Sony’s Koller talks UMD and digital downloads

With the news that Patapon 2 will come as a download-only title in the US, there has been quite a bit of talk about SCEA’s plans when it comes to the PSP and how it’ll be distributing games from now. GI.biz spoke with Sony’s John Koller, who still maintains that UMD is a big part of the gameplan.

“If you look back to what happened with music, it really hung on to the disc for as long as possible, when consumers were actively saying ‘we’re very interested in digital.’ We want to provide the content and at least allow the consumers to make that choice,” explained Koller. “We’re going to be fairly democratic and open and if consumers want digital they can wake up and download it, if they want UMD they can go to retail for it. We want to provide that content opportunity. We’re looking at various models to see when to launch those. That’s not to say retail is going away, because it’s not, so it’s a balance.”

As of right now, SCEA doesn’t have a solid plan as to whether or not it’ll be launching games both as UMDs and as downloadable titles simultaneously, while other Sony territories have already made the decision. Whatever happens, Sony is still committed to supporting the UMD, with Koller stating that “there’s certainly a consumer out there who values tangibility.” 

Koller also claims that Sony has no plans for a PSP 4000, which is more than likely bullsh*t, but there you are. Whatever happens, I really hope Sony’s renewed commitment to the PSP yields results. That console’s been creatively treading water for five years. There’s a huge amount of potential if Sony sees fit to harness it, especially when it comes to digital distribution.

James Stephanie Sterling