While the PS5 may be the newest console in Sony’s inventory, it wouldn’t be possible without three ambitious consoles that came before: the PS3, the PSP, and the PS Vita. (Remember: We said “ambitious,” not necessarily “successful.”) However, it seems that the time has come for these systems to ride off into the sunset for good.
A recent report suggested that Sony will shut down the PS3, PSP and PS Vita online stores within the next few months. As such, if you wanted to buy any digital games for those systems, now is the time.
Information comes from TheGamer, an established gaming news publication that vetted the story through a reliable source and its own research. Assuming that the news is legitimate (which it seems to be, although Sony could still change its mind), Sony will shut down the PlayStation Store for PlayStation 3 and PlayStation Portable on June 2. The PlayStation Vita store will follow suit on August 27.
If these dates are accurate, then the subtext is clear: You have only a few months left to download new games or DLC for your PS3, PSP and PS Vita systems. Granted, you’ll be able to track down physical copies of games for as long as you like afterward, but those tend to get more expensive and harder to find as time goes on.
There is still one possible point of contention: Will users be able to re-download games they’ve already bought?
Generally speaking, even after a piece of software leaves a digital storefront, the content stays up on company servers, and users can re-download it at will. If the entire PS3, PSP and PS Vita storefronts shut down, however, users might not be able to redownload any content. As such, if there’s anything you want to keep, you might consider downloading it and storing it on an external hard drive, or alternate memory card.
Alternatively, hang tight until we get more information from Sony. If and when the company makes the PS3/PSP/PS Vita deprecation official, it will almost certainly issue a blog post with specific instructions about how users can preserve their purchases.
Whether the PS3, PSP and PS Vita stores are really set to go down later this year, it seems unlikely that the consoles will last forever. The PS3 is now 15 years old — although, interestingly, it did just get a firmware update last year to enhance security and Blu-ray functionality. In any case, Sony can’t support every online system it’s ever made in perpetuity.
Three months or so should be enough time for current PS3/PSP/PS Vita owners to figure out what they want and download it before it gets taken down. The bigger issue is for tomorrow’s retro gamers, who may decide to check out classic Sony games a few years from now, and find themselves totally out of luck.