[UPDATE 03/29/21] On the evening of March 27th, 2021, the “old” PlayStation Store website ceased to function for the majority of users worldwide. Sony appears to have finally closed the loophole that many of us were using to access pre-PlayStation 4 content from the web. It is still possible to search and buy content from each console and handheld. Our original post is archived below.
[UPDATE 10/17/20] Sony announced the official timeline, the below changes go into effect worldwide between October 21st and 26th. I’ve got videos up now of every platform in every major region!
A report from French fan site, Planète Vita, has game collectors, completionists, and the preservation-minded on edge today. The news comes from a “reliable source” of the site and includes a screenshot of an alleged press release detailing “upcoming changes to PlayStation Store”. Said to go into effect on October 19th with the launch of a new web-based PlayStation Store, a huge legacy of PlayStation content is about to become much harder to buy:
- PlayStation 3 games and add-ons
- PlayStation Portable games and add-ons
- PlayStation Vita games and add-ons
According to the site, all games, DLC, apps, themes, and avatars will only be browsable and buyable from their respective platform. Finally getting around to 2007’s PlayStation 3 exclusive, Piyotama? You’ll now have to fire up an actual PlayStation 3 to find it. If you need a reminder of how painful navigating the PlayStation 3’s interface is, take a look at me just scrolling through my download history. I remember the PSN store being a slow and unresponsive beast and I’m sure it hasn’t improved in the years since.
When it comes to PSP games things will be even more restrictive. While the ability to load the PlayStation Store from a PSP has been lingering for years in North America, it looks like the October 19th update will finally put it to rest. The press release specifies that owners “will still be able to buy PS3, PSP or PS Vita content by accessing PS Store directly from their PS3 or PS Vita.” No doubt there are PSP games and minis that aren’t compatible with the Vita or otherwise won’t make the cutoff. Sorting through what remains is going to be quite an ordeal.
With the games removed from the site this also means that the Wishlist feature is going away. If you use your wishlist as a reminder of games to check out you may want to write them down or take a few screenshots before the 19th. The release concludes by confirming that previously purchased content across all platforms will remain available to re-download from purchase history.
The silver lining is that Sony didn’t also shut down the PlayStation Store for these platforms outright. The majority of the games you can buy from the web today will still be available on the 20th, it’ll just be more annoying to find and buy them. I’m sure there will be exceptions though, games (and apps especially) that are going to be lost for good if this change really does happen. I’ll do my best to catch them and get them on the site, and if you’d like to help there’s always our submission form.
Thanks to everybody who pointed out the news to the site! I’ve added the date to the Watch List calendar and we’ll just have to see how things shake out over the coming weeks.