Sony has confirmed that they will be closing the PlayStation Store for PlayStation 3, PlayStattion Vita and PlayStation Portable this summer, meaning that users will no longer be able to purchase new digital games or DLC using those devices from their respective closure dates. You will, however, still be able to access previously purchased content.
The PS3 store will close on 2nd July 2021, the PS Vita store on 27th August and what remains of purchasing functionality on PSP will also end on 2nd July 2021.
The announcement comes after reports of the move last week and also follows on from Sony’s overhaul of 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, meaning that this content could only be accessed via the consoles themselves. There was a loophole to access the old version of the web store that people found, but this was closed over the weekend.
Sony has outlined the core features that are remaining and those that are being removed:
Features you will still be able to access:
- You will still be able to re-download and play previously purchased game titles.
- You will still be able to access previously purchased video/media content.
- You will still be able to redeem game and PlayStation®Plus vouchers.
- You will still be able to re-download and play claimed game titles through PlayStation®Plus as long as you remain a member of the service.
Features you will lose access to:
- You will no longer be able to purchase PS3, PS Vita and PSP digital content, including games and video content.
- You will no longer be able to make in-game purchases through games on PS3, PS Vita and PSP.
- You will no longer be able to redeem PSN wallet fund vouchers (e.g. gift cards) on PS3, PS Vita or PSP devices once PlayStation™Store and purchase functionality for these devices close. Your PSN wallet funds will remain in your PSN account, but you will only be able to use your wallet funds to purchase PS4 and PS5 products on PlayStation™Store on the web, PlayStation®App or on PS4 and PS5 consoles.
They have also cleared up some edge cases:
- With the store no longer working, you must access owned content via the Download List on the console.
- Any PSN wallet funds will remain attached to your PSN account, but if you do not own a PS4 or PS5, you will be able to request a refund – details of how to refund will be confirmed later.
- You will still be able to purchase crossbuy games on PS4 with PS3/PS Vita/PSP versions and gain access to those titles on those systems.
All in all, it’s still a sad day for those who have fond memories of the older generations of PlayStation console. It’s surely a decision that is mixed up in metrics showing lowered engagement and the need for legacy code to maintain the storefronts on those platforms, which could be a security risk in the years to come – Sony are no strangers to getting hacked… However, it also highlights the lack of permanence to digital media. Yes, you will still have access to previous purchases, but for how long with that Sony-given privilege last? And that’s before we consider the impact this will have to the ability to preserve video games as part of our culture and history.