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VICE: It's only a matter of time before Sony kills access to PS3 and Vita games entirely.

Jan 14, 2018
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IF it happen, i hope Sony will do like Nintendo did with the Wii to give us a grace period so we can buy some stuff digital before its too late, and i hope well be able to redownload them as we wish.
The problem is the fact of the size of the games.

I have more than 50 digital games on ps3, how am I going to download all of them to my hard disk?

Sony has to maintain the servers in some way, for that they are paid and for that we buy their games, it is not infinite of course, but it is something that must be maintained ... if it is the opposite, I will never spend a penny on something that is invisible.
 
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dano1

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Sep 25, 2013
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So if you want to buy or re downloaded a ps3 game or vita game you have to purchase it or re download it from that system? Well that’s how it should be!! I don’t want that shit on my new PS5! If it can’t play it I don’t want it there. People cry about anything!
 

Quasicat

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Aug 8, 2019
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Picked up a new Super Slim to replace my Slim when the PSU died. I’m glad I didn’t wait, because the prices on these systems are going up. I mainly bought it for the PS1 and PS3 exclusives. I’ve been taking this time to pick up some of the stuff I missed since the prices are really good. The only ones that bother me with price are the Tales games I want to play. Perhaps we should make a list of the essential PS3 games both available on disc and digitally. I think it’s only a matter of time when the store is shut down for good. Hopefully they give us more of a heads up than a week, like they did with the web store shutting down.
 
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93xfan

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Feb 23, 2013
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Really wish they’d bring forward our PS1 and Ps2 digitally bought games. Sucks to think of losing access to Ape Escape, Ridge Racer 4, Metal Gear Solid, Jumping Flash 2, Jet Moto, Tiwsted Metal 2 and many other games
 

Northeastmonk

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Mar 18, 2013
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Suikoden II is $100 or more used and it gets released on PSN for $9.99 USD at the time. Probably one of the best JRPG games on the system. You also have Front Mission 3, Chrono Cross, Xenogears, Vagrant Story, etc etc.. not to mention Parasite Eve, SOTN, Dino Crisis, and various action games. Tomba 1 and 2 are even on there. There’s a host of PS2 games. If not all the SMT games from PS2 are on there digitally. If you went to a resto game store, most of those games would cost you quite a lot to acquire. Yet in the world according to this article, the people at Sony probably don’t even know those games exist or if they do it’s just something that got mentioned upon release. What’s the real story behind it all? Are they going to phase out games because they didn’t exactly care in the first place? There are games in the PS1 library that tell a better story than a lot of the newer JRPGs on the market now.
 

lachesis

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Jun 17, 2004
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I wonder if they shut down the store... will games that need day1 updates and other updates to run properly get the updates, if we buy a used physical media? That's also something that I'm quite concerned.
 
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sn0man

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Nov 23, 2013
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I am the one who tries to buy everything as physical. If it's a game I want to own and revisit years down the road then I don't want to worry about expired libraries, subscriptions or the like. Another thing that would be bad is the fact that when a game leaves one of the services your playthrough STOPS.

After reading this site for years, not owning or having control of your games is suddenly ok and I don't get it.
Most of us moved on, got jobs and families, got busy and just said fuck it. They went fuck it, we can’t keep up with this. Sure it’s more convenient for me to pay Nintendo $20 a year to allow me the privilege of playing super Mario brothers when I can’t sleep because I’m stressed about life. I don’t know where my Nintendo went and I don’t want to hassle with getting it out.

NOTE: I’m sympathetic to my description of the old school gamer that became a modern gamer above but part of the console for me is the tangible aspects. The local multiplayer. The electronic background hissing from the CRT. I’m sympathetic to the digital gamer. I understand the temptation of convenience. But that route does not lead to a purchase, it leads to a revocable license to access a game. With a shelf life that ages out after~ 60% of the player base stops demanding the availability.

it’s awesome to live in the moment with digital gaming. It sucks being bent over because you’ve paid someone money for a ticket to a ride that has no guaranteed duration.

On PC I’ve made peace with the digital future. On console I refuse to leave the physical world. Straddling two worlds, where I make my gaming stand.
 
