In a huge blow to games preservation, the PS3, PSP, and Vita stores will be permanently closed later this year, according to a report from TheGamer. TheGamer cites “a source familiar with the situation” who remains unnamed.
The PSP and PS3 stores are reportedly going to be taken down on July 2 of this year, while the Vita will survive a little longer, until August 27. The report states that an official announcement should be coming by the end of the month. Whether or not purchased content will still be downloadable is still up in the air, a detail that will likely be addressed in the official announcement.
Many fans have already taken to social media to express their concern, especially because the PS3 store hosts a variety of PlayStation and PlayStation 2 games that are not currently available for purchase on the PlayStation 4 or 5. Sony made a similar decision in October of last year when they announced that PS3, PSP, and Vita games would no longer be available for purchase on the Sony Interactive Entertainment website.
While it remains to be seen how exactly each console will be affected, the ease of which Vita and PSP users can jailbreak their consoles means that digital games will likely be kept alive via emulation sites. Unfortunately, the PS3 is not as lucky, as it is notoriously hard to emulate the PS3.
Unfortunately, like the Wii Shop Channel before it, this serves to demonstrate the impermanence of digital software. Indie games, which are often digital-only, are slowly moving towards physical releases. Hades, which was far more successful than the developers likely anticipated, recently received a physical edition for the Nintendo Switch, which is a step in the right direction.
While we’re still official waiting for confirmation from Sony, now might be a good be a good time to buy any PS3, PSP, or Vita titles or DLC you were thinking of purchasing from the PS3 store.