Well, it’s an end of an era. Sony officially confirmed via its support website that it will, indeed, be closing the PlayStation Store on PlayStation 3 and PlayStation Vita this summer.
This had been rumored for a while now, but now we also have the actual dates. On PS3, the digital store will close on July 2, 2021. Those on PS Vita have a bit more time as the store will close on August 27, 2021. Additionally, purchase functionality on PSP (PlayStation Portable) will end on July 2, 2021.
Once these closures go into effect, you will no longer be able to purchase digital content for PS3, PS Vita and PSP. This includes games and videos. You’ll also no longer be able to make in-game purchases through these games or redeem PSN wallet fund vouchers. If you have any PSN wallet funds on your PSN account, it’ll only be able to be used on PS4 and PS5 products through the website or the consoles.
Cross-buy games will still be available for purchase but only through the PlayStation Store online or through the PS4 and PS5. You’ll have access to the PS4 version as well as the PS3/Vita/PSP versions.
Although you won’t be able to purchase any new games once the PlayStation Store is retired on these consoles, you’ll still be able to re-download and play any games you’ve previously bought and access any previously purchased videos/media content. You’ll also be able to download any games you previously claimed through PlayStation Plus.
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Response to PlayStation’s decision to close these stores has, of course, been mixed. Despite the strong sales of the PS4 and PS5, there’s still a large number of gamers who own these legacy systems. Not being able to purchase digital games for these consoles doesn’t necessarily render them useless, as you’ll still be able to buy physical copies and play digital games you already own; however, it does stink that you won’t be able to add to your digital collection anymore.
As we’ve previously pointed out, there are pros and cons to retiring these legacy digital storefronts. One of the possible positives coming out of this is that it could lead to a streaming service more akin to Xbox Game Pass. Imagine greater PS3/Vita support through PlayStation Now. That’s just one possibility that could happen as a result.