Sony To Close Legacy Playstation Stores

In late March, Sony confirmed it plans on closing legacy Playstation Stores. An announcement stated “We are closing PlayStation Store on PlayStation 3 consoles on 2nd July 2021 and on PlayStation Vita devices on 27th August 2021. Additionally, the remaining purchase functionality for PSP (PlayStation Portable) will also retire on 2nd July 2021.” Users will be locked out of purchasing new games and media after the closure. Along with this users will not be able to make in-game purchases, or redeem Playstation Network cards on these platforms. This does not mean that all is lost, however. Any funds will still be redeemable through PS4 and PS5. Users will also still be able to keep already purchased digital games. This includes redownloads. 

The Impact On Devs

The pending closure has caused some problems for game developers. Games developed exclusively for these platforms are liable to be widely lost. This is because these games will no longer be available for purchase digitally. TheGamer, who originally broke the story, received a statement from a developer that believed the closure would promote piracy. Piracy exists as a market that serves an existing market of people who want access to these games. Piracy also allows for modding and manipulation of the base game. This is important because, along with access to the games, access to day-zero or day-one patches will be lost. Primarily because there will be no legitimate way to obtain these games other than second-hand purchasing. 

The Effects of Scarcity

The second-hand market has also taken notice. Since the initial report, resell prices on PS Vita games have gone up. After the confirmation of the closure, gaming YouTuber’s like MrMattyPlays encouraged users to purchase PS Vita games as they will increase in value going forward. This is in stark contrast to Sony’s primary competitor Microsoft. Microsoft has made old games widely available through backwards compatibility as well as availability on digital markets across all of their platforms. Whereas for Sony, an upgrade in hardware often already meant losing a part of the game library, but now also means a permanent loss of games and media from largely smaller developers.