20 votes

PS3, Vita, and PSP Stores to be permanently closed in a few months

33 comments

  1. [15]
    Gatonegro
    Link
    From a preservation standpoint, this is a huge problem that's only going to get worse with time. During the PS3 era, physical games were still fairly common so a big chunk of the catalogue will...

    From a preservation standpoint, this is a huge problem that's only going to get worse with time. During the PS3 era, physical games were still fairly common so a big chunk of the catalogue will remain available in some form, though the prices of phyisical releases are likely to increase significantly with time.

    A lot of digital-only content will end up simply vanishing. We saw this (I wanted to say "recently" but holy balls it was almost 7 years ago) with the release and removal of P.T. from the PS4 store. Unless you managed to get it at the time and kept a local copy, or you're willing to spend whatever insane amounts for a system or drive with the game files installed, experiencing P.T. is no longer possible. Sure, you can get a similar experience from the myriad of clones and remakes folks have made, but it's not the original thing.

    With the introduction of digital-only systems for the new generation of consoles, as well as the spread of online components even for single-player games, you'll be lucky if you can sit down and play a PlayStation 5 or Xbox Series X game without major issues 15 years from now. Meanwhile, I can set up my 30 year old copy of The Legend of Zelda for the NES, or my 25 year old copy of Age of Empires on Windows, and no one can bloody stop me.

    I'm already sounding like an absolute Luddite in my 30s a lot of the time, even though I actually like technology. It's probably only going to get worse. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

    23 votes
    1. [8]
      Good_Apollo
      Link Parent
      I have a question about PT: Are the files just not readily available online at this point to download to a drive? Can you not play it unless the account 'owns it'? Or is it a thing where you'd...

      I have a question about PT: Are the files just not readily available online at this point to download to a drive? Can you not play it unless the account 'owns it'? Or is it a thing where you'd have to mod your console...?

      Can you play it on a PS3 emulator?

      4 votes
      1. [7]
        Gatonegro
        Link Parent
        Last time I checked, P.T. has to be registered to your account to be able to play it. I believe someone found a way of tricking the PS4 into downloading the files from a different source (say,...

        Last time I checked, P.T. has to be registered to your account to be able to play it. I believe someone found a way of tricking the PS4 into downloading the files from a different source (say, your PC) and registering them as a valid copy, but it wasn't particularly straight-forward and required some modifications to your system.

        It is a PlayStation 4 game, so emulation at this point is not an option—I don't know if PS4 emulation projects exist right now, but even emulating the PS3 accurately is quite tricky. Unless Sony changes its mind (which I don't see happening) or there's a major breakthrough in PS4 emulation, the only options for getting the P.T. experience are to get your hands on a PS4 with the game files and corresponding account, or one of the fan-made remakes.

        2 votes
        1. [6]
          teaearlgraycold
          (edited )
          Link Parent
          https://pcsx4.com/compatibility/ If this is legit (edit: it’s not) it seems like PS4 emulation is much easier than PS3 emulation. We already have a lot of playable titles. The PS4 runs far less...

          https://pcsx4.com/compatibility/

          If this is legit (edit: it’s not) it seems like PS4 emulation is much easier than PS3 emulation. We already have a lot of playable titles. The PS4 runs far less exotic hardware than the PS3 - an x86-64 AMD CPU/GPU with homogeneous memory.

          2 votes
          1. [3]
            Whom
            Link Parent
            From some quick searching, this looks to be fake.

            From some quick searching, this looks to be fake.

            3 votes
            1. [2]
              Diff
              Link Parent
              To add onto this, while pcsx4 is definitely fake, there are some legit ps4 emulators out there. As of a year ago, only Spine could load up any games at all, and only 2 at that.

              To add onto this, while pcsx4 is definitely fake, there are some legit ps4 emulators out there. As of a year ago, only Spine could load up any games at all, and only 2 at that.

              4 votes
              1. Gatonegro
                Link Parent
                Now this sounds more like what I'd expect from PS4 emulation efforts in 2021.

                As of a year ago, only Spine could load up any games at all, and only 2 at that.

                Now this sounds more like what I'd expect from PS4 emulation efforts in 2021.

