Sony pulls older online PlayStation Store, further fueling shutdown rumors

Cal Jeffrey

Posts: 3,158   +871
Staff member
In context: In preparation for the PS5 launch, Sony completely rebuilt the PlayStation Store and relaunched it in October. The new marketplace only carries PS4 and PS5 titles. However, an older version of the store remains for PS3, Vita, and PSP users.

Last week, TheGamer reported that anonymous sources claim Sony will retire the PS3 and PSP stores on July 2, 2021, and the Vita store on August 27. If true, PS3, PSP, and Vita games would no longer be available. This news sparked anger and frustration among fans and owners of the older systems.

While Sony did not confirm these rumors, even when asked multiple times by IGN, ResetEra users noticed over the weekend that the web-based version of the older store was gone. Users can still access the marketplaces from their consoles, but the website closure does seem to validate the rumors of a total shutdown.

The PlayStation 3's store was Sony's first move into digital sales, and the way the model has always worked is that when you buy a game on the storefront, it is free to download later, even if you have uninstalled it. If the store closes, it is unclear how users will access their legitimately purchased copies. Hikikomori Media commented on some of the pitfalls and ramifications facing Sony if it goes through with shutting it all down (above).

Speculation is that Sony wants to move PS3 titles into its PS Now subscription service. However, to do so, the company would essentially be telling customers who bought those games that they no longer own them and have to pay monthly to play them now. It seems a very precarious situation for the console giant. Such a move would surely spark massive class-action lawsuits.

While Sony has yet to answer questions on its plans, sources say that it intends to announce the store closures within the next few days. It will be interesting to hear how Sony will proceed with sunsetting these marketplaces. Does it have any contingencies in place for dealing with game ownership? We shall see.

Image credit: Budiman B Daud

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Theinsanegamer

Posts: 2,712   +4,246
"So what happens to all the digital PS3 games I purchased?"

You didnt purchase them, you payed for an extended rental. You only "own" digital purchases from DRM free platforms like GOG, or platforms like Steam if a cracked executable to remove the steam DRM exists.
 

m4a4

Posts: 2,536   +3,020
TechSpot Elite
Man, it looks like Sony just keeps stumbling. I honestly can't think of anything recent geared towards gamers where they're beating MS.
Late to the party with: cross-platform, PC ports, backwards compatibility...
Poor support for game subscription services (PS Now is a joke comparatively). Maybe have an edge with VR? But that's arguably more niche than anything else.

And now they're shuttering their old store without first announcing a plan to have purchases transferred (letalone a clear announcement to download them before they're "gone")? It seriously just sounds like they're resting on their laurels.

Also, don't get me started on cross-platform chat. Playstation is horrible, even with cross chat with PC (you need to physically own a PS to have something "easy" go through your PC). But MS? You just need the Xbox app....
 
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pencea

Posts: 247   +214
Man, it looks like Sony just keeps stumbling. I honestly can't think of anything recent geared towards gamers where they're beating MS.
Late to the party with: cross-platform, PC ports, backwards compatibility...
Poor support for game subscription services (PS Now is a joke comparatively). Maybe have an edge with VR? But that's arguably more niche than anything else.

And now they're shuttering their old store without first announcing a plan to have purchases transferred (letalone a clear announcement to download them before they're "gone")? It seriously just sounds like they're resting on their laurels.

Also, don't get me started on cross-platform chat. Playstation is horrible, even with cross chat with PC (you need to physically own a PS to have something "easy" go through your PC). But MS? You just need the Xbox app....

They're doing just fine. Yes late but at least now cross play is supported. Their backwards compatible plays 97% of PS4 games just fine. Every major PC ports have been released at the same time on PS5 as Xbox.

They have a lot of first quality first party titles in development. One of which is releasing this coming April. The majority of PS5 owners are satisfied and happy with it.

Unless if you don't own a PS5 or anti Sony then I don't see any reason you're exaggerating the situation that badly.
 

m4a4

Posts: 2,536   +3,020
TechSpot Elite
They're doing just fine. Yes late but at least now cross play is supported. Their backwards compatible plays 97% of PS4 games just fine. Every major PC ports have been released at the same time on PS5 as Xbox.

They have a lot of first quality first party titles in development. One of which is releasing this coming April. The majority of PS5 owners are satisfied and happy with it.

Unless if you don't own a PS5 or anti Sony then I don't see any reason you're exaggerating the situation that badly.
I'm not exaggerating. If you don't at least see issues with the PS5 launch (rushed), then you're not paying attention.

