For years, PC gamers have been able to purchase and download games straight from the internet. Soon, Sony plans to make this a reality for console gamers as well. Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. recently verified a marketing strategy that would allow PlayStation2 users to download games through Japanese cable network television. This method of game distribution, which will become available to Japanese gamers in February 2001, will allow users to purchase and download games from participating web sites.
Sony will release several peripherals necessary for PlayStation2 owners to use this feature, namely a PS2 cable modem and a PS2 hard drive. Contrary to what has been said in earlier reports, the PS2 hard drive will have a 25-Gigabyte capacity, not a 50-Gigabyte capacity. Even at this smaller size, the PS2 hard drive will be able to contain the information of approximately 40 CD-ROMs.
Several prominent publishers, including Enix and Namco, plan to join Sony in providing games through this new means of console game distribution. Enix's involvement in this plan of distribution may prove to be especially important to RPGamers, as Enix could possibly develop an RPG that would take advantage of the cable distribution, such as a continuing saga with regular updates.
Although this innovative process of game distribution has indeed been confirmed for Japanese gamers, Sony Computer Entertainment America has yet to comment on whether the distribution system will be implemented in North America.