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sn0man

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That is not a PC gamer benefit.
I am a physical-only console gamer. If they shutdown the e-shops will not affect me one iota.
As long as your console doesn’t need to be registered to power on and work or you don’t require a server to create a user profile to locally save your game.
 

Cato

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As long as your console doesn’t need to be registered to power on and work or you don’t require a server to create a user profile to locally save your game.

What kind of fucked up console would that be and why would I buy it?

Instead, I rather comission a cabinet-maker to make special build bookshelves that each have the perfect shelve height and depth for PS1/PS2/PS3/PS4 games respectively. Looks very good in the game room.
And it all works even when there is no internet.
 

sn0man

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Nov 23, 2013
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What kind of fucked up console would that be and why would I buy it?

Instead, I rather comission a cabinet-maker to make special build bookshelves that each have the perfect shelve height and depth for PS1/PS2/PS3/PS4 games respectively. Looks very good in the game room.
And it all works even when there is no internet.
The Xbox one.
 
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Nickolaidas

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I used to be terrified of this day until I realized I almost never go back to relly old games. Tried to play ff7 in preparation for the remake and looked and felt like total ass.

I know everyone is entitled to an opinion, but I cannot imagine myself playing mk4 after playing mk11. For me, games evolve in feel, visuals, atmosphere ... why go back to an era where everything was limited in every single way, except music?

Think about it. If you do not update your library by removing old games and bringing in new ones, you are eventually stuck with thousands of games.

When in the flying fuck will you find the time to play thousands of games?
 

mcz117chief

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Sep 29, 2013
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I wonder how many PS3 games will work without updates and patches. Or will the patching files still be available to download?
 

PlayerPurple

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This is one of the most spot-on critiques I’ve read in a long time.

Ever since mid PS3 era, Sony’s been egregiously poor at satisfying their longtime fans and motivating them to stay within the PS ecosystem. They could really learn a thing or two from Apple about brand loyalty.
 
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Kupfer

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Nov 20, 2018
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Anyone who is serious about preservation should have already been using custom firmware for years for this reason. It's a huge weight off your shoulders to stop caring about the legality of it all and just build your own library of ISOs on an external hard-drive.
That's why I have several Vitas and Ps3s, OFWs and CFWs. But one problem still remains, I want to play legally and without the risk of getting banned while being online, synching trophies and such. So I still rely on my physical copies.
 
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Barakov

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"I love my Vita.
Sure, the back touchscreen never worked well, and the shoulder buttons always felt a little too wobbly. But after years of avoiding video games, it was the impulse purchase one chilly, drizzling day that reminded me why I loved video games to begin with. It felt good in my hands, and even if it never fit in anything but my most pouchy of hoodies—I carried it everywhere.
I played games, listened to music, watched YouTube, hell—I even tweeted from it.

The Vita was where I finally played visual novels all the way through, exhaustively. I found what happened to the world of Wizardry-likes outside of Etrian Odyssey. I revisited the PlayStation (with L2 and R2 remapped to the front screen). I finally played From Software's Shadow Tower. Even my partner loved it, obliterating indie game after indie game.
We learned its quirks and workarounds. We made concessions to the proprietary memory card, the bulky power cable that didn't fit in the soft case. We even made peace with the unusability of the Vita PSN store (using the website to purchase, sort my library, and push games to the handheld).
Even when I'm more at home on my PS4 or PC these days, my original Vita still works. It's charged and ready to go at a moment's notice. It still plays games, even if Sony has abandoned the YouTube and Twitter apps on the device over time.

But this week, Sony pushed an update to the PSN store that seriously hinders how I use the Vita. And not just it, but my PS3.
All of our Vitas and PS3s.
The PS5 is coming, the console that Sony will hitch it's stock price on for the next 6 or so years. Maybe less, maybe more. So the PSN web store is getting "upgraded" to pave the way for their new console.
No more buying games or managing your downloads from the more efficient and user-friendly website. Now PS3 and Vita users will be forced to work exclusively through their consoles.

You're extra screwed if you own a PlayStation Portable. Those are getting cleared out of the web store too, and after losing their console-based store in 2016, now the only option will be to make purchases and downloads from the PS3 or Vita. It's honestly pretty shameful.
If that was it, it would be enough. But it won't end there. With Sony, it never does. This isn’t the first time Sony’s tinkered with these consoles in a way that limited the original promise either. We’ve been here before. After all, remember when the PS3 could play PS2 games?

