Well, it’s finally happening. PlayStation Store services are finally being brought to an end for PSP, PS Vita and PlayStation 3. It was only a matter of time, and indeed this is something practically every knew was coming eventually, but it’s still kind of amazing. Once this hits, there are going to be a lot of games and features that will not longer be accessible through normal means. This is the inevitability we all face in an increasingly digital download-only future.
In a blog post released near the end of March, Sony described what exactly is going to happen on July 2nd. Please read the full post for all the details, but here are the basics. Users on PS3, PSP and PS Vita will no longer be able to buy anything via the PlayStation Store once this goes into effect. This means no games, no DLC, no video, nothing at all. You’ll be able to redownload things you’ve previously bought via the built-in function on your device, but that’s it. This means that if there are any digital-only game’s you’ve been thinking of picking up on any of these devices, the time to buy them is NOW!
Now, it’s probably tempting to think something like “well, these systems are all going on 15 years old. What does it matter if Sony doesn’t support them anymore?”. Indeed, it really wouldn’t matter all that much if this was isolated to these systems. It’s not though. There are no other ways to access many of the games that will be lost as a result of this, and we’re seeing similar things happen with more modern games.
Just look at Nintendo; they’ve already pulled down Super Mario 35, and they’re still intent on discontinuing Super Mario 3D All-Stars only 6 months after its initial release. The former was never up for purchase, and the latter is going a way permanently if you haven’t already bought it. This isn’t just a one-off thing; it’s going to keep happening as we continue to move further and further away from physical games.
So yeah, I think this is a problem, and I’ll say that it’s best to buy physical whenever possible. You never know how long these games will last, and, as we’re seeing now, some games may just go away permanently thanks to only releasing via digital download. Preserving games was already difficult, no we’ve gotta deal with even more of this! Ugh…