Report: The PS3, PS Vita and PSP PlayStation Stores are being shut down this summer

Sony are shutting down the PlayStation Store for PlayStation 3, PlayStation Vita and PlayStation Portable this summer, it has been revealed in a report by TheGamer. After 2nd July 2021 you will no longer be able to purchase PS3 or PSP games, and from 27th August 2021, the PS Vita store will also close.

From those dates onward, you will no longer be able to purchase new digital games or DLC for those three platforms, though we would expect that you are still able to re-download previous purchases for the foreseeable future.

The decision comes after Sony overhauled the PlayStation Store in the run up to the PlayStation 5 release last year. In the process, Sony decided to hide PS3, PS Vita and PSP games from view in the web browser version of the store, however this content could still be accessed via the consoles themselves – you can still access the old PS Store here.

While there’s no official announcement from Sony on the matter, the company will need to give advance notice of changes to their service, giving gamers a last chance to access these games.

The PS Vita is the most recently discontinued PlayStation console.

While none of the consoles are relevant to the current gaming landscape – the PS Vita ceased production in 2019, the PS3 in 2017 and the PSP in 2014 – it’s still a shame to see them being ushered off to the graveyard like this. It also emphasises the lack of permanence to digital media. While you will no longer be able to buy the games for these systems, there will surely still be a healthy second hand trade in physical copies of games.

The situation would surely be very different if there was the ability to play any of these games on PS4 or PS5. The PS3’s notoriously awkward system architecture was very powerful, but meant that Sony could not rely on emulation to get the games to run on newer systems. The PSP and PS Vita could potentially be emulated, but Sony must not have the desire to do so.

It’s a path that’s already been trod on several occasions by Nintendo, who discontinued the DSiWare store in 2017 and the Wii Shop Channel in 2019. The Wii U eShop and 3DS survive for now, but you get the feeling that Wii U’s days are numbered in particular. By contrast, you can access four generations of video games on Xbox, from the original Xbox through to the Xbox Series X, all because of the extensive backward compatibility of those systems.

Source: TheGamer

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  1. Although this is an inevitable move of sorts, its a frustrating move because Sony is awful with backward compatibility from the PS3 era. It means that some games may well be lost forever if they aren’t on PS Now and that service could do with a lot of extra content. PS1, PS2 games need to be added. Rubbish support and a trend which has continued from them for years now with early closures of games or services such as Home.

  2. “While none of the consoles are relevant to the current gaming landscape”

    Speak for yourself! They’re still relevant to my gaming landscape (and I should imagine a few others) as I’ve got a bunch of PS3 and PSP games on my backlog. Guess I’m going to have to go and download everything in my download list just in case (to both my PS3s for some backup).

    Let’s just hope this doesn’t include the update servers too otherwise we’ll be well screwed because even with physical copy trading many games will be unplayable without their patches.

    • They should also have a big blowout sale – everything 99p or less!

  3. Ouch. I still need to think through what all the consequences for me will be. Although it was to be expected at some point, it proves how unreliable modern consoles really are. Shouldn’t there be some legal requirement in terms of consumer protection which sets minimum longevity standards for such services? For the Vita, I’ll check what games I’d still need to make it some kind of future-proof.

    Again, the C64 easily wins this fight, I can still download all sorts of games or else for it, almost 40 years after it was released, there’s even new games being produced for it.

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