The PlayStation Store closure is a reminder to stick with physical media

Sony recently announced that they would be closing their digital stores for the PlayStation 3, PS Vita and PSP, meaning that after 2 July 20...

Sony recently announced that they would be closing their digital stores for the PlayStation 3, PS Vita and PSP, meaning that after 2 July 2021, people will soon no longer be able to purchase titles from the store. While at present, Sony says that you can still download titles you own from the store, we'll still need to see how long that will last.

This brings into sharp focus the concept of physical vs digital releases.  A physical copy means you actually own it and can continue to enjoy it for years to come. A digital copy on the other hand, is like buying permission to play. You are effectively hostage to a company and hoping that they will keep their servers on indefinitely so you can still access your purchases (they won't). Yours truly still purchases physical media for this specific reason.

Another problem with digital releases is that you can't also trade them in or even buy used copies. Going digital only means you are committed to paying the full price even if a game came out years ago - there is no such thing as a bargain bin!

The other reason I'm not a big fan of digital releases is because things disappear when digital stores close down. Great games and media, which only existed on a digital store, are lost forever. Archival initiatives like the Wayback Machine can't access, yet alone archive games which would only be easily (or solely) accessible through a digital store.

The lesson is quite simple: if you go digital only, buyer beware. It's not going to be there forever. That's another reason why you should consider paying a bit more for the PlayStation 5 standard edition, which has a drive which accepts physical media. You're paying to ensure you can continue to enjoy your purchases even decades from now.

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K Bulsuk: Full Speed Ahead: The PlayStation Store closure is a reminder to stick with physical media
The PlayStation Store closure is a reminder to stick with physical media
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K Bulsuk: Full Speed Ahead
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