The successor to the PS3 was almost-but-not-quite a completely online affair, with Sony having contemplated ditching the optical disc drive that has been standard on all three of their consoles altogether.
According to the Wall Street Journal, Sony considered whether the time was ripe to ditch game discs completely in favor of online downloads and streaming. The Playstation 4 could have ended up requiring a broadband connection to be even remotely usable.
The plan was ultimately ditched because “Internet connections are too inconsistent around the world.” Which they are. While this would have been fine for those in areas with high-speed connections it would have been a disaster for gamers in rural or unconnected locales.
I personally think it was the right decision to abandon this plan. Although games consoles will undoubtedly use similar models in the future, it’s just a little too soon for such an effort. Is it too early to start imagining a disc-less PS5? Yes, yes it is.