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Sony sketches downloads-as-standard PSP timeframe

Insists UMD not dead yet

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Despite promising earlier this week that downloadable PlayStation Portable (PSP) games will become more commonplace in 2009, Sony executive John Koller has hinted that digital game downloads as standard are still several years away.

Speaking at the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco, Koller - Director of Hardware Marketing for Sony Computer Entertainment America – said that digital game distribution may not become standardised on the PSP for another three to five years, several online reports state.

“It’s a very fine balance because retail does so much for us that digital maybe can't”, he said. “So different models are floating around and we haven't made a firm decision on that.”

Koller added that, ultimately, consumer preference – rather than technological barriers – will be what decides when games are available to download games as standard on the PSP.

Crucially, he didn’t say that UMD would die as a result. Sony’s still committed to hedging its bets over UMD and digital downloads in the short-term.

Koller’s already promised that gamers will see a “good rise” in the amount of PSP content available through the PlayStation Network in the latter half of this year, but that retail sales – namely UMD – remain of “extreme significance”. ®

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