At a Gamescom press conference today, Sony announced that all titles for PlayStation Vita will be downloadable through the PlayStation Store, making it the first dedicated video game console to do so.
Sony previously announced that Vita titles would be available via download as well as through a new, proprietary flash-memory storage medium sold through retail stores.
Sony has offered a selection of retail PSP titles for full download through the PlayStation Store, though many titles were available exclusively in either UMD or downloadable format. The split market is widely considered to be one of the factors leading to the market failure for the download-only PSPgo.
The company has previously said that the Vita will be able to play all PSP games made available through the PlayStation Store
, though the pending system lacks a UMD drive to play retail PSP titles.
Smartphone makers on platforms including iOS and Android have seen great success offering apps exclusively through downloads, with games representing some of the most popular downloads
on those devices.
But Sony's Kaz Hirai recently said the Vita is catering to a "completely different market" than smartphones
Sony has yet to offer a suggested price range for Vita software, or to clarify whether prices will differ between digital and retail versions of the same title.