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PS4 ‘Play While Downloading’ Debuts on PS3 with The Last of Us

Posted by Jim Tanous on May 20, 2013
The Last of Us

A key feature of the upcoming PS4 is the ability to begin playing games before they are fully downloaded, much the same as iTunes offers the ability to begin watching a movie rental before the download for the entire film is complete. But it was revealed late last week that existing PS3 owners will get to experience the feature first with the new game The Last of Us, set for release June 14.

The game’s developer, Naughty Dog, revealed the news to Game Informer late Thursday. The Last of Us will release simultaneously via a traditional physical disc and a digital game download. According to the developer, Sony “worked a little magic,” for the release, allowing players to launch the game once the download hits 50 percent.

Progressive downloads for games are new to consoles but have existed for several years on the PC. Services such as Steam’s digital distribution platform allow gamers to begin playing select games before the download is complete. As games become more complex and larger, the ability to begin playing a game without waiting for a multi-hour download is a huge win for consumers.

The Last of Us is an action/adventure survival game in which the player and a young companion fight to survive an infection that has destroyed society. It will release as a PS3 exclusive worldwide on June 14.

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