                3 votes
          2. PhantomBand
            Link Parent
            PCSX4 is a scam, but there's also RPCS4 which is a side project by a RPCS3 dev which is legit. Most promising is Orbital though.

            PCSX4 is a scam, but there's also RPCS4 which is a side project by a RPCS3 dev which is legit. Most promising is Orbital though.

            2 votes
          3. Gatonegro
            Link Parent
            Interesting, thanks for that link. I wasn't aware of this project, though you're right about the PS4 architecture being far less arcane than the PS3, so I suppose it makes sense that emulation for...

            Interesting, thanks for that link. I wasn't aware of this project, though you're right about the PS4 architecture being far less arcane than the PS3, so I suppose it makes sense that emulation for it would be comparatively easier to do.

    2. Octofox
      Link Parent
      Time and time again we see that stallman was right. If you don't have full control of your software and hardware, you don't own it. And eventually the corps will take it away from you. Those...

      Time and time again we see that stallman was right. If you don't have full control of your software and hardware, you don't own it. And eventually the corps will take it away from you. Those servers don't run themselves and they aren't free.

      4 votes
    3. [5]
      PhantomBand
      Link Parent
      I don't think so. Stuff gets preserved all the time by scene groups and other pirates. Just did a check, a private tracker I'm on has a rip of P.T. available. The bigger problem is probably...

      I don't think so. Stuff gets preserved all the time by scene groups and other pirates. Just did a check, a private tracker I'm on has a rip of P.T. available.

      The bigger problem is probably ensuring everything will be playable in the future, but that's where emulators come in.

      2 votes
      1. [4]
        Gatonegro
        (edited )
        Link Parent
        Accessibility is (or should be) one of our main concerns when talking about this sort of thing, as it is in many other fields where preservation efforts exist. A rip of P.T. being available on a...

        The bigger problem is probably ensuring everything will be playable in the future

        Accessibility is (or should be) one of our main concerns when talking about this sort of thing, as it is in many other fields where preservation efforts exist. A rip of P.T. being available on a private tracker is great because it means the data is still available, but how accessible is it for the public? That should be the goal, because the files themselves don't really mean anything if people don't have easy access to them. And I'm not talking about the fact that they're on a private tracker.

        It's like if a group of film enthusiasts manages to snatch a print of a movie before every other copy of it is lost in a fire. It's great that they did it, and it's great that the film was not actually lost. But if the print is then kept inside a vault, where only a handful of people can see it every year, to the general public it may as well be considered lost.

        None of this is to say that the scene groups keeping this rip alive should be doing more or whatever. It's not on them, and scene groups in general contribute in a huge way to software preservation efforts, even if it's not their main goal. The problem is with the companies that treat their products as disposable commodities that can be relegated to oblivion once they're not making them enough money. The move towards more backwards compatibility, when it comes to consoles, gives me some hope, but I don't think everyone is on the same page just yet.

        3 votes
        1. [3]
          PhantomBand
          Link Parent
          Sure, but there's nobody preventing it from being uploaded to public domains.

          Sure, but there's nobody preventing it from being uploaded to public domains.

          1. [2]
            Gatonegro
            Link Parent
            I haven't kept up with P.T. specifically, but from a quick search it does look like Konami has gone out of its way to make sure people can't play it. So, unless you're willing to jump through...

            I haven't kept up with P.T. specifically, but from a quick search it does look like Konami has gone out of its way to make sure people can't play it. So, unless you're willing to jump through hoops to get it working on original hardware, playing P.T. is not really an option anymore. And, like I said, accessibility is one of the main goals of preservation. For the general public, P.T. is as good as gone.

            2 votes
  2. [4]
    Akir
    Link
    This is an especially big middle finger to Vita owners who can’t physically hold all their games on the tiny memory cards.

    This is an especially big middle finger to Vita owners who can’t physically hold all their games on the tiny memory cards.

    14 votes
    1. [3]
      BlindCarpenter
      Link Parent
      is the Vita even that old? I feel like it only came out 5 years ago...

      is the Vita even that old? I feel like it only came out 5 years ago...