That was the promise at launch. The original 20 and 60gb versions both had hardware emulation for the Playstation 2 in November 2006. By October of 2007. These SKUs lingered on in Japan for another year, but then backwards compatibility on a hardware level was dead going forward.
Hope surged in June of 2009 with Sony patenting software emulation for PS2 games. But speaking to Kotaku in August, Sony Computer Entertainment of America's director of marketing John Koller, said "Now that we're at a point where we're three years into the lifecycle of the PS3...there are so many PS3 disc-based games that are available that we think — and noticed this from our research — that most consumers that are purchasing the PS3 cite PS3 games as a primary [reason].” The PS3 Slim wouldn’t feature backwards compatibility at all.

Three years into the PS3 lifecycle and the dreams of everyone who traded in their PS2s to buy PS3s were as dead as many of those launch models
This foreshadowed a trend in Sony's thinking. Three years ago, Sony's head of global sales, Jim Ryan made headlines by saying, of PS1 and PS2 games, "they looked ancient, like why would anybody play this?"
Sure, plenty of consumers only care about the newest, blockbuster games. The ones that maximize the latest technology Sony and Microsoft can squeeze into their "little" $600 boxes. We like the New. We've been conditioned to like the New. To be dazzled by "progress." Even to see the old, as Ryan does—inferior, unworthy.
We'll ignore the fact that retro and throwback games featuring visuals modeled after PS1 games (and earlier) are popular with consumers and developers alike. That lo-fi and physical media carry a cache of tangible, practical cool. Or that Sony is absolutely aware of the vocal demand for backwards compatibility (and that Microsoft, GoG, and Steam have all shown the success of historical games catalogs). Jim Ryan is pushing an ideology here as much as he’s trying to directly sell. It’s a laser targeted bit of marketing bullshit designed to do two things:

First, it’s hiding the fact that Sony doesn’t care about the margins on old games. If we assume they get the industry standard of 30% for platform royalties—30% of $5 or $10 isn’t the kind of money Sony wakes up for. Especially not the small numbers old games tend to sell. Every person buying a PS5 will likely buy Demon’s Souls 5. At $70, that’s a shitton of money. But the original Demon’s Souls on PS3? It’s an embarrassment to shareholders having something old and at a bargain price on their ecommerce portal.

But the other thing Jim Ryan is doing here is programming consumers. It’s low-key conditioning. “See that mountain? You can climb it.” has become jokingly synonymous with Bethesda’s approach to open world design, consumers of Bethesda games have come to expect it or something like it.
“See those old games? They’re trash,” is what Sony hopes their consumers will come to believe. Because the more they bake “Newer, Better, More Expensive” into their own personal worldview—the better for Sony’s ongoing sales of new hardware and especially first-party games.
Money is boring. Capitalism is boring. They’re not interesting arguments, and yet it’s crucial we talk about them because if we don’t we can’t fracture these marketing mythologies and understand what is really being communicated to us.
Take the famous E3 of 2013 where then-President of SIE Worldwide Studios, Shuhei Yoshida did a skit with former Vice President of Publisher and Developer Relations at Sony Interactive Entertainment, Adam Boyes. Microsoft had fumbled badly about how used games would work with the Xbox One. And Sony saw a prime business opportunity to turn public opinion in their favor overnight.
How do you trade used games on the PS4? You simply hand your buddy the game. Done. This was a win for Consumer Rights. The crowd went wild. Yoshida was a Real One. He truly cared about The Gamers.

Except…He didn’t. Arguably no one at Sony did. This was pure marketing bullshit. Expensively concocted to obfuscate the fact that Sony had stopped caring about the margins on used games, and had figured out a workaround for making money on all games that would become the standard—digital delivery and DLC. Discs would fall by the wayside, PS+ subscriptions would become mandatory for multiplayer (with the carrot of monthly "free" games). And if consumers desperately wanted physical media, then they’d still have to pay full price for DLC. All the DLC.

