Sony are already starting work on their next Playstation console, but there are rumours they will be taking a step forward to a disc-less era where new games will only be available through the PSN store, and licensed to each PSN account without the ability to download and distribute to friends.
That being said, if Sony do take this step forward they will provide a plug and play external disc drive for backwards compatibility to support PS3 and PS4 disc-based games.
The eventuality of such a step forward means that Sony will make more money and players won’t be able to trade games, or lend to their friends anymore; unless their friends are accessing a licensed account.
The benefits of downloads via PSN store are that if a console if damaged, sold or swapped that a game can easily be downloaded again for the new console. It is not known whether Sony will limit the number of downloads for each account, and whether there will be a software check that will check against registrants and their addresses they registered their consoles at; only time will tell.