In an interview with Eurogamer, Sony's Fergal Gara discussed the growth of digital downloads over the past ten years and how Sony is preparing to make the experience more consumer friendly on PS4.
"First of all, [digital downloading] is definitely going to grow as a means of consumption. And there are big innovations in the PS4 to make it more attractive and more easy gamer wise to want to download," Gara said.
"The Play As You Download functionality, for example, means you don't need the whole file before you go. This is a little bit counterbalanced by the fact the files themselves are getting bloody big. Killzone: Shadow Fall is an uber file - I think it's cracking on for 50GB. It looks it, too, when you see it."
Gara warned that the solution hasn't been fully reached yet, however. "It is still a relatively tedious process," he explained. "We've done a lot of work on pre-delivering files. It's not perfect. It's not seamless. The file version of the game versus the disc version of the game maybe needs to go through additional QA and additional testing.
"Some of the problems that have occurred have occurred on older machines, which of course when you go into the next-generation you at least get to reset and start again and everything's the same age and new. That helps.
"But it's a major area of focus. It's a major area of investment. The network will perform better on multiple levels, because it becomes not just a sales or gaming delivery but increasingly it becomes a social network. So it's got to be a compelling experience on multiple levels.
"It's going to be for no lack of investment, for no lack of effort and no lack of intention that things might fall a bit short. But we're definitely moving in the right direction, and I'm confident when step on and understand its importance."
At the Develop conference this past July, Sony senior engineer Neil Brown explained how Play As You Download would be useful for digital library access from any console. "You can visit your friends house you can log into your account and play any game from your digital library, which is good, but how useful is that if it takes half a day to download the game you want to play?" he said.
"With Play As You Download you get much quicker access to at least the first section of the game so you can start playing quicker. So this makes a digital library a practical option in the real world."
Killzone Shadow Fall is a PS4-exclusive first-person shooter and the fourth game in the main Killzone series. As a launch title, it will share the PS4 release date of November 15 in US and November 29 in Europe. The console will be available in 32 countries this holiday priced at £349 / €399 / $399.