD version of a PSP game because it's not available for digital download, but the launch of the NGP will be stopping that.

Sony Computer Entertainment Europe president Andrew House told MCV that all of the NGP's games will be available both digitally and physically. “One thing we learnt 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,” he said.

House continued with an interesting premise of games being put into hierachies, with big triple-A games getting physical availability as it's the most convenient way to access them, while digital only opens up areas of experimentation. This would open the door for a bunch of small-team developers looking to get into the handheld market, much like Xbox Live's indie game service. Opportunities with promotions could run through a digital only scheme, too.

"Clearly if you have big blockbuster games, then downloading them is perhaps not the best experience," House said. Sales could potentially dwindle for several reasons, including limited internet access for consumers and exclusive retail-only bonuses for ordering special edition bundles, such as concept art booklets, or replica models of items within the game, and so on. Many analyists have suggested that 2011 is the year for digital sales to take over retail, but that has also come with predictions of retail staying firm despite falling numbers.

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Stuart Macdonald
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