PS3 shelf life

by David Jones

I got a PS3 for xmas!

I know, 2016. It was second hand, and it was a reasonable price. My most "advanced" console up to this point was a Nintendo Wii.

Let's talk about longevity. We still play Super Bomberman, on the SNES. A console that came out in 1991. The one we play it on is probably about 21 to 25 years old.

Will I be able to play Metal Gear Solid 4 in 2036? It seems unlikely.

I reckon if I don't abuse the PS3 much, I can probably keep replacing the hard disk drive. After a decade or so I might need to stockpile drives because they'll stop making ones in the right form factor.

I've already lost the power to play MGS4 online. Because Konami closed down the online server. Fair enough, I suppose; they can't keep the server running forever. But it's very common for games to have some sort of online component now. How long does the online mode work for? One or two years from launch? 5 years? 10? Who knows.

When I first put the MGS4 disc in, guess what it did? It downloaded the rest of the game! Turns out the disc is just a sort of loader for the game proper. Because of course you can't fit a video game on an optical disc these days. Then it updated itself. The whole thing took ages. And strikes me as just the sort of thing that isn't going to work in a few years' time. Sony will just switch off the store.

Hilariously, this isn't really much better for games purchased and downloaded from the store. They also download more of themselves once you start and also update themselves (even freshly purchased ones!).

Some of the games I have on the PS3 I can't play. Because I dutifully deleted the account of the previous owner (who had, incidentally, left themselves logged into their PSN account; I resisted the temptations). I don't mind that too much, but it seems that the console and the games have an affinity with the Sony PlayStation store, and they like chatting to it. Does the console check my licence online every time I play a game? I can't actually tell, but it seems likely that Sony will try and do something like that if they can. So when the online part of that licence check gets switched off, I expect much of my downloaded content will stop working too.

Basically the whole ecosystem is designed around giving Sony the power to Just Say No. Which makes me a bit uncomfortable.

Oh by the way, my PSN identifier is WaMangoMango. Add me! (You would think I could figure out a way to get a URL that you click to add me as a friend on PSN. But I can't)