In just a few months, the legacy of the PlayStation brand may be about to get a lot harder to find. Sony is working on shuttering the digital stores for the PS3, Vita, And PSP entirely. It appears as though the plan has leaked a bit earlier than intended, thanks to a report from TheGamer. So far, the remaining digital stores for these three platforms have not seen much activity in some time. Mostly, those still on these platforms are either on a very tight budget, or clinging to regional markets. Japan had a thriving market for retail sales of PSP and Vita games for some time, even after those consoles disappeared from retail shelves.
The PSP is the oldest of the three consoles, having released all the way back in March 2005. The next year, the PS3 released. The console officially ended production four years ago after more than a decade of making games. In total, it sold more than 87 million consoles. The PSP sold similarly during its run, pushing out more than 81 million units.
The Vita is the least surprising of this whole thing. The handheld came out as a digital platform that revised the PSP model with a larger digital storefront, The handheld came out in December 2011 and only managed to shift around 15 million units. That model ended production in 2018.
The PS Vita store will remain online until August 27. The PSP’s and PS3’s stores are to be closed on July 2. When these close, DLC and new game downloads will no longer be possible. You will no longer be able to make new purchases or download old games after these dates.
When the shutdown happens, the official support for new games is all but over. If you want to download certain games, do it now. There’s some faint glimmer of hope for Sony to allow for archiving or alternate distribution methods of these games, but that’s very unlikely. Going forward it seems like the only way to get these files will be piracy. That’s unfortunate.