Last week’s rumours are now official—Sony is terminating PlayStation Store service on PlayStation 3, Portable, and Vita platforms this summer. Here’s what you need to know if you still own these consoles, and some hidden gems you may want to check out.
As early reports suggested last week, the PlayStation Store will no longer be accessible through the PlayStation 3 or PSP’s apps as of July 2, or on Vita as of August 27. Sony has clarified that previously-purchased content will still be available to download again, should the need arise, from a Download List on the respective device, but new purchases, in-game transactions, and code redemptions will not be possible.
Similarly, Sony’s digital storefront is terminating on-demand video services on August 31. Only previously-purchased content will be accessible.
If you still own any of these consoles, there may still be some hidden gems tucked away in their libraries which you may want to check out, from full games to DLC. Here are some things you may want to check that you own and some golden opportunities that will disappear this summer:
- DLC: The PS3 era saw the rise of massive downloadable expansion packs for games, and there are some beefy add-ons for many of the generation’s biggest games. Though many games have been ported with their DLC intact to more modern consoles, it might be worth seeing if you ever grabbed the Citadel DLC for Mass Effect 3 if you’re really connected to your Commander Shepard save files, that downloadable character for your favourite fighting game, or anything you may be missing for the games you own.
- PSone Classics (PS3, PSP, Vita): All three affected systems have access to some of the original PlayStation’s most important games—and some lesser stuff that may appeal to someone’s nostalgia. These are faithful emulations of the original versions, right down to the ability to swap discs for larger titles, which is done through in-game menus. The Classics line represents only a small portion of the console’s library, and was criminally underserved, but what was released in this format is a great means of experiencing influential games from the past without breaking the bank. Many of the games featured can be expensive to buy used, but run from $5.99 to $13.99 CAD on the PlayStation Store.
Some gems include: Chrono Trigger and Chrono Cross; Darkstalkers 3; Final Fantasy I, II, V, VI, VII, VIII, IX, and Tactics; Harvest Moon: Back to Nature; The Legend of Dragoon; Metal Gear Solid: VR Missions; Parasite Eve; Silent Hill; Tomba!; The Misadventures of Tron Bonne; and Vib Ribbon
- PS2 Classics (PS3): The PS2’s Classic library had even less representation, but there are still some worthwhile pieces of history here. Look for BloodRayne and BloodRayne 2; Bully; Capcom vs. SNK 2: Mark of the Millennium; Castlevania: Lament of Innocence; DOA2: Hardcore; the Fatal Frame trilogy; God Hand; Grand Theft Auto 3 and Vice City; Katamari Damacy; Max Payne; Midnight Club; Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith; and Twisted Metal Black. Or if you’re in the mood for something really quirky, grab a friend and The Adventures of Cookie & Cream.
- Persona: If Persona 5 was your introduction to the genre, you can see what you missed via the PlayStation Store. Shin Megami Tensei: Persona and both Persona 2 titles, Innocent Sin and Eternal Punishment are PSone Classics, Persona 3 Portable is on PSP, and Persona 4 is a PS2 Classic—though you’re better off nabbing Persona 4 Golden on Vita if you don’t use Steam. Not only that, but the oddball dancing spinoffs are available for Vita as well.
- Patapon (PSP, Vita): Patapon was a unique little rhythm game made for the PSP by Japan Studio, and became enough of a cult hit to spawn two more sequels. The first two games have since been remastered for PS4, but you can still experience all three through the PlayStation Store.
- Dissidia Duodecim Final Fantasy (PSP, Vita): It’s not often that a developer can take their beloved IP and successfully meld it with a second, unorthodox genre, but this bizarrely-named spin-off for PSP pulled it off. In this fighting game, players use basic “brave attacks” to build up their Brave stat, then use HP Attacks to deal damage to their opponents equal to that Brave value. Beneath the hood is a character-building system worthy of the franchise’s name, while an epic story unfolds featuring at least one hero and villain from each of the first thirteen games. Dissidia Duodecim contains the entire story campaign of the original game and a larger cast, as well as a bounty of beautiful DLC skins, making this is a must-play spin-off for fans of the series.
- Um Jammer Lammy (PS3, PSP, Vita): While her friend Parappa the Rapper has been remastered for PS4, Lammy’s sequel/spin-off has not yet been modernized, so rhythm game fans should check out the PSone Classic version if they haven’t already.
As is the case with all digital media, there’s no guarantee that your purchases will always be available to download. While Sony has said that existing purchases can be redownloaded after the PlayStation Store closes its doors to these older consoles, there may come a day when this is no longer true. However, the PS3 can store your PSP and Vita software as well, so you can effectively turn your console into a backup for the handheld systems, just in case the option is eventually revoked. Anyone who still has P.T. installed on their PS4 can attest to the value of this practice.
Alternately, Sony offers a Content Manager Assistant application for PC, allowing users to backup their save files and games to their computer, which may be safer than storing a library of data on one game console. (Users of the r/Vita subreddit have noted a potential issue with installing the Assistant on Windows 10 machines, but have also identified a workaround.)