Sony vows to improve PSN for PS4 following GTA 5 issues
"The network will perform better on multiple levels."
The PlayStation Network struggled to cope with the launch of Grand Theft Auto 5 last week, with some reporting download and installation issues. The infamous error code 80029563 popped up following several separate corrupted 18GB downloads in our own attempts.
And, according to Digital Foundry, the PSN version, which is played in its entirety from the hard drive as opposed to utilising both disc and HDD, is the weakest in performance terms, with "ugly pop-in" in some portions of the game compared to the disc release.
It's enough to make you worry for the next-generation, set to dive deeper in the murky waters of digital than ever before. What then, will Sony do to prepare its infrastructure for the coming onslaught?
When Eurogamer caught up with PlayStation UK boss Fergal Gara at EGX 2013 this week, he admitted Sony could do better in this regard, but vowed that with PlayStation 4 gamers won't experience the same kind of isses seen with GTA 5 on PS3.
"First of all, it is definitely going to grow as a means of consumption," he said. "And there are big innovations in the PS4 to make it more attractive and more easy gamer wise to want to download.
"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.
"[Downloading games] is still a relatively tedious process. We've done a lot of work on pre-delivering files. It's not perfect. It's not seamless."
Gara suggested Sony may more rigorously test digital versions of PlayStation games before they're released to weed out problems.
"The network will perform better on multiple levels, because it becomes not just a sales or gaming delivery but, increasingly, a social network."Sony PlayStation UK boss Fergal Gara
"The file version of the game versus the disc version of the game maybe needs to go through additional QA and additional testing," he said.
"Some of the problems 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, 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 we step on and understand its importance."