The executive overseeing the new PlayStation 3 digital distribution project has said he believes it will benefit not only Sony and other publishers, but will also open up new opportunities for developers.
Speaking to Gamasutra, John Hight - director of external production at SCEA Santa Monica - said: "Certainly being able to sell globally on-line makes it easier to reach international and remote markets. On the business side, it also lowers our cost of sales and eliminates inventory risk. It should help curtail used game sales and piracy."
"This new form of distribution will lower the barriers of entry for new developers," he continued.
"We can try out new ideas in a low risk, quick feedback environment."
Hight confirmed that Sony is firmly committed to developing games for digital distribution within its own first-party studios - unlike Microsoft, which has focused mainly on looking to third parties to supply games for Xbox Live Arcade. According to Hight, Sony will "fund development for first party games, and we are open to self-funded games."
So what type of games is Sony looking for? "We're looking for fresh, new ideas that fully exploit the power of PlayStation 3," Hight said.
"Our first party projects are all unique to PS3. Some of our games, by virtue of their design and hardware demands, simply couldn't work on Xbox 360."
As previously announced, Sony's E-Distribution Initiative is designed to offer an alternative means of bringing games to consumers, and will be managed by SCE Worldwide Studios.
Hight said that developers interested in taking part in the project should create a high concept or, preferrably, a working prototype of their game, and register on Sony's developer website.