Sony plans to refocus the PlayStation Network’s website on PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5 games once the latter’s console launches. Understandable. But part of this change means you’ll no longer be able to buy PS3, PS Vita, and PSP games or downloadable content from the PSN website on desktop or mobile — including PS1 classics and the short-lived “PS Minis” collection.
Also, the PSN “Wishlist” is getting axed and all wishlist items will be removed. Bummer. These changes will begin to go into effect on Oct. 21, and will be fully implemented by Oct. 26.
Sony has made clear the changes only affect the mobile and web stores. You’ll still be able to buy games and download past purchases directly on your older consoles. However, the process is more complicated than Sony lets on.
The PSP doesn’t have a dedicated storefront, so users must buy the game through the web, download it to their PC or PS3, then transfer it onto the PSP via USB or SD card. The PS3’s PSN app can be slow and cumbersome, and the Vita doesn’t display the full store listings even if you view all entries alphabetically. You’ll have better luck searching for a specific game by name, but even then, it’s not guaranteed to show up.
Because of these issues, many gamers probably prefer buying PS3, Vita, and PSP games from the web store on PC or mobile, but you won’t be able to do that once Sony rolls out the new PSN website.
That means you should take full advantage of the PSN web store to buy or download your PSP, PS3, and PS Vita games while it’s still around. Grab those lingering titles on your wishlist, too, before the feature is removed and those games become a chore to find and purchase. You’ll be thankful you did.
How to back up your old PSN games locally
You should also consider backing up all of your PSN purchases, just in case something suddenly goes missing from your download list. The process differs between each console and could take a long time if you have a large digital library, but it’ll be worth it.
- PlayStation 3 owners can transfer data to an external USB hard drive using the console’s Backup Utility.
- PlayStation Vita players can backup their games and saves to a PS3 or PC using the PS Vita Content Manager app.
- PlayStation Portable users can backup data to a PC or PS3 via USB micro cable, or by copying their SD card over to a PC. You can also download your PSP games to a PS3 or PSVita via PSN.
To be clear, having all your old PSN games downloaded and stored locally before Oct. 21 is not a requirement; your PSP, Vita, and PS3 games will still show up in your PSN downloads list as long as they remain available on PSN. That said, it will be a lot easier to copy over your locally stored content rather than dealing with the shoddy PSN stores (or lack thereof) on legacy PlayStation consoles. And going through the process now will save you the headache once Sony inevitably cuts all PSN support for those older consoles in the future.