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Sony scraps plans for download-only PlayStation

Sony's alleged blueprint for a download-only videogame console has been squashed.

Instead, the Japanese electronics maker's 2013 release will include the tried-and-true optical disk drive, according to reports.

The successor to the Sony PlayStation 3 console could have followed the growing trend of online networks in the videogame industry, the Wall Street Journal reported. Users connected to the Internet through their machine download games, television shows, and music without the added bulk of disks or cartridges.

But according to the Journal, the tech company decided against the online-only model in large part because worldwide internet connections are too inconsistent to reliably carry large game files for download.

Sony did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

A full shift toward cloud-based gaming would also likely influence brick-and-mortar stores and online retailers that still sell physical disks, the Journal said. The PS3 comes with a built-in Blu-ray player, another feature that would be lacking in a drive-less console. As the next Xbox 360 console is developed, the Journal said that Microsoft is also hesitant to move into the download-only arena.

Next week's E3 videogame expo in Los Angeles is a likely spot for new game console discussions, though the only formal announcement is expected to focus on the Wii U - a successor for Nintendo's Wii system. Microsoft has already confirmed that it has no plans to unveil new Xbox hardware at E3.