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PC Store won't kill off UMD, says Sony

The newly-launched PlayStation Store for PC does not spell the end of the road for Sony's Universal Media Disc format, according to Darren Cairns, head of online marketing for Sony Computer Entertainment Europe.

The newly-launched PlayStation Store for PC does not spell the end of the road for Sony's Universal Media Disc format, according to Darren Cairns, head of online marketing for Sony Computer Entertainment Europe.

He told GamesIndustry.biz: "The UMD business is still good for us and our publishers. It's still a burgeoning market, and we're still selling a large number of PSPs on a weekly basis, so there are a large number of new people coming into the market."

The potential to offer titles at a lower price point, because the costs of production and retail are cut, might seem like good news for gamers - but there are no plans to head down that path any time soon.

"I don't think that this would give us any cause for concern over UMD, I think they sit very well together. When you talk about the more casual games, pick-up-and-play games, you would definitely want to put them through the Store rather than have disc production, in to retail, and so on."

When asked if he felt that the Store could go on and offer a much wider selection of general entertainment media in the future - building on the current film trailers available and adding music tracks and video perhaps - he reiterated that the focus to begin with was on games.

"The PC Store is very much targeted at getting lots of really good game content at the start for the millions of PSP users that we've got. Longer term, the PlayStation Store is predominantly for game content for day one and we're working on the plans to build that out after.

"For us being able to deploy and push additional content, whether it's an additional overlay for a GPS or whatever, it's important going forward. But what we wanted to do was really establish the PlayStation Store on the PC, as it is already on the PS3."

The downloads themselves currently have no defined size limit, and they will vary according to game title. As an example the Bboy full game download weighs in at around 835MB, but full titles won't necessarily include all content found on the corresponding retail UMD.

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Phil Elliott

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