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

Apr 19, 2020
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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.
 

Krappadizzle

Member
Oct 4, 2011
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*Snip*
I understand the frustration. It's the same shit people have been saying and dealing with Nintendo for years. But luckily, we have RPCS3. PS3 games are really starting to look and run better than they ever did natively. Still a lot of work to be done too in regards to emulation, but the groundwork has been laid and it'll only grow as time goes on. It's been the case for a long time now that the best place to play all these awesome classic games from the OG Nintendo to the PS2 up to the Wii U/Switch is PC. That won't change until you can get Sony to change their position on backwards compatibility. And they won't do that until the vocal majority starts to speak up. But most of them are too mesmorized by the quick load times on Miles Morales to really care. And by the time the come around it'll be way too late.
 
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Barnabot

Member
Oct 16, 2018
3,464
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Try and do that Sony and I'll just resort to my old antics back when I didn't have a job to buy my games ages ago.

Piracy.

And also lol at the those Vice's hot takes about capitalism. Don't even get me started to present you the other way around.
 

SaturnSaturn

Member
Oct 30, 2018
652
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435
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.

I love my vita, but i just cant stand the thought of not being able to synch my trophies with my main account lol, only reason why i dont play on my secondary modded one.

And also when are they going to have ps vita sales on the digital storefront again, its been ages
 
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Soodanim

Member
Feb 24, 2012
6,857
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I didn’t read the article, but we are in the early days of digital content disappearing. Yes, it’s happened before on a small scale, but as generations go on we will see things be locked away forever. No official archives, just company hard drives unless they sell it again.

What happens when PS5 discs, which have taken up a role as mere installation discs, are not enough because the patches don’t come with the disc and the pirate archives aren’t enough?
 
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levyjl1988

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Jan 31, 2010
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Microsoft did this when they removed the Xbox 360 download manager off the Xbox website. It's a pain in the ass to redownload old games through the console.
If you have a lot of content it becomes counter-intuitive., the amount of lag as it streams your downloaded list and its not organized properly in anyway, worse, it's not even documented correctly.

I understand pushing your new consoles, but fuck if I were to revisit it, they made it so user-unfriendly.
 
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#Phonepunk#

Banned
Sep 4, 2018
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lol i saw that headline earlier.

how can a 14 year old console be "buried alive"?

Vice needs to give a raise to whoever makes the clickbait titles
 

Warnen

Can he swing from a thread? Take a look overhead / Hey, there, there goes the Spider-Man
Sep 24, 2005
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Don’t worry they will sell them again to ya at some point.
 
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YuLY

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Oct 3, 2020
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God I love being a PC gamer mainly. I can play games from '98 just fine. A few months ago I replayed Gothic 2 from 2002. This type of issue has never been a problem for me since I started gaming.

I only play the exclusives on consoles, if those are gone, wew so be it, I have a huge collection of forever compatible games to play for the rest o my life. And honestly most ps3 games can be played through an emulator on PC nowadays. If you own the original blurays, its your right to access the games in any way that you can. If some companies dont like that, then they should continue to provide the service.

Just embrace GabeN already.
 

Guilty_AI

Member
Apr 12, 2020
3,124
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670
God I love being a PC gamer mainly. I can play games from '98 just fine. A few months ago I replayed Gothic 2 from 2002. This type of issue has never been a problem for me since I started gaming.

I only play the exclusives on consoles, if those are gone, wew so be it, I have a huge collection of forever compatible games to play for the rest o my life. And honestly most ps3 games can be played through an emulator on PC nowadays. If you own the original blurays, its your right to access the games in any way that you can. If some companies dont like that, then they should continue to provide the service.
Honestly this. Knowing i'm able to buy games from 20 years ago and they'll run even if i have to mod or tweak it, that all the games i own now regardless of their age will still be playble after i upgrade my machine, or that i can always resort to a crack if some discontinued DRM gets in the way.
Its a huge weight off the shoulder to not have to worry about whatever plans the company in charge has.
 

pixelation

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Nov 21, 2014
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I really don't care for old games, even ones that I loved. They're best served as memories (playing games that you remember fondly can sometimes really taint how you remember them).
 
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Old_and_Slow

Neo Member
Oct 8, 2020
35
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This is the digital future everyone is asking for with GamePass and PSNow.
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.
 
