PlayStations of a certain age will soon be considerably less functional.
Sony has confirmed that the online stores for both the PlayStation 3 and PlayStation Portable will be shutting down for good come July 2, 2021. The PlayStation Vita store will follow suit on Aug. 27. The closures mean that by the end of the summer, the PlayStation brand won’t have any truly mobile hardware.
Sony announced the news on its PlayStation support site, confirming a report from earlier in March that scooped the news (h/t TheGamer). It’s not all bad, though. The confirmation at least brings word that already-owned digital items aren’t going anywhere.
Across all three devices, the support page notes, users “will still be able to re-download and play” both games and video content that they’ve already purchased. The same goes for any old redemption codes you may have for games or PlayStation Plus, and for PS Plus games you’ve previously claimed as part of an active subscription.
This is especially noteworthy since many had speculated after the earlier report that the store closures would spell the end of access to certain games. There’s a bunch of stuff released for PS3, PSP, and PS Vita that simply isn’t available anywhere else. In the case of the Vita, there’s little chance that some of its more touchscreen-dependent games will ever emerge on a PlayStation device again.
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Sony hasn’t shown any inclination in recent years toward competing in the mobile gaming domain, which is pretty much locked down by smartphones and tablets these days. Nintendo is the only one of the big three console makers (with Sony and Microsoft) that has on-the-go gaming figured out.
The newly updated support site answers a ton of questions, so definitely take a look if you want to know more. The timing of this news also means people who own any of these three devices have several months of lead time to pick up whatever last games. And who knows, maybe one day some of these lost titles will resurface on Sony’s cloud gaming service (think Stadia), PlayStation Now.