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(Pocket-lint) - For the first time more people downloaded Sony games on PS4 than bought them according to Sony's latest earnings report.

According to the numbers, 53 per cent of gamers opted to download games made by Sony via the PlayStation store, rather than buy a physical copy via places like Game or Amazon.

It's the first time, says the company, that this has happened, although the numbers have shown a growing trend for some time.

In 2018 37 per cent of gamers digitally downloaded a copy of the game compared to 63 per cent who bought a physical copy.

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The new figures, which don't include third party software from games companies like EA or Ubisoft show consumers' appetite for downloading on their console is growing.

For the industry there are a number of factors at play here. It's easier than ever to download games, you don't have to wait (unless you have a slow connection), you can be part of service like PlayStation Plus, and broadband speeds are getting faster, making it easy (repeat until bored).

And it's a trend not just isolated to Sony. 

Earlier this year Microsoft started to sell a digital only Xbox One, presumably because it is seeing the same trend, making us wonder if Sony would opt to do the same for the PS4. 

Microsoft has yet to detail how successful the sales of the all-digital version are, and the launch did garner criticism from gamers keen to point out that by going download only they wouldn't be able to pick up deals online or buy titles second hand, but just like our laptops have lost the DVD drive, you have to ask how long will it take before our consoles do too?

Writing by Stuart Miles. Originally published on 31 July 2019.