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NGP to get simultaneous digital and physical releases

All retail releases will be available as downloads, but not vice versa says SCEE

New titles for the forthcoming NGP console will appear simultaneously as physical releases and as downloads, according to comments from Sony Computer Entertainment Europe president Andrew House.

"One thing we learnt from PSP, is that we want to have simultaneous delivery in digital and physical for NGP. Just to clarify that, all games that appear physically will be made available digitally." said House in an interview with MCV.

"Not necessarily all games have to be made available physically. And having the option of a digital-only method affords more creative risk-taking, and that's because you don't-have that in-built risk of physical inventory," he added.

Although Sony is abandoning the PSP's UMD format for the NGP, the new portable console will not be download-only like the PSPgo. Instead titles will be released on proprietary flash cards of up to 4GB in size.

House indicated that UMD support had been dropped in favour of greater "flexibility" in storage. "What I'd like to see is a hierarchy of different games of different sizes", he explained.

"So at the high-end you've got these big, premium games, which by and large will be available physically because that is the most convenient way to access them. And then there's an opportunity for digital-only, where we might see more experimentation."

Sony has provided few substantial new details on the NGP since it was first announced at a Tokyo press event in January. Although it is known that at least two models will be released: one with 3G support and one without.

Further details, and public demonstrations, are expected at E3 2011 in June.

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David Jenkins