As long as the PS4 has been around if you wanted to buy a game via the PS4 digital store, and didn’t want to put a credit card info in, you could buy the download code in a store. Sony has announced that it is removing that option for buyers and will instead force all digital purchases to go through the credit card process on the console.
The new policy will go into effect on April 1, 2019. A PlayStation spokesperson told The Verge, “We can confirm that as of April 1, 2019, Sony Interactive Entertainment will no longer offer full games through SIE’s Global Digital at Retail program. This decision was made in order to continue to align key businesses globally. To support full games and premium editions, SIE will introduce increased denominations at select retailers. DLC, add-ons, virtual currency, and season passes will still be available.”
Sony has promised to offer additional denominations for PSN gift cards. GameStop was made aware of the policy change only recently. However, it’s not just GameStop that can no longer sell digital download codes; no retailers will be able to.
Another catch is that people who pre-ordered a coming game, like Days Gone, with a digital code will have to transition that to a physical copy of the game. This move by Sony is a big deal as we move towards a future with consoles that no longer use discs.