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Sony removes the ability to download previously unsupported PSP/PSone games on Vita

Posted by on April 23rd, 2014 | 35 Comments | Tags: , ,

Remember when I told you guys to act fast in downloading your favourite unsupported PSP/PSone games on Vita? Well, there was a reason for that. We never knew if this new found ability was something Sony did intentionally, or was a mistake that occurred during maintenance. It looks like it’s the latter, as reports are coming in that games that were showing up as downloadable through the download list just days ago, are now going back to being unsupported. This doesn’t appear to be affecting all users yet, so it may hit in waves.

I can confirm this first hand:
mondaythursday

The first image is what my download list looked like on Monday evening. I was able to download Phantasy Star Portable 2, a game that was removed from PSN years ago, as well as DLC for LittleBigPlanet PSP. The second screenshot was taken moments ago, and denies access to that content. It’s like that throughout my entire download list. The content I did download still works, so there’s no need to fear if you’ve already got a digital stack of forbidden games.

One might ask why Sony would do something that would only hurt sales of legacy software, and there’s a few possibilities. There’s probably a reason why these games weren’t compatible in the first place. It may have been emulator issues, or simply publisher clearances. Additionally, this allowed PS Vita users to download PSP demos, and other content that has previously been used for Vita software exploits. Sony might not want to go through the trouble of sniffing through hundreds of potentially exploitable pieces of software.

There were some warning signs that this backend change may have not been intended. For such a big feature, Sony was oddly quiet on the subject and never officially commented on it, though Shuhei Yoshida was fine with it. Secondly, this change enabled users to download content not compatible with Vita, like PSP XMB themes.

It’ll be interesting to see if Sony comments on this, and we’ll keep you updated if they do.