On Monday, Jim Ryan, the President and CEO of Sony Interactive Entertainment, announced that PlayStation Store functionality for the PS3 and PS Vita would not be closing after all. The PSP store will still close on July 2, 2021, as planned, however.
The announcement came via a blog post on the PlayStation website, in which Ryan wrote that the company listened to feedback from fans and decided to go back on the decision.
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.
Ryan goes on to write about the reasoning for the initial verdict, describing some of the factors that were considered.
When we initially came to the decision to end purchasing support for PS3 and PS Vita, it was born out of a number of factors, including commerce support challenges for older devices and the ability for us to focus more of our resources on newer devices where a majority of our gamers are playing on.
Rumours that the PS3, Vita, and PSP stores were closing initially came out in late March, with an official announcement made on March 29th. Almost immediately, Sony received backlash from fans voicing their frustration over the decision.
The largest outcry came from fans who were concerned that some digital-only games would be gone forever unless someone had already purchased it on their account. Developers who were working on new Vita games, at the time, were also hit hard, as they had no idea that the stores would be closing and all of their work would ultimately be for nothing.
The decision is a huge win for both PlayStation and the fans as old games will not be gone forever and PlayStation gets credit for listening to their fans. Regardless of the reaction, the PS3 and Vita stores are definitively not closing anytime soon.