Approximately three weeks ago, Sony made the announcement that it was shutting down their digital marketplace for Playstation 3, Playstation Vits and PSP games this summer. PSP was to go down July 2, and PS3 and Vita would have their plugs pulled August 27. Any games purchased prior to that deadline would still be downloadable from the user’s account, but there would be no buying anything new from that point forward.
The response was immediate, loud, and overwhelmingly negative….so much so that Sony walked back the decision today. “It’s clear that we made the wrong decision here,” said Sony Interactive head Jim Ryan, with cartoon sweat shooting out of the sides of his head. “When we initially came to the decision to end purchasing support for PS3 and PS Vita, it was born out of a number of factors, including commerce support challenges for older devices and the ability for us to focus more of our resources on newer devices where a majority of our gamers are playing on. We see now that many of you are incredibly passionate about being able to continue purchasing classic games on PS3 and PS Vita for the foreseeable future, so I’m glad we were able to find a solution to continue operations.”
This doesn’t mean the axe won’t fall for PS3 and PS Vita eventually, but it does mean we can stop worrying at least for a while. The PSP’s shutdown, however, is still on schedule for July 2 (and no one seems to care, as piracy on that device is super-easy).
The far future presents a bigger problem: the Playstation 4 has an internal clock called a CMOS. Most modern consoles also have this clock but Sony’s are “special” in that if they don’t receive a connection to their servers every now and then, they will shut down the entire console until they do. This means every PS4 has an expiration date and, unless hackers find a solution, millions of consoles will find themselves bricked on the day the PS4 marketplace is shut off. The PS5 also has this flaw.
So when we get to talk of server shutdown for the next generation, the problem will be much worse than a bunch of delisted games. Can’t wait…