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Red Dead Redemption’s PS Plus Delisting Is Another Bad Omen For Digital Libraries

Rockstar’s 2010 cowboy sim, a high water mark of the 360/PS3 generation, is being reduced to digital dust

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The protagonist of Red Dead Redemption aims a revolver.
Image: Rockstar / Kotaku

If you’ve held off on building up a digital library of games, the original Red Dead Redemption is here to remind you that you might not be missing out after all. Rockstar’s 2010 open world Western was just removed from PS Now/Plus after six years. And as the industry moves to include more subscription and streaming services, it’s not likely to get any better.

As first spotted by Twitter news account @videotech_, the original Red Dead Redemption evaporated from Sony’s PlayStation streaming titles under PS Plus. First included in 2016 as part of the formerly-named PS Now service, Red Dead is notable for having never received a remaster, despite the celebration it and its zombified expansion earned. Sony’s streaming service remained the only way to play the game on PlayStation consoles after the PS3. Gamers will now have to hunt down a disc for a compatible Xbox console or dive into the waters of emulation to enjoy John Marston’s debut story.

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Playing the original Red Dead Redemption via backwards compatibility on Xbox is perhaps the most direct and best way to play it currently. The game received an enhanced update on Microsoft’s console a few years ago, upping the resolution to 4K on Xbox Series X and 1440p on Series S. That said, hopefully you’ve got access to a good physical copy if you don’t want the digital version, which is still only available in Xbox’s storefront (who could blame you at this point?). With an initial release date of 2010, scratches might be the least of your concern given how susceptible aging DVDs are to disc rot.

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For those willing to roll up their sleeves with a totally legal copy of the game, RPCS3 offers a path to emulating the experience on PC. For everyone else, this is a reminder that hanging onto the games you like is sometimes worth it. While we’d like to hope these digital services we pay into every month will keep these games accessible, today iss a reminder that such hopes can be dashed real fast.

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It’s almost as if these services are more about ongoing profit streams than legacy preservation. Hmm.