Games on PS3 and PS Vita have a mysterious expiration date

Several PlayStation users have reported that some digital games are no longer able to launch on classic consoles such as PS3 and PS Vita.

The PlayStation Network seems to be causing problems with some classics at the moment. Several users are reporting that they are encountering strange expiration dates when re-downloading the PSOne Classic version of games like Chrono Cross.

Among others, Twitter user Christopher Foose reports that the purchased version allegedly expired as early as December 31, 1969, preventing him from playing the game on both PlayStation 3 and PlayStation Vita.

GamesHub editor Edmond Tran reported a similar issue. When attempting to start Chrono Cross on the PlayStation 3, he was presented with the same expiration date and time, just adjusted for his location in Australia. However, Tran was easily able to download the PSOne classic from his library and play it on the Vita, although the game appears to be no longer available in the handheld’s store.

Other games affected too

Other users took to social media to report similar expiration dates preventing them from playing games like Final Fantasy VI, Run Factory: Oceans, and Unit 13. One Reddit user even claims that their entire PS Vita library has been made inaccessible.

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With the three-tier PlayStation Plus program, Sony wants to allow access to classics for a fee, which led to speculation that the old games were deliberately blocked on classic consoles. But that shouldn’t be the case.

Kotaku suspects that the problems are related to the “Unix era,” in which engineers set any date as the beginning of an operating system’s lifespan. It is speculated that PlayStation game license expiry dates originated in this era. Accordingly, the problems could be resolved in the foreseeable future.

Irrespective of this, the classics are increasingly being attacked: as early as March 2021, Sony announced plans to close the PlayStation Store for PS3, Vita and PSP. However, following player reactions, the company made a partial U-turn the following month, stating that that the stores for PS3 and Vita will not be closedbut still planning to close the PSP store, which happened in July last year.

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At least on the new consoles you can revive the old games. Sony recently announced this three-tiered PlayStation Plus program which, depending on the selected level, offers access to selected games from previous generations.

More news about PS Vita, PS3, Sony.

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