The rumor came true. Sony confirmed that it will close the virtual stores of the PS3, PS Vita and PSP, thus ending an era made up of thousands of games. It is worth mentioning, however, that the closing dates will be different depending on the platform. The PS3 and PSP PlayStation Store will say goodbye on July 2, 2021, while the PS Vita store will close its doors on August 27 of the same year.
Another issue to take into account, and that puts an end to the concern of many players, is that it will be possible to download any game purchased even after the closure of the stores. So, you don’t have to worry about losing your digital purchases forever. It will also be possible to access purchased multimedia content (such as movies) and free titles you got through PlayStation Plus. Obviously, you will only be able to access purchased content from your PS3, PS Vita or PSP.
What does the closure of the PS3, PS Vita or PSP online stores mean then? From the dates indicated above, you will not be able to purchase digital games on these platforms. If you want to expand your current catalog with any proposal, we recommend you to do it soon before it is too late. Additionally, Sony makes it clear that in-game purchases -microtransactions, for example- will not be possible either.
A situation that will arise in some users is that of having balance in the PS3, PS Vita or PSP stores, but not owning a PlayStation 4 or PlayStation 5. In this sense you should not worry either, your money will not remain in limbo. Sony explains that the balance is linked to your PlayStation Network account, so you can use it in the future to make purchases on the PS4 or PS5.
The closure of these stores is a historic event for Sony, as they were the ones that started the era of digital games on the PlayStation platform. The PS3 virtual store opened its doors in 2006, so it remained active for 15 years. Of course, it is inevitable not to think that Sony could have done something more to preserve the thousands of PS3, PS Vita and PSP titles. We’ll see if in the future they offer backward compatibility with these platforms as Xbox did at the time to rescue the library of its first generations.