Sony has announced that the PS3 version of BioWare's Mass Effect 2
will be available as a PlayStation Network download in addition to a retail Blu-ray disc when it is released in North America on January 18.
The announcement was made on Sony's American blog
, and it's unclear currently whether the downloadable version will be available in other regions.
Retail games that are made available on Sony's PlayStation Network usually come to the download service well after their retail release, with some notable exceptions including 2007's release of Warhawk
and 2008's SOCOM: Confrontation
The move comes as downloadable games are enjoying increased attention and many analysts expect retail game sales to continue their slide
This week, EA CEO John Riccitiello predicted digital game sales -- including revenue streams like subscriptions and in-game purchases -- would outpace retail sales this year
On the PC, digital game downloads have already reached virtual parity with physical game purchases
, according to tracking firm NPD. Industry wide, purely digital sales accounted for 29 percent of all revenue
during the fall of 2010, the tracking firm said.
The PS3 version of Mass Effect 2
will includes some additional exclusive content over the previous Xbox 360 and PC releases. The game will also allow players to choose the result of key events from the first game
-- which was not available on the PlayStation 3 -- using an interactive comic book presentation, and have those decisions affect the direction of the game.