Sony is shutting down the PS Store for PS3, PS Vita and PSP: What this means for you.
It’s really hard not to think negatively of Sony closing the store down for the aforementioned platforms as it feels like Sony doesn’t respect the legacy of its own games. As we stand right now there is currently a shortage of PS5 consoles on the market, and the ones that have been fortunate enough to get their hands on one, have been met with a dearth of PS5 only games. Bearing that in mind, it’s not hard to imagine that while we as consumers wait for more PS5 gaming content, we fall back on the older systems to compensate for our gaming time. So to shut the store access down on the older systems at this time, some would argue, is a needless and heartless move by Sony. In short, the timing couldn’t have been any worse.
When the store does shut down, the only way to purchase some of the classic games will be via the disc version, which is an issue for any western consumer trying to buy one of the many excellent Japanese games. To compound this, any DLC for those games, be them western or Japanese, will be unobtainable and forever lost. Considering there are many franchises and classic games that have not been updated to the PS4 or PS5, you may want to check out the store while you still can.
To name just a few; SOCOM, Sly Cooper, Metal Gear Solid 4 and The Puppeteer will be lost from the PS3 library. We also stand to lose Muramasa Rebirth, Persona 4 Golden and Unit 13 on the PS Vita, and Syphon Filter and Gran Turismo on the PSP. There are far too many to mention here, that all deserve better than being lost to the annals of history.
Of the above, the one that stands out the most is Muramasa Rebirth. This game is regularly in the PS Vita’s top ten games of all time, but is expensive to get a hardcopy shipped over from Japan. Add to this, there are three sets of DLC that add so much excellent content to the game and are all superb value. Gems like this will now be lost, forever!
As an ardent fan of Sony and owner of all three of these systems, the closing of this store (and recently the movie store), when compared to the magnificent backward compatibility and accessibility of the Xbox library is quite galling. Whereas Xbox seems to have embraced their backlog of games, Sony is shunning them. Times move on, obviously, but there really is a stench of “we don’t care” wafting from the Japanese behemoth. Streamlining the system to make things better for the future is fine, but don’t disrespect the legacy of the games that got you there in the first place.
As a current PS Vita, PS3 and PSP owner myself, the thing I find most perplexing is that the industry has been pushing gamers towards digital-only releases for years, yet access to those games is now being removed?! This is especially galling for the still-thriving PS Vita community (the system that just won’t die), because there have even been new digital-only game releases for it in 2021!
I would regularly check the PS store on my PS3 and PS Vita to see if I could pick up games in sales that I had never got round to playing, however, it’s been a very long time since either system has had a sale of any kind! By not having sales, were Sony deliberately trying to make the systems irrelevant? For example, Persona 5, one of the last big titles the PS3 received, currently has a price tag of £74 on the PS3 store for the deluxe edition. If you want to ensure there is no interest in buying games off the store, and thereby having a reason to shut the store down, having games at full RRP years after their release will certainly do that.
So, well done Sony. You got what you wished for. You have deliberately pushed down interest in the PS Vita, PS3 and PSP stores to enable you to have a reason to shut it down.
Note: Existing titles you already own will still be playable and available to redownload from your download history, but anything you do not yet own will no longer be purchasable. The same goes for DLC – this is your last chance to purchase any additional content.
Could it be that Sony has an alternative plan for these titles? Will they be added to PlayStation Now, or are they really being discarded in favour of “streamlining”? When it came to building up hype for the new console, Sony’s less-is-more approach worked very well, but when it comes to things like this, the lack of transparency starts to become downright frustrating.
Sony came into this generation in a domineering position, but decisions like this are helping their rivals narrow the gap.
Here is the official statement from Sony.
“We are closing PlayStation™Store on PlayStation®3 on 2 July 2021 and on PlayStation®Vita devices on 27 August 2021. Additionally, the remaining purchase functionality for PSP™ (PlayStation®Portable) will also retire on 2 July 2021. After thoughtful consideration, we decided to make these changes in an effort to focus our resources for PlayStation Store on PlayStation®4 and PlayStation®5, which will enable us to enhance the customer experience even further. We thank you for your support on these platforms throughout the years.
What does this mean for you?
You will no longer be able to purchase PS3, PS Vita and PSP digital content, including games and video content.
You will also no longer be able to make in-game purchases through games on PS3, PS Vita and PSP.
While the PSP storefront was previously closed in 2016, the remaining PSP purchase functionality (e.g. in-game purchases) will now be fully retired.
What about content you already own?
• You will still be able to download your owned PS3, PS Vita, and PSP content, including games and video content.
• You can download your owned content onto your PS3, PS Vita, or PSP by accessing the Download List on the respective device.
• If you have purchased a PS3/PS Vita cross-buy bundle and have only downloaded either the PS3 or PS Vita version, you will need to download the other version prior to the closure of PlayStation™Store on the relevant device.
• Video content that you own can be streamed on PS3, PS4 or PS5 through the My Videos app, or on mobile devices through the PlayStation™Video app.
• You will still be able to re-download and play game titles you have claimed through PlayStation®Plus as long as you remain a member of the service.
What about vouchers, wallet funds, and cross-buy content?
• You will still be able to redeem game and PlayStation®Plus vouchers on PS3, PS Vita, and PSP devices once PlayStation™Store and purchase functionality for these devices close.
• You will no longer be able to redeem PSN wallet fund vouchers (e.g. gift cards) on PS3, PS Vita, and 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.
• You will still be able to purchase cross-buy content through PlayStation™Store on the web, PlayStation®App, or on PS4 and PS5 consoles and access both the PS4 version and the PS3/PS Vita/PSP versions.”