Announced just a few days ago, sometime this summer Sony will be closing down the digital video game stores for the PSP, the PS Vita, and PS3. While many of the games that these systems can run have hard copies, many do not. From July 2nd it will be impossible to buy games on the PSP or PS3 marketplaces, and on August 27th the same thing will happen to the PS Vita.
Microsoft and Xbox have been pushing and talking about their high levels of backwards compatibility for quite some time now, and this will only have a positive impact on how the Xbox library is seen by customers. Some of these PS titles will become Xbox elusive games now, such as Laura Croft & The Guardian of Light, Beyond Good & Evil, Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon, SoulCalibur 2, Resident Evil Code Veronica X, and many more. I will say it again, these Sony and PlayStation games will soon only be available on Microsoft’s consoles.
These closures have the potential for huge ramifications down the line. The fact that games repositories like this have started to close down it a worrying sign for the future of game preservation. There is also the fact that the PS Vita is only nine years old, and given that the PS4 turns eight later this year, this means that it is possible that console’s entire digital library could be pulled as well.
This also gives rise to new worries from game developers, especially given the reports that emerged after the announcement was made, claiming that some developers are still in the process of making PS Vita games and now, without warning, have to decide whether to rush them out before the store closes or abandon the projects they’ve been working on.
It is estimated that around 2,200 games will disappear after these online stores and marketplaces close. These include:
- Around 630 digital-only Vita games
- Around 730 digital-only PS3 (PSN) games
- A small number of digital-only PSP games
- 293 PlayStation Minis
- 336 PS2 Classics
- Around 260 PS1 Classics (particularly on PSP and Vita)
However, the numbers above are just estimates. Sony has pulled the online versions of the stores already which has made exact data more difficult to find. The main problem here is that in the end, no matter the number of games, they will essentially become lost forever once the stores close. As they are 100% digital only, unless they are stored and saved on a device, they will essentially cease to exist.