Jim Ryan, president and CEO of Sony Interactive Entertainment, revealed the news on the official PlayStation blog on April 19.
“Recently, we notified players that PlayStation Store for PS3 and PS Vita devices was planned to end this summer,” Ryan wrote on the blog. “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 … I’m glad that we can keep this piece of our history alive for gamers to enjoy, while we continue to create cutting-edge new game worlds for PS4, PS5 and the next generation of VR.”
In the same post, Ryan also confirmed that the PlayStation Portable will still be losing its PlayStation Store access on July 2. After July 2, users will still be able to download games and DLC they’ve already bought but they won’t be able to make any new purchases.
Earlier in the year, TheGamer reported that sources inside Sony said the company would be ceasing PlayStation Store support for the PS3, PS Vita and PSP by the summer. Sony confirmed this shortly after through a quiet update on its support site.
Fans were split on the upcoming shuttering. Preserving old games in digital perpetuity is nowhere near as easy as the common person assumes, especially for games that weren’t massive hits. Square Enix experienced this problem first hand in its attempt to preserve its own catalog.
However, in an age where we don’t really “own” games anymore, there is also a sound argument that companies should also ensure that their catalogs are as accessible as possible. Like music and film, classic titles should be carefully archived for future generations.
In this case, it was the preservers who won out. Gamers on Reddit were both surprised and enthused by Sony’s intention to keep the PS Store alive on some of its older consoles.
“OMG I’M SO HAPPY,” one user wrote. “This had been actually making me really sad. I’m so grateful. Now if only they would put some of these games on sale…”
“Wow the countless articles and outrage really made Sony change course on this,” another user wrote. “They actually listened.”
“It was ridiculous to shut the vita store down,” yet another wrote. “The PS Vita only got benched from store shelves at the end of 2019 in Japan, and still had indie’s and JRPG’s actively coming out on the store.”
“We should bully these big corporations more,” a Reddit user joked. “We shoulda bullied Nintendo in Japanese to keep Mario 35 online.”
Ryan wrote that the fan outcry was indeed a major factor in Sony deciding to keep the PS Store around for the PS3 and PS Vita.
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