Update 29/03/2021 at 1:35pm ET: Sony has confirmed a March 22nd report from The Gamer that it will shutter its PlayStation 3, PlayStation Portable (PSP) and PlayStation Vita digital storefronts this summer.
As The Gamer first noted, the PS3 and PSP stores will shut down on July 2nd, followed by the PS Vita marketplace on August 27th.
PlayStation didn’t cite a specific reason for the closures, although it explained exactly what digital features will remain accessible on these platforms. Essentially, you’ll still be able to redeem vouchers and re-download any titles you already purchased digitally, but otherwise, the PS Store as we currently know it will be out of operation on those platforms.
Original story below:
Sony will shut down its PlayStation 3, PlayStation Portable (PSP) and PlayStation Vita digital storefronts this summer, according to The Gamer.
The company is said to be planning an official announcement regarding the store closures for the end of March.
Per The Gamer‘s unnamed source, the PS3 and PSP stores will be shuttered on July 2nd, followed by the PS Vita marketplace on August 27th.
The outlet’s source didn’t provide a reason for the closure of the stores, but it seems safe to assume that it’s due to a relative lack of demand for these older generations of hardware. While they used to be quite popular, the PSP is more than 16-years-old and the PS3 is nearly 15. Further, the Vita, while relatively newer at less than 10 years, sold very poorly and was discontinued two years ago.
Moreover, PlayStation boss Jim Ryan has previously expressed disinterest in backwards compatibility for games from older generations, stating they “looked ancient” while questioning “why would anybody play this?” That said, given that this interview was from over three years ago, it’s currently unclear whether Ryan’s stance has changed.
All he said of the matter last year was that Sony’s engineers had to prioritize time and resources to ensure the PS5 supports virtually every PS4 game.
On the other hand, the inability to digitally access these older PlayStation games feeds into the larger ongoing discussion regarding the industry’s approach — or lack thereof — to preservation. While countless older films, TV shows and books are made available through digital platforms like streaming services, games haven’t kept up to nearly the same level.
This is a big reason why preservation groups like Hidden Palace release hundreds of PS2 games online, as it is often difficult — or even impossible — to access the games otherwise.
It’s important to note that Sony’s PlayStation Now service does allow users to stream some PS2 and PS3 games, but the catalogue only covers a fraction of those consoles’ extensive libraries.
Should The Gamer‘s report prove to be true, it remains to be seen what Sony will say at the end of the month regarding the digital storefront closures.
Source: The Gamer