I am a huge fan of physical media. While digital is pretty much the way everything is going nowadays, it's nice to actual hold a CD full of music or a Blu Ray with your favorite movie or removing the shrink wrap and opening the case to a brand new video game. I have nothing against digital media but there is an argument for keeping physical media around. Sony's recent announcement just adds weight to that argument.

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Yesterday (March 29), Sony made an official announcement that they will be closing the digital stores for the PlayStation 3, PlayStation Portable (PSP) and PlayStation Vita (PS Vita). The digital store on PlayStation 3, and what's left of the store on the PSP, will close on July 2, 2021. The PS Vita store will close on August 27, 2021.

So what does this mean if you still own one of these consoles?

You will not be able to purchase any digital content on PlayStation 3, PSP or PS Vita once their respective store close. You will not be able to purchase any in game content, including DLC for a game. You WILL NOT lose a game you have purchased digitally. You will still be able to play those games, you just will not be able to buy any more.

I have still have, and use, my PlayStation 3. One thing that's really cool about the PlayStation 3 digital store is the amount of PlayStation 1 and PlayStation 2 games you can buy and play on the system. Some of those games are very rare to find in physical form and carry a high price tag.

Just one example, the PlayStation 1 game, Misadventures of Tron Bonne, is available on the PlayStation 3 digital store for six or seven dollars but the super rare physical form of the game is going as high as $800. That price will only increase after the digital store closure.

The debate of physical media versus digital has been ongoing for the last few years in the gaming world. One example that always pops up is Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World The Game. The game was only available in digital form on PlayStation 3 and XBox 360. The game was later pulled down from those stores because of licensing issues. Many missed out on this game because there was no physical version. It was rereleased earlier this year to celebrate the ten year anniversary of the movie. A a physical version of the game was released by the company Limited Run Games for fans to hang on to.

I personally believe that after Sony's PlayStation 5 and Microsoft's XBox Series X, all gaming consoles will be digital. Both Sony and Microsoft released all digital systems this generation along side their disc based consoles. It's cheaper for the game companies to release a game digitally. Recent sales figures also show a growing popularity for digital games. It's bad for collectors like myself, though.

Fire up that PlayStation 3, PSP or PS Vita and make a final search through those stores and get what you can now before everything closes.

Michael Gibson's Nerd Cave

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