Ubisoft has revealed that upcoming release Driver: San Francisco will receive a full digital release on the PlayStation Network.
Though no firm release date for the PSN version was given, Ubisoft Reflections MD Garth Edmonson told a Gamescom panel last week that it would arrive “in a few weeks”, suggesting a release roughly in-line with the retail arrival on September 2nd.
“We are doing triple-A games you can download to the hard-drive,” Edmonson said, as reported by Develop. “Driver is released on the PlayStation Network in a few weeks, for example. That’s the full Blu-Ray/DVD experience you can download.
“I think physical media will remain very important, but I think things are going to shift. How long that will take I’m not too sure. I don’t agree that the size of data will be the limiting factor, though, you can store this data on your hard drives.”
Speaking on the same panel, Crash Bandicoot designer and now freelance developer Mark Cerny insisted that optical media still has an important play to play in the market.
“I think there are tremendous games that are digitally distributed,” he conceded. “I just think that these worlds that we’re building are huge. All of a sudden you need hundreds of megabytes more data, and if you’re running a game from Blu-ray you can pull that data immediately.
“We are going to have this division, I believe, in the games business for about ten more years where, sure we’d like things to be digital – digital distribution is fantastic – but we are going to be sticking with physical data for a while.”
“I just did the math; Metal Gear Solid 4, which is 50 gigabytes, on my internet connection – which is a really god one that I pay a lot for, by the way – would take 36 hours to download. I’m not saying people won’t do that, I just think it won’t be the dominant distribution system.
“If you follow the rate that internet speeds are increasing, you’ll still have to wait ten years before that kind of download takes about an hour.”
Develop has a transcription of the full panel session.