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In context: Last week rumors surfaced that Sony would be shutting down the PS3, PSP, and Vita stores this summer. The stories were somewhat substantiated when Sony took the online versions of those marketplaces offline over the weekend. The move left legacy system owners wondering what would happen with their digital content.
On Tuesday, Sony sent out an email to customers informing them that it is shuttering its legacy stores for good this summer. As previously reported, the PlayStation 3 marketplace and PSP purchases will close on July 2, and the PlayStation Vita store will retire on August 27.
"After thoughtful consideration, we decided to make these changes in an effort to focus our resources for PlayStation Store on PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5, which will enable us to enhance the customer experience even further," the notice read. "We thank you for your support on these platforms throughout the years."
If you own any of these systems, you will no longer be able to purchase content for them through the digital stores. Obviously, new and used physical media is unaffected. However, it will disable in-game purchasing regardless of media. Sony notes it closed the PSP store in 2016, but in-game purchasing is still enabled and will remain until July 2.
For customers concerned about how they will access their content, Sony assures us that owned games and video will not be taken offline. Players can still access purchases through the Downloads menu in the system software. However, there was an important note regarding cross-buy bundles.
"If you have purchased a PS3/PS Vita cross-buy bundle and have only downloaded either the PS3 or PS Vita version, you will need to download the other version prior to the closure of PlayStation Store on the relevant device," Sony warned.
It also mentioned that any of the free PlayStation Plus games users have claimed will still be accessible as long as they maintain their membership.
Wallet funds will remain on the user's PSN account for use in the PS4 and PS5 stores. That means that if you have money in your online wallet but do not own a PS4 or PS5, those funds will not be accessible after this summer but will not disappear. Credit will remain on account until users decide to upgrade to a newer system. Those not planning to upgrade may request a refund. However, Sony's FAQ page says that it does not yet have a refund system in place.
"We recommend that if you plan to top up your wallet prior to the store closures, you only top up by the minimum amount required to buy the desired content," the FAQ reads. "We will be updating this page with more details on how to request such a refund."
So the bottom line is if there are any PS3 or Vita games you have been putting off getting, buy them before this summer unless you are sure you can find them in a brick-and-mortar store.
Image credit: Daria Gromova