Sony Considered — But Rejected — Online-Only Game Console

Sony Corp. considered but ultimately rejected a download-only plan for its next videogame console, people familiar with the matter said, opting to include an optical disk drive rather than break with decades-old industry practice.

The Japanese electronics maker’s flirtation with dropping the optical drive underscores the rising importance of online networks in the videogame industry, which allow console users to download games, television shows and music without the need for disks or cartridges.

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