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PS3, Vita, and PSP stores reportedly closing permanently: What will happen with games you own?

A new report says that Sony will close its PS3, Vita, and PSP stores this summer, but what does that mean for the games you own on these systems? Will you be able to play them after stores close?
PS3, Vita, and PSP stores reportedly closing permanently: What will happen with games you own?

According to a report, Sony is planning to close PS3, Vita, and PSP stores for good in a few months.

As reported by TheGamer, Sony will permanently shut down PSP and PS3 stores on the 2nd of July 2021, followed by the closing of the PS Vita store on 27th August 2021.

The Gamer states that this information comes from "a verified source familiar with the situation".

These stores were already removed from the desktop and mobile versions of the PlayStation Store last October when the redesigned store was released ahead of the PS5 launch.

PlayStation Portable psp store closed
The PlayStation Portable is by far the most successful handheld coming from Sony (Picture: Sony)

But once the final closing comes into effect, it would mean that owners of these consoles won't be able to buy digital games or DLCs even directly from the systems.

Essentially, a total of 2278 PS3 games will become permanently unavailable, at least their digital versions, which probably means a sudden price jump for physical copies of some of these games, as they will become a rarity.

PlayStation 3 has been released 15 years ago, back in 2006, and the system sold a total of 87 million units until production ended in 2017, while the PSP is even older, released in 2004(Japan) and sold ~81 million units. On the other hand, the PS Vita was a flop, released in 2011 and sold in less than 15 million units.

What will happen with the PS3, Vita, and PSP games you own?

ps3 games store closed eumlation
Hundreds of PS3 games will potentially become lost forever if not preserved by emulation (Pictreue: Sony)

While the fact that these games will become unavailable for buying is a sad thing on its own, the thing that worries owners of these consoles the most is the question of what will happen with the digital copies of the games they own on these systems?

Currently, no one knows for sure how will Sony approach this. Sony will probably leave access to these games to people who own them on their accounts, and they will be able to download their games even after the closure of stores.
But many are afraid that at one point they will permanently lose access to their games unless they have them downloaded on the system.

At that point, it seems that the only option which will remain to them is to hack the consoles and use emulators, assuming that the games are being preserved.

Unfortunately, it seems that this decade will slowly start showing the negative side-effects of digital stores, which inevitably become obsolete at some point.

The best solution for this kind of issues is a good implementation of backwards compatibility on newer systems, which will allow players to play their older games on the latest gen consoles.

And when it comes to backwards compatibility, Microsoft did a much better job in this generation than Sony.