In which I am failed by digital distribution.

We have two PS3s in our house – one a launch 60GB model which I’m rather expecting will explode at any moment and which has already needed a blu-ray drive replacement, and the other a more recent 120GB model which was purchased because the drive in the first one broke and which coincidentally seems like IT is going to need a drive replacement soon as well, as it no longer reads dual layer BDs and takes a couple of tries to recognize a game disc in any event.

The curiously-prone-to-failure optical drives aside, these have hard drives in them which are, well, they’re pretty tiny by modern standards, and I realized recently that I actually had a couple of larger laptop drives around that I could swap in so as to avoid dealing with space management issues.

So I backed up all of my saves from the 60GB one to PS+ and replaced the drive – this took all of about 10 minutes – copied my saves back down from PS+, and set about re-downloading all of my PSN purchases and all of the bonus stuff that PS+ gives you.

This took a couple of days, at which point I was about ready to repeat the process on the 120GB model, when I realized that there was a game on the newer PS3 that was missing from the new hard drive I’d put into the older PS3.  Specifically, Magical Drop F, which I bought from the Japanese PSN a few months ago.

So I went back to my download history to pull it down… and it wasn’t there, either.

It turns out that Sony pulled Magical Drop F – and nine other titles – off the Japanese PSN back in August of 2012, and it now appears that you can no longer download them even if you previously owned them.

This is rather problematic, because one of the unspoken promises behind giving up discs for download versions of games has always been that, even if you couldn’t BUY the game any more, you didn’t lose access if you had owned it in the past.  I have several games on Steam, for example, which Steam no longer sells, but I can download them as much as I like.

Short version: I’d better get my Y600 worth out of Magical Drop F before I upgrade the HD in the newer PS3 – because as soon as I upgrade that drive, I’m kissing the game goodbye… and I’m not entirely OK with that.


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