On the strength of its well-received State of Play event yesterday, PlayStation announced today the opening of its very own online direct-purchase store for consoles and physical games.
The store is open for business as of today and is accessible through PlayStation.com exclusively in the US. Users can pick all manner of PlayStation hardware, accessories, and games – including the various editions of the flagship PlayStation 4 console, headsets, and controllers.
As it stands, Sony has limited the extent of the physical games on sale to exclusives and a few other titles. These include a handful of PlayStation Hits titles like Bloodborne, The Last of Us Remastered, and Horizon Zero Dawn, among others.
Sony plans to expand the lineup moving forward.
Sony is also offering free 1-day express shipping to PlayStation Plus subscribers who purchase products while logged into their respective accounts.
This last point is especially pertinent in dictating how well the new store will fare, especially when it comes to pre-orders. Other retailers such as Amazon often fail to deliver pre-ordered games on launch day to the dismay of players eager to sink time into the latest releases.
If Sony can orchestrate a reliable service, players are sure to flock to the new store for that guarantee alone.
Much like its digital PlayStation Store, Sony could also offer significant discounts and sales events that will trump rival retailers reliant on more sizeable margins to generate a profit, very much in the same way that the Microsoft Store has undercut competitors during mass events such as Black Friday.
While in the past PlayStation stayed clear of direct sales of physical products to avoid irking established retailers in an effort to maintain healthy commercial relations, the times have changed.
Whether the move is motivated by Sony wanting to gear up for GameStop’s long-fated and almost inevitable demise is unclear. If that is the case, then the new PlayStation store may inadvertently accelerate the downfall of the once-dominant US gaming retailer by shepherding consumers away from its already struggling brick and mortar stores.