The PlayStation Store is an online virtual market available to users of Sony's PlayStation 3 and PlayStation Portable games consoles via the PlayStation Network. The Store offers a range of downloadable content both for purchase and available free of charge. Available content includes full games, add-on content, playable demos, themes and game and movie trailers. The service is accessible through an icon on the PlayStation 3's XMB, on the PSP via a Remote Play connection to the PS3 and via a web browser on a PC. Whilst the PlayStation store is available in most Sony Computer Entertainment territories, it is not available in some PlayStation Network enabled countries including Mexico and Bahrain. As of May 16, 2008, there have been over 170 million downloads from the PlayStation Store worldwide
PSN Master Account
A "master" PlayStation Network account is required to access the PlayStation Store. A log of all previously purchased items, known as "Download List", records each PlayStation Store account's full game, trial demo, and add-on download activity. A guest user can use his master account Download List to download free content or to purchase content on another console however, a single account can only be used on up to five consoles. The most recent firmware must be installed on the console in order to access the PlayStation Store.
Each master account is associated with an online virtual "wallet" to which funds can be added. This wallet is then debited when a purchase is made from the Store. Money can be added to the wallet through different systems of payment. Although some of these are not available in all countries.
PlayStation Store users make purchases in their local currency. For example in the US, items prices in USD
. This is in contrast to Microsoft's Xbox Live Marketplace
, and Nintendo's Wii Shop Channel
, which each use their own specific currencies, Microsoft Points
and Wii Points
Edy is an e-money system which is only available in Japan, therefore Japanese PlayStation 3 feature an XMB Settings extra option called "Edy Viewer. An additional USB IC card reader/writer (PaSoRi) is required to add e-money fund to the wallet by operating with the Edy Center. Edy associated options are "Edy Gift", "Checking online balance" and "Reader/Writer Self-Diagnosis".
Credit and debit cards
The most common method to add fund in the "wallet" is to use a credit card
or debit card
. This payment system is available in all areas with PlayStation Store support. Visa
and American Express gift cards
can also be used to add funds to the wallet.
Although select areas require that you use a credit card with a billing address from that specific country. Use of a "Virtual" credit card can be used to overcome this.
PlayStation Network Card/Ticket
PlayStation Network Card/Ticket wallet fund is a payment system is available in South East Asian countries including Japan and Singapore. It is not yet available in other territories. The PlayStation Network Card (PSN Card) is a form of electronic money that can be used with the PlayStation Stores for PS3 and PSP. This system is similar to Microsoft's Xbox Live Subscription Cards, Microsoft Point Cards, and Nintendo's Wii Points for their respective e-stores. PSN Tickets of various value can be purchased at convenience stores throughout Japan and PSN Cards are for sale in PlayStation ShopPartners in the rest of South East Asia. Each card or ticket contains a unique 12 alphanumeric code which can be input to a PSN master account to fund the associated wallet.
The Japanese ticket system is a bit different from the card system used in Hong Kong, Taiwan and Singapore, or even the one used by Microsoft and Nintendo for their virtual shops. Unlike tickets, the cards are available for purchase at retail stores.
Currently Imported PSN cards can work with "foreign" PSN stores. For example, if your PS3 is from the US, chances are you can't access the Japanese PSN store, unless you create a "dummy" account by creating a new user and creating a "bogus" account abroad. People also create these accounts to obtain demos, trailers and other media unavailable in their respective region's PSN store. Sony Computer Entertainment is well aware of the practice of creating bogus accounts, it's done on a worldwide basis. Sony acknowledged it's knowledge of this practice when the demo for Uncharted: Drake's Fortune became available on the North American Store and was only playable on consoles from that region. Following many emails from disgruntled customers in other territories, Sony and the game's developer, Naughty Dog released an updated version of the demo which could be played on any PS3 console stating that the initial restriction was not intentional and that they were, until that point, unaware of this practice.
PlayStation Store for PS3
The PlayStation Store was launched on the PlayStation 3 on November 11
and is accessible via an icon under the PlayStation Network category of the XMB.
Due to DRM
restrictions, most items can only be downloaded and installed to up to five different consoles using a guest user account's Download List. Previously, the games Warhawk
and Gran Turismo 5 Prologue
could only be downloaded to one console, but since firmware 2.40, they are similar to other games, but require the account which downloaded the game, along with the password to be stored on the HDD.
Downloadable content includes:
- Free HD/SD XMB wallpapers.
- Free (WAV/MP3) audio tracks based on PS3 games original soundtrack. (North America only)
- For sale HD/SD movies and TV shows to rent or purchase. (United States only)
- Free HD/SD trailers for upcoming theatrical releases and movie or musical Blu-ray Disc.
