While discussing the upcoming PlayStation 4 with Game Informer, Sony Worldwide Studios president Shuhei Yoshida mentioned that Sony never considered making the PS4 an online-only console. In short he stated, “Did we consider it? No, we didn’t consider it.”
In the same interview, Yoshida stated that there are countries with internet connections that couldn’t support the feature which would’ve cost the PS4 many sales and lost gamers if it were required. Yoshida elaborates, “The main reason being that many countries don’t have robust internet connections. It makes sense for people to have internet connections to play online games, but for offline games there are many countries that we saw do not really have robust internet.”
The issue of always online consoles has been a big one in gaming since 2012 when it seemed about time for the next generation consoles to roll out. While Nintendo’s Wii U and Sony’s PS4 have largely been considered not to be online only from the start, it was Microsoft’s next Xbox console that raised alarm. The company’s policy of not addressing rumors or dispelling them hasn’t helped things either for them. With recent rumors being release that Microsoft might not run with the always online idea, it lowers the red flags somewhat.
Earlier this year in an interview with the Guardian, the Sony president mentioned that all PS4 games would also be available as digital downloads while some would be available as discs. While the other issue of knocking out used games wages on, at least the issue of always on consoles can be put to rest—on Nintendo and Sony’s end anyway.