Travellerâ??s Talesâ?? Jon Burton foresees the end of physical media for games

PSPgo ‘will die without software price cutsâ??, says Burton

Sony’s handheld ‘for the digital lifestyle’ will die out if its downloadable software keeps to UMD prices, according to Traveller’s Tales director Jon Burton.

“I’m betting on Sony making PSPgo games much cheaper than the UMD versions, or the PSPgo will die,” he said.

Burton’s comments came from this week’s Develop Jury Service – a new feature that puts a pressing question to a group of developers and industry execs.

Burton held the majority view that digital content will eventually eclipse physical, but said the change would happen quicker if downloadable games offered better value than their disc-based counterparts.

“I own a PSPgo but don’t want to buy LittleBigPlanet, for instance, as I can get it 20 per cent cheaper on UMD from Amazon and could resell it once I’m finished with it. But if I download it, I get no discount, and no chance to resell – how annoying is that?”

He went on to describe what he saw as a “stalemate” between platform holders and retail businesses.

“At the moment the [UMD and PSPgo] prices are kept at parity as the platform holders need physical stores to sell their consoles and PCs, so don’t want to undercut them.

“But once they realise they can use outlets such as supermarkets for bulk distribution of consoles, then they can slash the prices for downloaded content and that will signal the beginning of the end.

"At the moment it’s kind of a stalemate as both sides think they need each other and no-one wants to blink – I’m betting on Sony making the first move by making PSPgo games much cheaper than the UMD versions, or the PSPgo will die."

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