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How to Buy Games on the PS3 Online Store in 2024

Recently, after many months of gaming solely on my Nintendo Switch and PlayStation 2, I got a random hankering to return to my good ol’ PlayStation 3.


This time around, however, I had a specific mission in mind. Following Sony’s near-closure of the console’s digital storefront a few years ago, I resolved to finally buy every downloadable title I could before I permanently lost the option to do so.


Muddying my plan was the fact that I had only ever purchased two games from the PS3 online store in all my years with the system – those being Rogue Corps and Minecraft – both of which were shortsightedly tied to an account I created in 2011 with an email address that didn’t even exist. In other words, I needed a clean slate before I blew any more dough.


This meant I had to create a fresh PlayStation account on the Sony website. This part is about simple as it gets compared to everything else you’ll do, so I’ll leave you to your own devices on the “Create Account” page.

Actually linking said account to my PS3 required me to generate a newfangled “device setup password” as form of two-factor authentication, which I could achieve by scanning with my smartphone a QR code presented during the login progress or by visiting the relevant webpage on my computer. (I chose the latter option for readability’s sake.)


In case what I wrote wasn’t clear, you’ll no longer log in to your PS3 using your own password but rather one randomly assigned to you by Sony. (This won’t affect how you log in to modern-day Sony devices that natively support two-factor authentification.)


Some people online have had serious trouble going about this, leading to a Reddit thread suggesting to change your password, clear unused device setup passwords, and/or reboot your PS3 in case of an endless login loop.

Once you’re in, though, the real fun can begin…or so I thought. The only way to add funds to your PS3 wallet in 2024, seemingly as a matter of security, is by purchasing PlayStation gift cards to input their respective codes on the console itself.


I elected to snag $50 worth of gift cards from Amazon so the process would be as painless and instantaneous as possible, but the gift cards you can get from Walmart or other brick-and-mortar retailers will function just as well. Either way, you can expect to have some unusable change remaining in your wallet when all is said and done.


With the hard part over, I’d recommend downloading as many digital titles are possible before even more are unlisted – or worse yet, the entire store goes down for real. I bought The House of the Dead 3 and 4, Mad Dog McCree 1 and 2, Sonic Adventure 1 and 2, Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episodes 1 and 2, Sonic the Fighters, Sega Bass Fishing, and Yu-Gi-Oh! Millennium Duels, the sum of which probably says something about my tastes.

(Keep in mind the store runs like dog water following years of neglect. Not only that, but to find the specific releases you want, you’ll need to search for them verbatim, because the main pages are completely and totally stagnant by this point.)

In my perfect world, I’d treat the PS3 store like an all-you-can-eat buffet, and maybe even add some downloadable content I missed back in the day. But for now, I may as well keep my finances in check. I can panic buy everything I want later, right?


Hopefully, this guide will help someone out there who needed all this disparate information centralized in some way.

Keep it real, ya sweaty nerds.



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