But in that moment, consumers believed that Sony was in their corner, that Sony was their friend. They weren’t then. They aren’t now. This is all part of a mass-marketed fiction designed to sell more consoles, just like the fake, mass-market marketing campaigns called “console wars” which Warcraft-like created opposing factions of consumers to do direct-to-consumer marketing for them.
When the PS3 came out, backwards compatibility was a major selling point for an anemic launch (this has been Microsoft’s game for a while now too). After all, Sony was trying to get consumers to drop $600 on a yet-unproven console. And PS2 trade-in credit was tempting, but it’d lock you out of your old games.
Sony’s decision to shove the Emotion Engine and Graphics Synthesizer inside the PS3 eased this choice for many consumers. This wasn’t Sony making a play for historical preservation or thinking of your personal archives. That’s the story they wanted to tell. It made them seem cool and enticing when their launch lineup didn't. This was never going to be a long-term option.
Console manufacturers aren't invested in so-called "legacy content." The margins are slim, the interest is substantially lower than the mass market interest in New Shit.
And we've basically accepted this. Sony doesn't need to include backwards compatibility to sell PS5s. The bid didn't work with the PS3 in the end. And full price remasters of old games have proven much more profitable on the PS4 than the slim sales numbers of so-called "legacy content" ever could.

The only reason the PS5 is getting backwards compatibility is because Demon's Souls alone isn't going to move new consoles on its own, and bringing the recent generation over is much easier between these two generations. Sony learned the lesson from the PS3 that having a complicated architecture is like having weird parents—no one wants to come to your house to play.
But it won't last. Eventually even the PS4 will be cut loose, too. Shareholders don't get excited seeing old games sold cheap on their websites. Hardware will get deprecated, it will stop functioning, and then our options to play those games will become even more limited.
All these games, more or less exist. They will continue existing unaltered until the last PS3 dies beyond repair and the Blu-Rays erode beyond salvation. Without Sony taking a vested interest and a firm commitment to backwards compatibility, preservation, and allowing consumers access to these games—the best we can hope for is the work of emulator developers and the people who create ROMs and ISOs outside of approved channels to maintain even some semblance of what these games were.

Because when access is shut off in official channels—and it always will be, in the end, because capitalism is a consumptive process that's at odds with longevity and preservation—the only option to preserve and archive these works is through unofficial, often extralegal, channels.

Right now, I'm in the middle of playing Digital Devil Story: Megami Tense_i. The first one. Never released outside of Japan. It's the beginning point for the later _Shin Megami Tensei franchise, that gave birth to the now runaway, global hit sub-franchise Persona.
It's clunky, old. The sprites are hazy reduced suggestions of what they would come to look like. They have very limited animation, if they're animated at all. It's ugly, it's antique, it's beautiful.
I can only do this because of emulation. The reverse engineering prowess of the emulator developers who pulled apart the Famicom and allowed modern PC hardware to communicate in its language. Also the exhausting work of a translator turning coded Japanese script into English. I had to patch it to play it. But if you're doing a historical look at a franchise, you have to do the history. Atlus, Namco, Nintendo—they don't have a monetary interest in this game. It isn't financially worth it to them, if they even preserved the source code or art assets.
Maintaining archives, even privately-held corporate ones, costs more than it's worth in quarterly earnings calls. But for an art form to grow and have a history—this has to be a decision based on principle. The value in preservation is the preservation itself.
Historical preservation of games only gets us so far though. For critics and academics, it's useful to at least have some version of its original context somewhere. The record of existence, playable only at a museum or in an archive. This is existence. But access is once again limited. You have to go to these places.

Right now, my PS3 is on the floor of my living room. It's waiting to be hooked up, so I can revisit Boletaria in some way (itself a hollowed, disconnected version because Sony shut off the servers last year). It doesn't fit nicely on the bookcase. The PS4, Switch, and TV take up all the reasonable amount of space.
To be honest, I'm not sure how much longer for this world it is anyway. It sounds like a diseased geriatric doing a stress test. It's slow, much slower than it used to be, even with a new hard drive and refreshed Blu-ray drive. What is repairable, has been. When it goes, the only available option is to replace more parts (best case) or find a whole new one (a proposition that has already become more expensive since Sony announced zero backwards compatibility and the web shop shutdown).
Or I can pay $70 for the New Demon's Souls after paying $600 for a PlayStation 5. But the original vision of the game? The one that garnered a cult following, launched an even bigger franchise, and spawned a genre with countless imitations? For me, and millions of other consumers now and in the future—that's gone.
All those bloodstains and glowing messages, and ones that could be? Lost forever.
With the disconnection of the PS3 and Vita from the website, Sony is sending a clear statement of intent. They don't care about these consoles anymore. They're too old to be viable for them. Eventually, as we saw with the Wii, or Wii U, and 3DS (in Latin America and the Caribbean) stores, they will be gone entirely.
The bottom line must be preserved. Never the games that originally built it.
Probably the best arguement to buy physical when you can when playing on console. The so called "Digital Future" on consoles is bullshit. Console manufacturers have proved time and time again, they're garbage at this.
 