Which, this article is about PS3 and such, yet you quote PS4 compatibility..? Xbox BC does all generations justice, with PS having no answer to GamePass. They could be doing more for gamers, which is only apparent because of their competition.

And what are you talking about by "Every major PC ports have been released at the same time on PS5 as Xbox"? Sony has very few PC ports of their games to speak of. Comparatively, that is doing poorly and is short-sighted of them (as PC is an open market that they should also be taking advantage of).

As a (mainly) PC gamer who wants to play games with friends who play on consoles, Playstation is the worst (of the main 2).
So, I want them to do better. Which also means MS has a reason to keep doing more too, but Sony's being lazy. But if you're fine with that, then call me anti-sony and keep going. Don't need a fanboy here.
 
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I have just received an email from sony confirming the shutdown and both dates mentioned in the article.

They also tell me I will still will be able to download my owndoms
 

Squid Surprise

Posts: 4,237   +3,446
What about content you already own?
• You will still be able to download your owned PS3, PS Vita, and PSP content, including games and video content.
• You can download your owned content onto your PS3, PS Vita, or PSP by accessing the Download List on the respective device.
• 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.
• Video content that you own can be streamed on PS3, PS4 or PS5 through the My Videos app, or on mobile devices through the PlayStation™Video app.
• You will still be able to re-download and play game titles you have claimed through PlayStation®Plus as long as you remain a member of the service.


—> this is what Sony is emailing all PlayStation accounts
 

ZedRM

Posts: 631   +395
Does it have any contingencies in place for dealing with game ownership?
This is the more important concern. Nintendo doesn't give a toss about user rights. Sony isn't expected to either. It would be a pleasant surprise if they did and offered a form of backup for all purchases.
 
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pencea

Posts: 247   +214
I'm not exaggerating. If you don't at least see issues with the PS5 launch (rushed), then you're not paying attention.

Which, this article is about PS3 and such, yet you quote PS4 compatibility..? Xbox BC does all generations justice, with PS having no answer to GamePass. They could be doing more for gamers, which is only apparent because of their competition.

And what are you talking about by "Every major PC ports have been released at the same time on PS5 as Xbox"? Sony has very few PC ports of their games to speak of. Comparatively, that is doing poorly and is short-sighted of them (as PC is an open market that they should also be taking advantage of).

As a (mainly) PC gamer who wants to play games with friends who play on consoles, Playstation is the worst (of the main 2).
So, I want them to do better. Which also means MS has a reason to keep doing more too, but Sony's being lazy. But if you're fine with that, then call me anti-sony and keep going. Don't need a fanboy here.

There was nothing rushed about it. Everything they said about what's going to be available at launch did happen.

I get your point about backwards compatibility but that's all Microsoft has going for it along with Game Pass. When it comes to first party games Sony has traditionally had the upper hand. Their games offer compelling quality single player experiences. This has always been the case since the Psone era even after the launch of the original Xbox that came out in the early 2000s.

In regards to PC ports pretty much most of them has arrived on PS5. I never once called you a fanboy and yet you came out calling me one. Maybe I worded it wrong, but that was not my intentions. For your information I own a PC rig and every console since the Atari 2600 era. So I'm not really bias towards any of them nor do I go around spouting on oh this company is dropping the ball or that company sucks because they haven't done that...etc

At the end of the day we're all gamers. Let's just leave it at that. Have a good day.
 

arrowflash

Posts: 474   +511
Does it have any contingencies in place for dealing with game ownership?
This is the more important concern. Nintendo doesn't give a toss about user rights. Sony isn't expected to either. It's would be a pleasant surprise if they did and offered a form of backup for all purchases.

What about content you already own?

You don't own digitally purchased games, or any sort of digitally purchased content for that matter. Like @Theinsanegamer pointed out, it's just an extended rental.
 

m4a4

Posts: 2,536   +3,020
TechSpot Elite
There was nothing rushed about it. Everything they said about what's going to be available at launch did happen.

I get your point about backwards compatibility but that's all Microsoft has going for it along with Game Pass. When it comes to first party games Sony has traditionally had the upper hand. Their games offer compelling quality single player experiences. This has always been the case since the Psone era even after the launch of the original Xbox that came out in the early 2000s.

