Sony recently announced that after 15 years, the PSP, PS Vita, and PS3 digital storefront would be closing. A decision met with a tremendous amount of backlash from both fans and developers. However, Sony has partially reversed the decision to end PS3 and PS Vita commerce.
On April 19th, Sony announced it would no longer shut down the Playstation Store for PS3 and PS Vita. The plan is still for the PSP store to retire on July 2, 2021.
On the PlayStation blog, CEO Jim Ryan wrote, “Recently, we notified players that PlayStation Store for PS3 and PS Vita devices was planned to end this summer.”
“Upon further reflection, however, it’s clear that we made the wrong decision here. So today I’m happy to say that we will be keeping the PlayStation Store operational for PS3 and PS Vita devices. PSP commerce functionality will retire on July 2, 2021 as planned.”
Although the PSP store will still be shutting down, this is a massive step in the right direction for Sony. Mainly because of the recent trending conversations on game preservation. Shutting down this store would increase the difficulty in playing many of these games—especially digital-only releases.
Not only would many of these games be lost in the aether, but with the retro gaming market getting more expensive, many of these games would soon be out of reach for many. Sony is already bad at backward compatibility and game preservation in general. Many of these games, such as Valkyrie Profile (PS1), Bust A Groove (PS1), and Rule of Rose (PS2), demand hundreds of dollars in resale prices. Despite, or perhaps as a result of, having no means to play them outside of their expensive original form.
This scenario isn’t anything new to retro gaming collectors and enthusiasts, but only Microsoft and Nintendo have provided gamers options for playing classics. Mostly this has been in the form of physical or digital re-releases or backward compatibility. Microsoft particularly shines in this area with the Series X playing backward compatible games back to the original Xbox.
PlayStation offers PSNow, but the service is limited and has never been appealing. Hopefully, this small victory means that Sony is listening to fans and looking at ways to preserve Sony’s storied history of games better. We consider the reversal of the PSP and PS Vita Playstation Store decision to be a win. It’s a shame that Sony will still be closing the PSP Playstation Store.