      1 vote
      1. stu2b50
        Link Parent
        It came out in 2011, so it's 10 years old already (well, 9 is closer, since it was in December 2011). Looking that up also made me feel old.

        It came out in 2011, so it's 10 years old already (well, 9 is closer, since it was in December 2011).

        Looking that up also made me feel old.

        3 votes
      2. Akir
        Link Parent
        Almost 10 years now. I remember at the time it was a big deal because it had a quad-core CPU. I don't think there were any phones with that at the time, and it was definitely before BIG.little was...

        Almost 10 years now.

        I remember at the time it was a big deal because it had a quad-core CPU. I don't think there were any phones with that at the time, and it was definitely before BIG.little was a thing.

        For reference, it came out just a short while before the PS4, which has had a particularly long life for a console generation.

        1 vote
  3. emnii
    Link
    Haven't really read much of The Gamer, so I don't know how reliable this report is. Sort of depressing if it's true though. Games already fall off of digital storefronts from contracts expiring,...

    Haven't really read much of The Gamer, so I don't know how reliable this report is. Sort of depressing if it's true though. Games already fall off of digital storefronts from contracts expiring, now Sony will be shutting down the storefronts for these consoles entirely.

    Barring the source, this report isn't terribly unbelievable. Sony has previously restricted access to these storefronts by making them only available to the consoles themselves, IE. if you want to buy a PS3 game, you need to buy it from a PS3 as it's not available on the web storefront.

    6 votes
  4. [3]
    Good_Apollo
    Link
    And this is why I buy Xbox and support that platform. Microsoft, at least for now, embraces their back catalogue and that’s a huge plus to me. You don’t have to jump through hoops to play games...

    And this is why I buy Xbox and support that platform. Microsoft, at least for now, embraces their back catalogue and that’s a huge plus to me. You don’t have to jump through hoops to play games from even 3 generations ago!

    6 votes
    1. [2]
      Akir
      Link Parent
      The PS3 was their Sony's digital storefront to begin with, and it came about roughly at the same time as Microsoft's (well, about a year later). It's not like anyone could have foreseen that one...

      The PS3 was their Sony's digital storefront to begin with, and it came about roughly at the same time as Microsoft's (well, about a year later). It's not like anyone could have foreseen that one or the other would offer their download services any longer than the other. Heck, Microsoft was having a lot of failing hardware and software platforms circa 2010 like Zune and Kin.

      Though to be completely frank, I'm 100% unsurprising to hear this news. Nothing against Sony; this is a pretty obvious cost-cutting measure that any business would be aching make. Infrastructure costs money.

      2 votes
      1. Good_Apollo
        Link Parent
        I'm not talking about back then, I'm talking now. Sony has had a persistent attitude of "Why play old game when you could play new game?" and that's why I don't buy the platform now when their...

        I'm not talking about back then, I'm talking now. Sony has had a persistent attitude of "Why play old game when you could play new game?" and that's why I don't buy the platform now when their main competition is saying "Why not play all the game?". Who knows how long Microsoft is going to keep that up, but I'm investing in that for as long as they do it over a platform that just wants you to shell out for the latest remake or whatever.

        Regardless the loss of digital-only content is a tragedy and frankly it pisses me off.

        4 votes
  5. Wren
    Link
    Thanks to the emulation folks for making sure this kind of thing doesn't actually affect game availability.

    Thanks to the emulation folks for making sure this kind of thing doesn't actually affect game availability.

    4 votes
  6. [3]
    DeFaced
    Link
    I anticipated this a while ago and started picking up ps3 games that could be considered hard to find like the splinter cell collection and a few others. This is why I’m so happy that GameStop is...

    I anticipated this a while ago and started picking up ps3 games that could be considered hard to find like the splinter cell collection and a few others. This is why I’m so happy that GameStop is still around (regardless of how terrible they can be). Physical copies will always have a place with me.

    2 votes
    1. [2]
      emnii
      Link Parent
      I'm particularly unhappy about the loss of their digital PS1/PS2 catalog. Sure, I've got stacks of physical PS1/PS2 games, but I'm not blessed with a gen 1 PS3, so I have to jump through a bunch...

