The digital future offers gamers the convenience of purchase their store off virtual storefronts, allowing them to get into the game quickly. Over each generation of Microsoft, Nintendo, and Sony consoles, avid collectors like myself have dove into the digital frontier. It doesn’t replace our need for a physical version – I often buy both versions occasionally. Well, thegamer.com reported that users of the PS3, PS Vita, and PS Portable (PSP) would soon be unable to purchase games or DLC from the store.
In October 2020, Sony came right out of the gate and ended support for PS3, Vita, and PSP, as well as apps, themes, and avatars. Players could only access these video games on the appropriate devices, but never by visiting the PS Store on a desktop, phone, or the PlayStation 4. That was the first sign that Sony wasn’t going to lean on any backward compatibility. Still, having the option to return to old systems to play exclusive games was a decent alternative.
Sony will reportedly shut down the PS3 and PSP digital stores on July 12. The PS Vita store will follow, closing on Aug. 27.
Companies will inevitably shut down old networks, so I’m not surprised. Unfortunately, Sony’s move will erase a rich catalog of top-rated digital games. PlayStation doesn’t have any plan in place, so far, to allow gamers to enjoy the legacy content that hooked us in the first place. Players will, however, still be able to play the games that they previously purchased.
Is video game preservation a Sony priority?
We’re finally starting to see the dangers of video game preservation as we progress. Nostalgia is powerful, and there’s nothing quite like booting up an old favorite. As time goes on, though, we get closer to losing important video game titles. Sony pumped out so many Japanese Roleplaying Games across each Playstation generation. It’d be a shame to permanently lose gems like Suikoden, Wild Arms, Legend of Dragoon, among others.
PlayStation needs to create an option or service to keep these games available. It’s easier for a collector like myself to feel safe, but discs aren’t foolproof. Beyond any damage we could inflict on our cherished discs, time is powerful. After so many years, our physical library will start to decay. In making the move to end future purchases of classic games, gamers are stuck with third-party physical sales. Depending on the game, popular titles can be worth well over $100.
While we’ve seen an uptick in remakes and remasters, this strategy doesn’t satisfy everyone. At best, it allows gamers to indulge in a bit of nostalgia. At worst, they are cash grabs, and losing the ability to play old games may result in more remasters. That may be one possibility, but I believe we’re looking at the slow death of PlayStation’s original library.
How do you feel about Sony allegedly shutting down the PS3, PSP, and PS Vita stores?