Sony has confirmed via email to gaming news outlets that it will be closing the PlayStation Store connectivity for three of its out of production consoles. The PS3 and PlayStation Portable will have their stores closed on July 2, 2021, and the Vita’s will follow a little over a month later on August 27, 2021.
Earlier this month, rumors were swirling about the shutdown of these digital storefronts, but Sony was silent on the gossip for over a week.
With the stores closing, players on the three consoles will no longer be able to purchase games, downloadable content, or exchange wallet funds once the stores close.
Sony did confirm on their PlayStation Support blog that customers will still be able to re-download digital content that was purchased previously, and will also still be able to redeem games and PlayStation Plus vouchers that they may have.
The reasoning for the shutdown Sony admits is “to focus our resources for the PlayStation Store on PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5.”
The news of the shutdown has reinvigorated discussions on video game preservation, as well as ownership of digital media. Similar discussions were had when Nintendo closed the popular Wii Shop Channel in January of 2019, which removed all WiiWare, Virtual Console, and additional Wii Channels from sale or initial download.
There is concern that many games that are only available on these three respective systems will become very hard to find, or even be lost forever. Numerous “PlayStation Classic” games—bestsellers on the PS1 and PS2—are not currently available on the PS4 or PS5, and go for hundreds of dollars in their originally released physical format.
Similarly, DLC for many titles will likely not see a re-release, and trophies tied to this additional content will become unobtainable.
What are your concerns about the PlayStation Store closing on these devices? Are there any games you are wanting to grab before they close down? What is your opinion on game preservation and digital media ownership? We would love to hear what you have to say.