After some rumor and speculation, Sony has now confirmed that its PS3, PS Vita and PSP digital storefronts will close later this year.
Sony issued the confirmatory statement from the PlayStation support portal, marking the end of nearly 15 years of support for older generation titles. The PS3 store will close on July 2, with PS Vita following in August 27 of this year. The PSP storefront actually closed back in 2016, but it was still possible to buy in-game items. The ability to do so will end on July 2 as well.
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"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," said Sony in an email sent to customers.
Fortunately, users will still be able to grab any data, including media and games that they have bought previously through their downloads list. Games bought via the cross-buy system will not require customers to download both versions of the game if they had only previously downloaded one. So, if you bought a PS3/PS Vita game with cross-buy support, downloading one version still means you own and can re-download both. If you buy a PS4 game with cross-buy for PS3/PSP/Vita after the above dates, you'll have access to all versions. PS Plus games you've previously downloaded will still be available, as long as you're subscribed to the service.
A full breakdown is below.
What you can still access
- You can still re-download and play previously purchased games.
- Video and media content you already own is safe and accessible.
- You can still re-download and play claimed titles through PlayStation Plus providing you stay as a subscriber.
- PlayStation Plus and game vouchers remain redeemable.
What you can't now access
- You will lose the ability to make in-game purchases through games.
- You can no longer access PS3, PS Vita and PSP digital data, including video and games.
- PSN wallet fund vouchers are now not redeemable on PS3, PS Vita or PSP devices as soon as PlayStation Store and purchase functionality ends.
- PSN wallet funds stay in your PSN account; however, you can only use these wallet funds to buy PS4 and PS5 products on web PS Store, PS App or on the PS4 and PS5.
The first hint of the closures came from Sony terminating a browser version of the PS Store. Shortly thereafter, more indications of the stores' shuttering came from TheGamer.
It's less than ideal news, but maybe we could one day see Sony relaunch the services by way of older titles being made available on a new, purpose-built PlayStation Now service.