- Free HD/SD game videos (trailers, behind the scenes, interviews, commercials or promotional videos).
- Free HD/SD music videos from Sony Music affiliates artists (Australia and Hong Kong only).
- Free PlayStation 3 game demos.
- Free or for sale PlayStation 3 (PlayStation Network) full games.
- Free or for sale PlayStation 3 games add-on and system patches.
- Free PlayStation 3 (PSN) public beta software.
- Free PlayStation Portable game demos.
- For sale PlayStation Portable games.
- Free PlayStation emulated game demos (Japan and Hong Kong only).
- For sale PlayStation emulated games.
- For sale Arcade emulated game demos (Australia only).
- For sale Arcade emulated games.
- Free XMB themes.
- Free PlayStation 3 software.
- Qore subscriptions and downloads (North America only)
On 3 June 2008 SCEA announced a new service, Qore, which launched on the PlayStation Store in North America on 5 June 2008. In a press release published on the Official PlayStation Blog, Qore: Presented by the PlayStation Network is described as "a highly interactive, monthly lifestyle gaming program covering the world inside PlayStation is on its way to PS3.". The program, hosted by Veronica Belmont and presented in high definition, gives users advanced access to exclusive news, in-game footage and behind-the-scenes previews of PlayStation games. Users are also given "special access" to game demos, add-on content and beta trial invitations.
As of March 22
, background downloading became possible while watching a video stored on the HDD, listening to music, looking at photos, using the web browser and playing PS1
, or offline PS3 games. Officially 16 downloads can be queued up at a time. However, it is technically possible to have more than 16. The status of the downloads can only be checked on the XMB
under the "Network" category. If the messaging service is activated a pop-up message will appear in the top right corner of the screen to notify the user that a download is finished.
Some crossplatform store content such as emulated PlayStation games and demos can be transferred from the PlayStation 3 HDD to the PlayStation Portable Memory Stick using a USB connection.
PlayStation Portable games and demos need a USB linked PSP in order to start the download from the store to the PlayStation Portable through the PlayStation 3 internet connection.
Download from the PlayStation Store to the PlayStation Portable can be performed later using the "Download List" log available in both the PS3 and PC PlayStation Stores.
Since April 15, 2008 the PlayStation Store can be accessed on PlayStation Portable handheld console through Remote Play function.
After the installation of firmware version 5.00 released on October 15, 2008, the PlayStation Store can be accessed directly from the PlayStation Portable without the need to use a PC or PS3 as an intermediary. It will be accessible under the PlayStation Network category on the portable's XMB.
PlayStation Store revamp
Following feedback from a large number of PlayStation Network
users, a redesigned version of the PlayStation Store was launched on April 15
via a firmware update. The new design is OS based rather than the previous Store's web based design enabling the Store to process information more quickly.
PlayStation Store (PC)
The PSP-oriented PlayStation Store (PC) launched in Asia on September 20, 2007 at the Tokyo Games Show and is accessible through an internet browser on a PC. On November 20, 2007, the store became available for the U.S. and Europe.
Downloadable content includes:
- For sale SD movies TV shows for rent or purchase.
- Free SD/HD game trailers (upcoming PSP games and emulated PlayStation games).
- Free PSP game demos
- Free PlayStation emulated game demos
- For sale PlayStation emulated games
- For sale PSP games available solely through the PlayStation Store (e.g. flOw)
- For sale PSP games also available on UMD (e.g. LocoRoco)
PlayStation Network Downloader
tool called the PlayStation Network Downloader is required to download content from the Store. When downloading a store content, the user saves a *.xpd
file on his PC which can be opened using the Downloader which then downloads the content to a PSP connected via a USB cable. This 'DRM' tool prevents the user from saving store contents on their PC and illegally pirating
the content. The software is only currently compatible with certain Microsoft Windows
operating systems. The current version of the Downloader is 22.214.171.124
PC to PSP connectivity
The PlayStation Network Downloader needs a USB linked PSP (firmware 3.70 or higher) in order to start the download from the PlayStation Store (PC) for PSP to the PlayStation Portable Memory Stick through the personal computer internet connection.
Downloads from the PlayStation Store (PC) to the PlayStation Portable can be performed later using the "Download List" log available in both the PS3 and PC PlayStation Stores, although not all content from the PC Store is available on the PS3 Store, and vice-versa. The PC PlayStation Store is currently only available on Windows XP and Vista.
PSP to PS3 connectivity
Some crossplatform store content such as emulated PlayStation games and demos can be transferred from the PlayStation Portable Memory Stick to the PlayStation 3 HDD using a USB link.