Welcome to the age of digital distribution. Managing Director for Sony Ericsson UK and Ireland Nathan Vautier spoke with GameSpot UK at the Mobile World Conference about content for the Xperia Play.

According to Vautier, all of that PSOne content you've been buying for the PlayStation Network will not transfer to the Sony Ericsson's PlayStation Certified smart phone. Moreover, if you do already own a digital copy you won't be able to use that proof of ownership to re-download the title for your new phone. From Vautier:

"[Xperia Play owners] will have to repurchase the games, so it's not totally integrated…I think the exciting thing is that there are games which people are very, very aware of…"

That last bit of the quote stings a bit, to be honest. The notion that consumers will be excited about purchasing great content for a second or third time is completely absurd. Sure, it's a strong way for Sony to say that these titles are worth buying twice, but one has to assume that most consumers will hold back on double buying too much classic content.

The fact that content manufacturers have complete control of the distribution of their goods is at once an upside and downside of digital distribution. Yes, the profits are routed more directly to the single entity making and selling the content. However, and this is where consumers lose, these marketplace owners have complete say over exactly how much they charge, when they charge it and how long that charge lasts.

In the case of Sony, they're actually assuming players will want to buy a PSOne title three times. Why three? Like Vautier says, "these are games which people are very, very aware of." They're the classics you've been playing since the first PlayStation. You bought them back then, you bought them through the PlayStation Store on the PS3 and now you need to buy them again for the Xperia Play.

Will the same hold true for the NGP? Probably. Prove me wrong.

[via GameSpot UK]