I recently decided to move my entire gaming activity away from the PC (and steam) to a console for many reasons, including my reluctance to constantly upgrade my PC. Since I already had an Xbox 360 laying around I figured that would do. After my first Xbox Marketplace game purchase I realized that only Norwegian content was available and Xbox Live won't give me any English content (Conversation with Xbox Customer Service here) I decided to scrap the Xbox and try the Playstation 3 instead.

Before I buy one though I'd like to confirm that it's possible to purchase and download games using some kind of marketplace service. If Xbox Marketplace sucks donkey balls and PlayStation 3 requires physical game disks I might just stick with the PC after all

Thanks for any info on the hopefully existent online PlayStation 3 game acquisition service

Followup questions if you cba:

  • Can I install physical game disk games to the PS3 in order to play them without the disk?
  • Does the PS3 have a service for backing up my game save files?
  • As I didn't know there was a PS3 store I Googled "Playstation market", "Playstation marketplace" and "Playstation xbox 360 marketplace equivalent" with no results
    – Hubro
    Jun 6, 2012 at 21:22
  • The problem with Assassin's Creed Revelations on the 360 is that for some stupid reason it looks at the Locale setting of the console instead of the Language setting. I was able to avoid the awful Norwegian translation by setting the Locale to UK, which as far as I can tell doesn't affect anything else I care about. With my console set to English/UK, I've had no problems with any of the other content I've downloaded from the 360 Marketplace.
    – hammar
    Jun 7, 2012 at 4:30
  • @hammar Is your currency in Xbox Marketplace still correct, or do you get Pounds now?
    – Hubro
    Jun 7, 2012 at 8:24
  • @Codemonkey: I still get Kr, and all my games are in English. (Most of them were before with English language and Norwegian locale, it's just AC: R that's being weird, it seems).
    – hammar
    Jun 7, 2012 at 13:09
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    Jun 7, 2012 at 19:41

3 Answers 3


The PlayStation 3 (and Vita and PSP) utilizes the PlayStation Store, which is similar to the Xbox LIVE Marketplace: you can purchase games digitally and do all that stuff. It doesn't have as large of an indie gaming scene as Xbox LIVE as there is no XNA equivalent for PlayStation development.

Most, if not all, retail-purchased games will require the disc to play, but many games will install at least some of their assets onto the hard drive for performance reasons. How much they install depends on the game: there is no standardized system like Xbox has.

If you purchase a membership to PlayStation Plus (somewhat similar to Xbox LIVE Gold, except you don't need it to play multiplayer or use add-on services like Netflix: it's more of a value-add service), you get 150 MB of backup space. Some games support backing up to it automatically, but you can generally place any saves you want there manually if need be.

  • So you're saying that some games can be installed completely and not require the disk and some can't?
    – Hubro
    Jun 6, 2012 at 21:23
  • @Codemonkey No, generally all disc-based games require the disc for DRM. Many games let you install at least part of their content onto the hard drive for performance reasons, though. Clarified that point in my answer.
    – user3389
    Jun 6, 2012 at 21:24
  • Sorry to pile on but it sounds like you have some experience with this; do you know if the PlayStation Store forces a language on you by where you live?
    – Hubro
    Jun 6, 2012 at 22:35
  • You can download some full games from Playstation Store, which obv don't need a disc. Language is linked to the country you say you are from when you sign up, and you can have multiple (since they are free!). E.g. I have a UK account, and a Japanese account for Japanese demos (though I can't read Japanese).
    – Ric
    Jun 7, 2012 at 7:55

Yes, the Playstation Network does allow you to digitally purchase games.

No, you can't play a game that you installed off a disc without the disc in the drive.

Yes, you can back up your save files if you have a PN Plus subscription ($4/month or $50/year). It also gives you access to special discounts and some free games. Other Playstation Network features are free, including online multiplayer.


The Playstation Store as well as the Xbox Live Marketplace will give you content based on the country in your account. If you want content that's offered in the USA, when creating an account put that you're in the USA and BAM! USA content. Like I said, works for both PSN and XBL Marketplace. And both systems offer retail games through their store but are limited. XBL has a wider selection when it comes to the arcade and Indie games but if you have a Playstation Plus account, I feel they give you better discounts (a decent amount of free games a month) on certain games. So each have their ups and downs but if you already have a 360, I say create a new account and go with that and save some money.

I'm not bias, I have both systems and love them both, stick with what won't break the bank. If money is not an issue, definitely go with both as they both have awesome exclusives.

  • Are you saying that if I admit to PlayStation Shop that I live in Norway and want my currency displayed in Norwegian Crowns, it will force feed me Norwegian games?
    – Hubro
    Jun 7, 2012 at 8:23
  • Yup, exactly right. There's no downside to saying you're in the USA but you won't be able to play online with your friends if they put Norway. You won't get banned for fibbing. But I'm not sure if you can use the same methods on purchasing content. I know what a lot of people do is they have to buy the PSN cards or add points via the webpage. Good luck in making a decision!
    – Anunnymous
    Jun 7, 2012 at 17:14
  • But if I say I live in Great Britain I won't have a problem? :P
    – Hubro
    Jun 7, 2012 at 17:50

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