Ubisoft preparing for ‘digital first’ consoles

Speculation is rife that the next generation of consoles will be focused on download titles, and Ubisoft says it is laying the groundwork now for a new digital strategy to match.

When asked about the rise of simultaneous boxed product and download releases, the publisher’s VP of digital Chris Early said Ubisoft was paying close attention to sales of games on Vita – which are available via PSN at the same time as retail.

We’re going to have to wait and see where the platform holders go with the next generation,” he told MCV.

But publishers can already form a strategy around how they approach a market where digital versions are available on the same day and date as retail ones.

We’re starting to figure out our strategy now. We’re getting some good precursors with Vita and PlayStation 3, which means that however it changes in the future, we’ll be in a position to take advantage of that.”

However, the Ubisoft exec remained doubtful whether a generation of consoles where downloads take precedence over retail is feasible in the current market.

I think we have to be able to service our players wherever they happen to be,” he explained.

Even in the US, there are pockets where connectivity is poor, so expecting someone there to download a 1GB or 2GB game would take them hours and hours. Can we push that? I don’t think the infrastructure’s there yet.

There’s a bunch of other factors to be considered: are you going to enable the same types of pre-order packages? What if someone wants a collector’s edition that comes with extra goodies as well as the game?”

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