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Cato

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I used to be terrified of this day until I realized I almost never go back to relly old games. Tried to play ff7 in preparation for the remake and looked and felt like total ass.

I know everyone is entitled to an opinion, but I cannot imagine myself playing mk4 after playing mk11. For me, games evolve in feel, visuals, atmosphere ... why go back to an era where everything was limited in every single way, except music?

Think about it. If you do not update your library by removing old games and bringing in new ones, you are eventually stuck with thousands of games.

When in the flying fuck will you find the time to play thousands of games?

That is fine. But then you are not really buying the games. You are just renting the games until either
you tire of them and want to never play them again, or the provider decides that it is no longer
profitable to make the games you "bought" available to you.

It is a perfectly fine opinion to have. But you are not buying or owning the games. You are merely renting them.

As long as you get tired of these rentals and decide you will never play them again happens before your vendor decides you can never play them again, I guess it is fine for you.
 

ruvikx

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Jan 12, 2018
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Better kill off those cheap, pesky old ps3 titles in case someone buys one & realizes they're better than current gen shit.

Personally I'd rather play something like Resistance 3 again than suffer some modern walking simulator, open world collectathon or some GaaS shooter/looter microtransaction assault on peoples wallets.
 

Kokoloko85

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Sep 26, 2019
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Hmm. Well, if you are talking about the iPKG app, no idea. I mainly have a collection I just have backed up, as well as some of the games from iPKG I have backups stored on a database PC.

I have them downloading on my sd card + converter. Maybe Ill back them up on my laptop. Thanks
 

NeoIkaruGAF

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I'm pretty pissed my cable tv box doesn't work anymore too. How dare they progress technology.

This is like saying we shouldn’t read Latin works because words aren’t written on parchment scrolls anymore.

We’re talking software here. Make the software available and the old hardware can take its deserved rest.
 
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Nickolaidas

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That is fine. But then you are not really buying the games. You are just renting the games until either
you tire of them and want to never play them again, or the provider decides that it is no longer
profitable to make the games you "bought" available to you.

It is a perfectly fine opinion to have. But you are not buying or owning the games. You are merely renting them.

As long as you get tired of these rentals and decide you will never play them again happens before your vendor decides you can never play them again, I guess it is fine for you.
We can discuss the pros and cons of retail and digital all day. But lets not pretend neither side has them. My ps3 can break down. My discs may get damaged and be rendered useless. Old games will disappear from the retail market and are only sold on used condition and ridiculous prices. Your game discs may be lost or stolen.

Just like servers may shut down, so can consoles and discs may be rendered useless. It's not like if I buy a game on retail it is 100% certainty that it will remain playable and in my possession for ever.
 
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ColdAfternoon

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We can discuss the pros and cons of retail and digital all day. But lets not pretend neither side has them. My ps3 can break down. My discs may get damaged and be rendered useless. Old games will disappear from the retail market and are only sold on used condition and ridiculous prices. Your game discs may be lost or stolen.

Just like servers may shut down, so can consoles and discs may be rendered useless. It's not like if I buy a game on retail it is 100% certainty that it will remain playable and in my possession for ever.

Looking at the near future, the chance of both my ps3s and my entire collection of ps3 games to vanish or get damaged is insignificant, whereas the ps3 servers getting shut down is an absolute certainty.
 
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Nickolaidas

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Looking at the near future, the chance of both my ps3s and my entire collection of ps3 games to vanish or get damaged is insignificant, whereas the ps3 servers getting shut down is an absolute certainty.
When do you expect the ps3 servers to shut down?
 

TTOOLL

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I mean, sure. If you worry about this you should always go physical. If you think you had enough after 15 years...
 

