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Monday, April 19, 2021

PS3 and Vita PlayStation Store Closure...and Reversal

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - Wait until they decide they REALLY gotta close it in the (near) future.

At the end of March 2021, Sony announced the closure of the PlayStation 3, PlayStation Vita, and PlayStation Portable on-device virtual storefronts, to be effective July 2 (for the PlayStation Portable) and August 27, 2021 (for the PlayStation 3 and Vita). That joins a lengthy list of other things Sony has already shut down, ranging from website-based virtual storefront closures to console communication services, as well as to-come shut downs of new movie and television rental services.

And then, like KoopaTV, the proclamation got...partially uncancelled. KoopaTV was partially uncancelled because nothing is undoing the week or so of lost content after our cancellation, while the partial factor for Sony is that the PlayStation Portable store is still going down, but the PlayStation 3 and Vita will “continue operations.” This reversal stems from “further reflection” at PlayStation's executive leadership.

Now, if their decision was driven by some microeconomic realities—and executive Jim Ryan mentioned operational costs and resource allocation as driving factors in their original pro-close decision—those will still exist. That's why he said “for the foreseeable future” as opposed to indefinitely. We might end up going back to this topic in 2022. I know there were lots of people making lengthy lists of things they needed to buy before the service ended, and maybe Sony decided they liked that extra bump in activity, and if it could be sustained (perhaps via threats), it's worth keeping the storefront up. ...They don't truly believe in it in a permanent sense, or else they'd bring back the website digital storefront. And perhaps do something about some games being permanently inaccessible.

Still, Sony (or Sony's fans) managed to do what Nintendo's fans couldn't do with Nintendo. Remember the Wii Shop Channel? That one went down as planned after its closure was announced. The Wii and PlayStation 3 are in the same generation, you know. And Nintendo systems have a similar issue of permanently losing digital-only games.

Maybe Sony should be less demonised than Nintendo on this specific issue. And this isn't an instance of “whataboutism.” It's important to examine what the industry standard is!

...All that said, I don't know why it'd take you a decade to buy a given game on your long-since-discontinued console. It's obviously not a big priority for customers to make those purchases. Apparently, there are some strange developers who still make and distribute games for the PlayStation Vita to this day, and only digitally. If Sony wants to put a stop to their madness... yeah, I don't have an issue with that.

But to my point on industry standards, Nintendo gave over a year of notice. Sony gave a few months of notice, which is very irregular and a short window. Perhaps instead of saying “oh, we won't close the store down now! We'll keep it open! :)” they should give the actual real date now that it'll close in 2022 or 2023 or whenever. That should give those Vita developers some time to learn to go elsewhere.

How do you feel about those store closures? Are you one of those people with a lengthy list of things you feel like you need to buy? Why didn't you buy those years ago? ...Are you a Vita developer? ...Why...? Just why?


  1. Did you know that Vita means life? Which is funny considering how much we beat them to death every time they release a handheld.

    1. Yeah, I do know that. People been makin' Vita jokes like that for nearly a decade!

    2. For good reasons. It's a shame, considering how great it is.


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