From 1st April 2019, Sony will prevent retailers like GameStop from selling digital download codes for PlayStation 4 games. A PlayStation spokesperson said that Sony Interactive Entertainment made the decision to continue to align key businesses globally.
They will, however, support full games and premium editions by introducing increased denominations at selected retailers. Add-ons, Virtual Currency and Season passes will still be available though.
If you want to buy digital versions of PS4 games online, you can still do that using virtual currency. Sony may offer increased PSN credit options through some retailers. This will support players that want to buy digital deluxe editions. Now, you will need to make your final purchase on PSN instead of doing it in a retail store.
Digital games will only be available straight from PSN after that date. Add-on content and PSN dollar cards will still be available. What is unclear now is how large the new denominations will be. Amazon and other stores already sell PSN gift cards worth as much as $100.
In essence, you will still be able to purchase in-store codes for downloadable content and other digital add-ons. Sony is also suggesting that customers should switch the pre-order to a physical copy if they don’t want to buy it directly on PSN.
This move is likely to put retailers under more pressure as customers will be moving most of their purchases online.