CircleOfFire

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Ever since mid PS3 era, Sony’s been egregiously poor at satisfying their longtime fans and motivating them to stay within the PS ecosystem. They could really learn a thing or two from Apple about brand loyalty.

Having owned every Sony console and picked all but the PS1 up on launch day, I assume that would make me a "longtime fan" I don't align with this statement at all.

The comparison to Apple is terrible as they've done multiple architecture shifts on their machines which they halfheartedly support for a bit and then drop expecting everyone to buy new laptops. When I got my PowerBook Ti in 2002 they were supporting OS9 apps, then they switched to Intel processors and immediately dumped that OS9 support and not long after those PowerPC laptops were just as unsupported. Now they're about to do it again when switching to their custom ARM-based processors.

Even with their phones their OS support only lasts so long if you don't keep buying new phones and even then if developers don't keep updating those games, they just get delisted and then it's gone forever.
 
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Aion002

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Breakage

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My 60GB 2007 launch PS3 has been boxed up since 2011. Sony shutting down PSN for PS3 is something that's always been at the back of my mind.
I should probably drag it out and update it with the latest firmware soon.
 
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Ravix

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This isn't really a huge issue since emulation exists and continues to evolve. It's pretty much the only real way to preserve old games.
 

YeulEmeralda

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Does digital gamer include emulation? I use PCSX2 to play PS2 JRPGs.

I'm not expecting Tales of the Abyss or Ar tonelico 2 ever to see an official re-release and lets be honest almost nobody cares.
 

BattleScar

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You mean the future for Sony. Sony believes in generations.
Until Microsoft decides GamePass isn't profitable enough, or a game is no longer worth keeping on the service because its no longer active enough or any number of things.
Then it'll disappear forever.
 
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sn0man

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Until Microsoft decides GamePass isn't profitable enough, or a game is no longer worth keeping on the service because its no longer active enough or any number of things.
Then it'll disappear forever.
To add to that. The Xbox one does Xbox backwards compatibility based on verifying the disc and downloading some digital data. Essentially having an Xbox one makes physical 360/ogxbox discs a weird version of a digital game. It’s not helpful and relies on a Microsoft server.
 

Quasicat

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That's why I have several Vitas and Ps3s, OFWs and CFWs. But one problem still remains, I want to play legally and without the risk of getting banned while being online, synching trophies and such. So I still rely on my physical copies.
This is why I keep my PS3 OFW. I’ve read (first world) horror stories of using CFW on a PS3, syncing trophies or buying stuff through PSN and getting banned not only on PS3 but also PS4. I have way too much money into these consoles to risk it...but boy is it tempting to just get my PS1, PS2 and PSP discs all on one system.
 

Ten_Fold

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Use custom firmware, Sony don’t care about supporting old systems like Microsoft and to some extent Nintendo.
 

Amory

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I got a vita on day 1 and never got into it. The lack of a 2nd set of shoulder buttons (and dependency on the back touchpad) was a major oversight. As were the crazy expensive proprietary memory cards for a portable. They should've been basically giving memory cards away to incentivise game purchases.

But warts and all, that thing should've succeeded. Passion for that device among gamers has always been crazy high. Sony just gave up, and it's a real shame.

Hopefully Sony won't screw people out of their content on top of everything else. Just let the damn thing exist if people are enjoying it. I'm sure it's not costing a ton.
 
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Zog

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We can discuss the pros and cons of retail and digital all day. But lets not pretend neither side has them. My ps3 can break down. My discs may get damaged and be rendered useless. Old games will disappear from the retail market and are only sold on used condition and ridiculous prices. Your game discs may be lost or stolen.

Just like servers may shut down, so can consoles and discs may be rendered useless. It's not like if I buy a game on retail it is 100% certainty that it will remain playable and in my possession for ever.

Yes, if you are careless and irresponsible then your physical games could become useless but see in that case, it's your fault. For people who take care of their stuff physical is much better.

To add to that. The Xbox one does Xbox backwards compatibility based on verifying the disc and downloading some digital data. Essentially having an Xbox one makes physical 360/ogxbox discs a weird version of a digital game. It’s not helpful and relies on a Microsoft server.
Damn, good thing I can play my original Xbox and 360 games on their respective consoles. When your digital only version of KOTOR stops working you can't even do that.
 
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