According to a story on TheGamer, a source indicates that Sony will close its PS3, PSP, and PS Vita PlayStation stores later this summer. The PSP and PS3 stores will close on July 2, while the PS Vita store will close on August 27.
On these dates, players will no longer be able to purchase digital copies of any game on their DLC. It’s unknown what this means for games previously purchased and whether or not players will still be able to download content they have the rights for. An official announcement has not been made yet but Sony is reportedly planning to release one at the end of March.
Sony has already started making moves to downsize its online stores and infrastructure. In early March, Sony announced that the PlayStation Store will stop offering TV shows and movies to buy or rent. Vanessa Lee, head of Sony’s Video Business department, said in a statement that the decision was made in consideration of streaming services growing on the PS4 and PS5.
In the statement, Lee says, “We’ve seen tremendous growth from PlayStation fans using subscription-based and ad-based entertainment streaming services on our consoles.”
TV show and movie rentals and purchases will be no longer be offered starting August 31, 2021. However, users will still be able to access the content they have already purchased for on-demand playback on their PS4, PS5, and mobile devices.
PS4 Communities Shutting Down
In an email sent to PS4 owners, Sony announced that the Communities feature will be shut down in April 2021. PS4 Communities are console groups where gamers can join others with similar interests. Players can send messages, form parties, and jump onto gaming sessions. Sony later released a statement thanking players for using the feature.
— Push Square (@pushsquare) March 15, 2021
The PS5 also has its own version of Communities in its social suite that, to name a few, includes community content, game hubs, and Game Base group spaces.
Fan reactions online have been mixed, leaning a little towards the negative. Many fans are saddened by the news that the PS3 store is closing. This could see fans rushing to grab digital titles before it all shuts down. The news has also put developers in a bind. The PS Vita still sees game releases to this day with the last game coming out next month. In fact, the game’s director actually knew this would happen.
ScourgeBringer is a fast-paced roguelike platformer that will be the last game to be released on the PS Vita but the game is also available on the Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and the PC. It received positive reviews from critics and users.
Nothing But Questions
A lot of questions linger in the minds of fans. The news doesn’t say anything about downloading game updates and whether or not users could still utilize online features. Could players still play online multiplayer on the PS3? And what about preserving PS3-only content? I guess we’ll have to wait until Sony makes an official announcement.
I was actually surprised that the PSP store was still operational. I had thought it closed down years ago. Personally, I’m indifferent. PS3 games are available on the PS4 store, and in some cases, the PC as well. It’s sad to see an era come to a close but I’m ultimately okay with it.
What’s your opinion? Feel free to share.
Update – 3/29/2021. Sony confirmed the final dates for the online stores. The PSP store will shut down on July 2, 2021. The PS3 and PS Vita stores will close on August 27, 2021.