The CEO of Sony Computer Entertainment, Andrew House, has stated that the company has noticed growth in digital content being downloaded on the Vita and will look to focus on that.
There has been plenty of talk on the next step in the evolution of how video games are distributed. The video game industry has come a long was from 8-bit arcade game machines and snake on PCs and phones. There were even one-game consoles that only had a single game on them.
Fast forward a couple of decades and DVDs and Blu-Ray discs are the primary means of distributing games to consumers however, services such as Gaikai and OnLive may be the next real evolutionary step in how people purchase and play games.
The services allow gamers to stream games on a variety of devices, although there are issues of lag and the odd connection problem one could expect the second iteration of such services to be run smoother and appeal more to the gamer.
In the mean time however, it seems that the video game industry is moving more towards what Steam has been offering for quite some time, digital distribution. The service allows gamers to rent, purchase and play games by downloading them digitally off the platform and over the years Valve has developed the business model to accommodate a host of other features as well.
In fact, both Ubisoft and EA have followed suit with their own digital distribution platforms with Sony and Microsoft also expanding their portfolio of digital content in recent years, and according to SCE CEO, Andrew House, Sony plans on doing the same for the PlayStation Vita as well.
House pointed out that almost a fourth of all content for the Vita was being downloaded by gamers and that Sony was focused on expanding on both nurturing and catering for the growth.
He said, “20 per cent of Vita content is being downloaded.” Before continuing, “That tells you that the consumer has an appetite in this space. It just creates a need for us to think through our business model in a broader way than before.”
The Sony executive also pointed out how the Vita, which is different from the PlayStation Portable in a number of ways, was also Sony’s “first truly networked portable device in our proprietary gaming space, there is a need to think more broadly about the implications of that for our business model, and to think about how the consumer wants to acquire content.”
It seems that for the time being that is expanding the digital content medium, which remains an area where publishers and developers are experimenting with various business models as they look to find the right balance between growth in revenue and keeping gamers happy.