The tug of war continues between manufacturers, who want their products to be disposable, and consumers, who want their products to last as long as possible. A report is making the rounds that Sony has plans to turn off the digital marketplace for Playstation 3, PSP and PS Vita this summer. According to the report, the PS3 and PSP servers will shut off July 2, followed by the silence of the Vita servers August 27. Sony has not officially announced these plans.
Even if the report does not turn out to be true, it WILL be true eventually. And when it happens, there are a lot of games out there that simply won’t be available in any form. We don’t just mean obscure digital titles from the late 2000s, but PS1 Classics like Suikoden II and Adventures of Tron Bonne that fetch gazillion-dollar prices on eBay. Currently, the PS3’s digital marketplace is the only way they can be played affordably (well, there’s another method, but Sony isn’t fond of it).
The Vita is a different scenario…from the perspective of collectors and its own rabid fanbase, the device hasn’t been “dead” for very long. Limited Run continued to print physical carts for it up until they were no longer allowed to, then quickly ordered a bunch more before the cutoff date and sold them in scattered chunks through 2020. Woe to Vita titles that didn’t have a physical release, though (and there are a lot).
If this guy is correct, the situation might be even worse than we think: seems every PS3 has an internal battery that is synced via connection to the Sony servers, and if that battery is replaced, the sync will be missing and all digital games will refuse to work, whether they’re on your drive or not. Eventually those batteries will go dead, and replacing them won’t fix the machine. The scenario is even worse on the PS4, where not even physical games will work without a server sync (can’t wait to deal with that).
Consoles made before the integration of broadband Internet will still work as long as their parts are serviceable. If modern Playstation consoles are made to automatically brick themselves after a certain period, that is…some scum.