      I'm particularly unhappy about the loss of their digital PS1/PS2 catalog. Sure, I've got stacks of physical PS1/PS2 games, but I'm not blessed with a gen 1 PS3, so I have to jump through a bunch of hoops to get my physical PS2 games to run. Also those catalogs are packed with rare games, saving me from spending piles of money on out-of-print physical games.

      3 votes
      1. Akir
        Link Parent
        It's still harder than a PS3, but at least now PS2 emulation is reasonably good for most games and commodity PCs are pretty much all capable of running PCSX2.

        It's still harder than a PS3, but at least now PS2 emulation is reasonably good for most games and commodity PCs are pretty much all capable of running PCSX2.

        2 votes
  7. emnii
    Link
    This report has been validated by Sony: https://www.playstation.com/en-gb/support/important-notice/

    This report has been validated by Sony: https://www.playstation.com/en-gb/support/important-notice/

    We are closing PlayStation™Store on PlayStation®3 consoles on 2nd July 2021 and on PlayStation®Vita devices on 27th August 2021. Additionally, the remaining purchase functionality for PSP™ (PlayStation®Portable) will also retire on 2nd July 2021.

    2 votes
  8. [5]
    Comment deleted by author
    Link
    1. [2]
      Good_Apollo
      Link Parent
      Surely you can appreciate not looking at it through pure nostalgia. There's a lot of negatives to that as well.

      I miss the days where every new game came out on a disc and that was all you needed; no system updates, no day one patches, just a nice and straightforward gaming experience. And as long as you took care of that disc, you could play that game.

      Surely you can appreciate not looking at it through pure nostalgia. There's a lot of negatives to that as well.

      3 votes
      1. [2]
        Comment deleted by author
        Link Parent
        1. stu2b50
          Link Parent
          I buy all games digitally now, including on the Switch, where physical games are still fairly common. Here are the reasons I do so: Ease of switching games - I don't have to physically pop out the...

          I buy all games digitally now, including on the Switch, where physical games are still fairly common. Here are the reasons I do so:

          1. Ease of switching games - I don't have to physically pop out the disk/cartridge every time I switch games. Especially with so many multiplayer games where you may wish to pop in for an hour or two, it's quite annoying to walk over and swap a physical object

          2. Lack of physical presence - it's so much easier to move when you don't have a bookshelf of loose leaf cards

          3. Lack of physical damage and account-based ownership - you can pick up a new console and have acess to all of your games; they can't be destroyed in a house fire, or simply lost somewhere

          4. Devs can fix their games - the idea that games were magically bug free in the past is nostalgia seeping through. There were plenty of utterly broken, buggy games. Combined with the relative simplicity compared to the behemoths released today, that's a statement that's not really true. Rather, now devs at least can fix a buggy game, instead of having great games be ruined forever by a single bad bug.

          5. More access, leading to more games - it's very easy for indie developers to distribute a digital game; back when you had to have physical releases, this was basically impossible, since you needed the base capital and connections to print cartridges or disks.

          4 votes
    2. [2]
      Akir
      Link Parent
      The Vita does have a way to backup your games, but it's very shitty; I seem to remember that it's cryptographically signed to only work with your one system, and if your system has a failure that...

      The Vita does have a way to backup your games, but it's very shitty; I seem to remember that it's cryptographically signed to only work with your one system, and if your system has a failure that requires you to factory reset then your backups have essentially become lost. Also you have to transfer them to your PC with Sony's crappy software, and the entire process is very slow.

      1 vote
      1. Weldawadyathink
        Link Parent
        By the way you can softmod most ps vita firmware versions. If you do, you can use a bit of software called NoNpDrm can be used to generate fake license files for any game backups.

        By the way you can softmod most ps vita firmware versions. If you do, you can use a bit of software called NoNpDrm can be used to generate fake license files for any game backups.

        1 vote
  9. PhantomBand
    Link
    I wouldn't be too disappointed about this, stuff gets preserved all the time by scene groups and other pirates.

    I wouldn't be too disappointed about this, stuff gets preserved all the time by scene groups and other pirates.