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Foamy

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

 

SLoWMoTIoN

Milk Connoisseur
Feb 2, 2018
21,981
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I have physical carts and I have a modded Vita. I'm good, I just need to backup my files into one of my hard drives.
I'm pretty pissed my cable tv box doesn't work anymore too. How dare they progress technology.

Silence shill!
 

diffusionx

Member
Feb 25, 2006
14,565
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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.

This is probably the last generation we will have with physical games. But PC has basically been digital only for the past decade and never runs into this issue. The issue is not digital vs. physical, the issue is, does the company give a shit or not. I said it in another thread but I can redownload every single game I ever bought on Steam right now. I can purchase virtually every single game that was released to the Steam store since 2004, when the PS2 was the dominant console. That is because Valve gives a shit and caters to people who care about that. Sony, apparently, does not. Sony is run by people who don't seem to care about their legacy or history - look at what a piece of shit the PS Classic was.
 
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Concern

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Sep 20, 2020
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Haven't turned my vita on in years and my Ps3 died years ago.

Either way, I expect the stupid trend of pointless remasters and remakes to continue well into next gen and beyond. So not really a big deal imo.
 
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longdi

Ni hao ma, fellow kids?
Jun 7, 2004
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Is it me, or the new Jim Ryan Sony, can't help getting regular bad press? Arrogant Sony is back? 🤷‍♀️
 
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sol_bad

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Jan 17, 2006
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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.

Can all PS3's play PS1 and PS2 games with custom firmware?
 

brap

Member
Jan 9, 2018
13,948
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Wtf? They wouldn't do that. I R smrt and buy all my games digitally :messenger_loudly_crying: :messenger_loudly_crying: :messenger_loudly_crying:
 

Lionel Richie

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Jun 22, 2014
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Makes me wonder if now is the time to pick up a Vita, and collect all the PSP and Vita games I’d want. PSP games play well on this thing, without weird upscaling blurriness or anything?

There's definitely upscaling blurriness. It plays flawlessly though, but I prefer to play PSP games on my PSP. It's been such a long time that I turned on the PSP that its battery must have blown up by now, so maybe I need to stop being anal and just get used to the blurriness lol.
 
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jimjonjimmy

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Feb 16, 2010
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There's definitely upscaling blurriness. It plays flawlessly though, but I prefer to play PSP games on my PSP. It's been such a long time that I turned on the PSP that its battery must have blown up by now, so maybe I need to stop being anal and just get used to the blurriness lol.
Now I am playing on a modded Vita but you can turn the blurry upscaling off. I'm not sure if this a mod exclusive feature but the Vita screen is 2x the PSP in terms of resolution so it should scale perfectly.
 
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Lionel Richie

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Now I am playing on a modded Vita but you can turn the blurry upscaling off. I'm not sure if this a mod exclusive feature but the Vita screen is 2x the PSP in terms of resolution so it should scale perfectly.

Really? Been quite some time since I've messed around with Adrenaline, I'll give it a shot again.
 
Jan 14, 2018
4,461
5,306
780

"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.
thats why i preffer physical games.
 

Thicc Team Six

Master Chief
May 18, 2020
1,966
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"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"

I blame PlayStation for Vice.
 
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Agent X

Member
Jun 7, 2004
7,777
787
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There's definitely upscaling blurriness. It plays flawlessly though, but I prefer to play PSP games on my PSP. It's been such a long time that I turned on the PSP that its battery must have blown up by now, so maybe I need to stop being anal and just get used to the blurriness lol.

The "blurriness" that you're referring to might be from bilinear filtering. You can toggle bilinear filtering on and off through an option in the Vita's operating system. Hold the PS button for about two seconds, then tap "Settings", and you can access this along with some other handy options..
 

vaibhavpisal

Member
Jun 10, 2019
991
1,019
425
My Vita is loaded with all the game I want to play on it for some time now. In preparation for this.
 

laser_printer

Member
Dec 10, 2019
2,141
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Sactown
I think the reality is it just makes more sense to limit access to those store fronts through the console’s themselves when most of your audience is going to be playing games on PS4/5 than trying to make a giant clusterfuck of a web store to appeal to everyone.
 
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HF2014

Member
May 19, 2014
2,559
331
580
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.
 
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