The PS Vita could have been digital download-only, say two Sony executives, but not everyone can pull four gigs of Uncharted over WiFi.
Let's face it: The PSPgo was not exactly a big hit. One of the handheld's biggest flaws was a complete reliance on digitally-downloaded games, which made life difficult for gamers who wanted to play UMD-only titles, and made the system unsellable to anyone without a stellar internet connection. Sony has learned from its mistakes, as the upcoming PS Vita will feature a complete library of digital titles, along with physical media for most big releases.
"[We] believe the time is still not right to go download-only as a platform," said Sony Computer Entertainment Worldwide Studios president Shuhei Yoshida. "Some PS Vita titles, like Uncharted: Golden Abyss, will be close to 4GB in size, which could be too large to download for consumers who do not have a fast broadband connection." The availability of physical media is not only for customers with dial-up connections. Since the device will be region free, it may well see distribution past the traditional Japan/Europe/North America markets, and into territories where internet connections can be sporadic or nonexistent. "There are consumers in parts of the world - this is a global device - where the digital model has not yet fully been embraced," added Jim Ryan, president of Sony Computer Entertainment Europe.
Because digital download seems to be the Vita's primary method of distribution, it's likely that not every title will see a physical release. Still, it's good to know that Sony is looking out for the broadband-challenged, and taking up-and-coming markets seriously.