It seems that games and DLC for multiple PlayStation platforms will no longer be available for purchase. According to sources for The Gamer, the digital storefronts for PS3, PS Vita, and PSP are all set to close this summer. Apparently, the storefronts for PS3 and PSP will shutter on July 2nd, and Vita will close on August 27th. As of this writing, Sony has not yet confirmed whether or not that will be the case, so readers should take this with a grain of salt until something is officially revealed. If true, the news will certainly come as a disappointment for some gamers.
Regardless of whether or not these storefronts are actually closing, it has once again highlighted one of the biggest problems currently facing the video game industry: preservation. As video game publishers increasingly look towards digital models, it becomes less likely that gamers will be able to continue playing and enjoying these games. On Twitter, publisher Limited Run Games used the opportunity to share its philosophy that physical copies are forever. The company recently offered a physical release for Scott Pilgrim vs. The World: The Game - Complete Edition, a game that once released on PS3 and was thought lost to time after it was pulled from the digital marketplace.
This is the inevitable digital future. At some point all digital storefronts will cease to exist, replaced by newer technology or storefronts. Digital purchases are not forever. #ForeverPhysical https://t.co/oJ5TJgN2S3— Limited Run Games (@LimitedRunGames) March 22, 2021
Some PS3 games will undoubtedly end up ported to newer platforms with new updates, but the fact remains that there are hundreds or even thousands of titles that will never receive that same treatment. In the case of games like Scott Pilgrim, it could be a licensing issue, but there are tons of other reasons that games don't end up getting ported to new platforms. When digital storefronts close, some of the games available on them are forever closed off to new audiences. A similar issue was raised when several Nintendo DSiware games were seemingly delisted, but those games have since been relisted by Nintendo.
Video games have come a long way over the last few decades. The perception of gaming as a hobby and as an art form has drastically changed and improved. But the industry needs to seek new ways to preserve its history. As long as games remain tethered to systems and services that can be shut down, their influence will wane. Hopefully, the reports regarding Sony's plans to close the storefronts for PS3, PSP, and PS Vita will prove to be incorrect.
Are you concerned about video game preservation? What do you think about these digital storefronts closing? Let us know in the comments or share your thoughts directly on Twitter at @Marcdachamp to talk all things gaming!