With the news that Sony is shutting down the stores for the PS3, PSP, and PS Vita, we need game preservationists now more than ever. Retro enthusiasts are still finding and broadcasting old easter eggs for systems and games that released more than 20 years ago. We’re definitely not done with these consoles and the games that made them so brilliant. In a world that’s increasingly encouraging the reuse and recycling of older appliances and general stuff, it only makes sense that we hold onto these consoles and do what we can to keep the games that can be played on them, and nowhere else, alive.
Of course, the main titles I’m talking about are the digital indie releases that aren’t anywhere else. These are the games that made these consoles so unique, but they never sold well enough to get a physical release or make the transition to PS4. It’s a shame that we have to say goodbye to so many of these games, but it’s also totally understandable why Sony is shutting the stores down. More server space and newer servers are a better combination for the future of this industry than holding onto old servers and data that barely anyone uses is.
In ten or twenty years, people will look back at the games that made the PS3, PSP, and Vita so special, and many will want to play them. If we don’t have consoles or files to allow us to do that though, we’ll be at a loss. This is where game preservationists come into play. They’ll be downloading all the games they can before the stores shut down. Those files will be backed up onto a cloud and a hard drive to ensure that they’re never lost. In the future, these are the files that we’ll rely on when looking at the games that will eventually be classed as retro.
I myself have a PS3 with a big old hard drive, so I’ll be downloading all the games I can to it. Sony has been generous with PS3 titles on PlayStation Plus in the past, which is where the majority of my games will come from. I have no doubt that others are doing the same with every console they can. Let’s work together to make sure that those games never die.