PS4 digital download codes are being removed from physical stores. Sony has decided to only enable digital downloads of games to only be made via its own PlayStation Store. The move means digital download codes will no longer be purchasable with cash. However, PSN credit will still be available to buy in stores as a way to still purchase digital games without submitting your credit card details to PlayStation.
According to Wario64, GameStop stores received the news in a memo detailing the changes being made by Sony. The memo states the changes will apply to all physical stores including GameStop and will begin on April 1. Along with PSN credit, players will also still be able to purchase downloadable content and other add-ons from brick-and-mortar stores. Stores are advised that they should encourage customers who have a pre-order for a PS4 digital download release for after April 1 to change to a physical copy. The memo does not explain what will happen if customers refuse.
Days Gone and Mortal Kombat 11 are noted as slight exceptions to the ruling, with full game digital download codes available for one week after the games’ respective release dates. The memo further states that GameStop is “working with our partners at Sony” to secure incremental denominations of PSN credit, making PSN credit a more flexible option for purchasing games in PlayStation Store.
A PlayStation spokesman told The Verge, “We can confirm that as of April 1, 2019, Sony Interactive Entertainment will no longer offer full games through SIE’s Global Digital at Retail program … This decision was made in order to continue to align key businesses globally. To support full games and premium editions, SIE will introduce increased denominations at select retailers. DLC, add-ons, virtual currency, and season passes will still be available.”
Ahead of Sony’s confirmation, rumors emerged just a few days in advance of Sony’s first PlayStation State of Play event. State of Play is PlayStation’s take on a Nintendo Direct or Inside Xbox showcase style event. So far, the event doesn’t seem to have been well received. The reception is despite the event revealing the launch of an Iron Man VR and the news that the upcoming No Man’s Sky Beyond update will add VR to the space exploration title.