In regards to PC ports pretty much most of them has arrived on PS5. I never once called you a fanboy and yet you came out calling me one. Maybe I worded it wrong, but that was not my intentions. For your information I own a PC rig and every console since the Atari 2600 era. So I'm not really bias towards any of them nor do I go around spouting on oh this company is dropping the ball or that company sucks because they haven't done that...etc

At the end of the day we're all gamers. Let's just leave it at that. Have a good day.
First, that's some beating around the bush. "Everything they said about what's going to be available at launch did happen" just sounds like you're saying "they could've had a stronger launch, but I set my expectations low". Like, they don't even have their m.2 expansion drive ready yet! (among other things that were/are missing)

Second, BC is about the gamers and being able to play what is already owned. Countering with new first party games doesn't make sense here. If anything, that's just further proof that Sony's resting on their laurels.

Third, I'm not talking about PC games going to PS! I'm talking about PS games going to PC (like HZD on Steam). I can't tell if you're being disingenuous here...

Fourth, I never called you a fanboy. I pretty much said if you don't care if Sony is being lazy, call me anti-sony and leave because we don't need a fanboy. Because only a fanboy would ignore faults and never hold "their" company accountable (no one owes these companies anything).

But lastly, yes, we are gamers. But that doesn't mean we can't hold these companies accountable for their inaction/decisions. MS needed a wakeup call last-gen. This-gen it looks like Sony needs one...
 

ypsylon

Posts: 393   +328
That's one of reasons why I have no interest in consoles. When studio or a brand decide that generation reached EOL, you're basically f-ed.

And you can rest assured that Sony (or any corpo) doesn't give a -single- f about what users think about it. That's should be enough of a comment about game ownership. If shop goes down you'll have very expensive e-waste to dispose or paper weight whatever is more appealing.
 

envirovore

Posts: 295   +585
TechSpot Elite
"So what happens to all the digital PS3 games I purchased?"

You didnt purchase them, you payed for an extended rental. You only "own" digital purchases from DRM free platforms like GOG, or platforms like Steam if a cracked executable to remove the steam DRM exists.

Not that this is meant in support of Steam (though I do like the platform), not every game sold on it requires it to run.
As an example, you can take the entire Amnesia folder, drag it out of Steam, and launch Amnesia without Steam.

Choice is left up to the developer.

There's a big old list of games that don't require it to run somewhere.


 

arrowflash

Posts: 474   +511
My post was a direct quote from the email Sony sent out... so yes... you DO own the content you purchased.

If they sent an email saying Santa Claus is real would you believe it too? They can say whatever they want. It doesn't change the fact that you don't own digital content, unless it's DRM-free and personal offline backups can be made legally in an easy and convenient way (like games purchased from GOG).

It would be naive to expect a company that rents digital content to be honest, upfront about it and flat out say you don't own it.
 

Squid Surprise

Posts: 4,237   +3,446
If they sent an email saying Santa Claus is real would you believe it too? They can say whatever they want. It doesn't change the fact that you don't own digital content, unless it's DRM-free and personal offline backups can be made legally in an easy and convenient way (like games purchased from GOG).

It would be naive to expect a company that rents digital content to be honest, upfront about it and flat out say you don't own it.
Well, had they said nothing, perhaps you’d be correct... but now, since they’ve explicitly told all of their account holders that the content they’ve purchased is OWNED, they’d be liable in any lawsuit...
When you admit something in writing, you can be held to account...
 

arrowflash

Posts: 474   +511
Well, had they said nothing, perhaps you’d be correct... but now, since they’ve explicitly told all of their account holders that the content they’ve purchased is OWNED, they’d be liable in any lawsuit...
When you admit something in writing, you can be held to account...

In some countries, these claims could indeed offer some consumer protection.

But afaik, in the USA (since TS is a US-centric website) these claims don't really bring any consumer security. It would have to be challenged in civil courts in long and expensive lawsuits that most people usually don't bother, or a class-action lawsuit. If the company really shuts down some of their services and removes access from old games, I'm sure there are lots of loopholes to justify this.

Lawsuits would be very unlikely because gamers as a whole tend to be a very sheepish, conformist public when it comes to defending their consumer rights. (of course gamers will whine a lot and throw Twitter tantrums when it comes to things like buggy games or trivial things like changing a character outfit, but when it comes to actual consumer rights violations they tend to be very forgiving and oblivious)
 

terzaerian

Posts: 987   +1,430
Buying a console or console services is literally setting money on fire. The PC is only more expensive if you can't do math and can't appreciate what an utter scam console services are.

And that goes DOUBLE for Xbox.
 

ZedRM

Posts: 631   +395
You don't own digitally purchased games, or any sort of digitally purchased content for that matter. Like @Theinsanegamer pointed out, it's just an extended rental.
I'm sorry, but that is incorrect. Ownership of digital content has already been established in case law both in the United States and in the EU. Once a person makes a purchase, they own that copy for life. They also have the right to sell it if they wish.