Sony is reportedly preparing to close down the digital stores for the PS3, PSP and PS Vita consoles, dealing a blow to gamers still enjoying the retired devices.
According to The Gamer’s sources, Sony will make an announcement this month over the closure of those console-specific stores as focus switches to the PS5, while the company continues to support PS4 and PSVR.
The report says the PSP and PS3 stores will no longer be available from July 2. The Vita store will get a stay of execution until August 27. So, if you want to round out your game libraries with digital titles, you’re on borrowed time.
Of course, the physical games will still be available for all of those consoles on the secondary market, and the pending decision to close the digital stores. That’s sure to drive the price up for buyers looking to add to their collections because, naturally, these games aren’t being made anymore.
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The reported closures come after Sony announced it would no longer offer movies and TV shows through the PlayStation Store. However, while there are plenty of avenues for people to buy and rent those elsewhere, that isn’t the case for digital PS3, PSP and PS Vita games.
Analysis – A blow for loyal Sony gamers?
How much management and server space would these games really be taking up? It’s understandable that Sony wants to focus on the future, but this decision damages those long-time Sony loyalists who still find value in older consoles.
Apple, for example, hasn’t taken the MP3 albums down just because most iTunes customers prefer to stream music these via Apple Music days. You can still buy a DVD or Blu-ray, even if there are superior 4K copies available. The fact you haven’t updated to a new, expensive device, shouldn’t be a barrier to enjoying all your console has to offer.
Even if Sony isn’t making much money from these games anymore, what would be the harm in keeping these games available, so those seeking to add to their collection don’t get stung on the secondary market?
With PS3 games, at least there’s plenty of opportunities for backward compatibility, but that’s not necessarily the case for the less popular PSP and PS Vita platforms.
It could also be a sign of things to come too. With the PS5 now offering a digital-only option, it’s fair to speculate on what might happen 10 years from now, when that console is consigned to gaming history. Will those gamers have to buy a disc-based machine to continue buying old games?