Sony told players that the company would shut down several PlayStation Stores by the end of the summer, triggering fan outcry. The PS3, PS Vita, and PSP had many classic titles that would disappear. Many could be purchased physically at inflated prices. Lucky for us, Jim Ryan announced that the company would keep the PS3 and PS Vita stores operational. However, they will still remove the PSP store on July 2, 2021– Gamers may purchase PSP titles on the Vita.
On the Playstation blog post, Jim Ryan says, “Upon further reflection, however, it’s clear that we made the wrong decision,” when it comes to the earlier call they made. Plenty of gamers made it known that Playstation’s decision went against video game preservation. Sony’s catalog is a popular one, and the community isn’t yet ready to let go of classic video games. For many, the announcement was a call to action. It prompted people to hit each Playstation Store before their closure.
Jim Ryan details the reason behind the proposed change, stating, “When we initially came to the decision to end purchasing support for PS3 and PS Vita, it was born out of a number of factors, including commerce support challenges for older devices and the ability for us to focus more of our resources on newer devices where a majority of our gamers are playing on. We see now that many of you are incredibly passionate about being able to continue purchasing classic games on PS3 and PS Vita for the foreseeable future, so I’m glad we were able to find a solution to continue operations.”
The old Playstation Stores are where nostalgia thrived
Why gamers would want to play old games is a question I’ve seen in the community. It’s a simple answer. Nostalgia is powerful, and the developers put the time in to create ‘old’ experiences. Many of us revisit our favorites, but old fans and newcomers would have few options if the digital front disappeared. They will continue to focus on the PS4, PS5, and their next adventure in Virtual Reality.
Sony should have wanted us to keep playing their old games because Microsoft is embracing backward compatibility. The Xbox Series X|S can play Xbox One, Xbox 360, and regular Xbox games. Theirs is an illustrious history among fans, and it was bewildering to watch Sony talk about dismantling an extensive library of old content.
My Final Thoughts
Part of me wants to say this is an example of why we gamers should speak up about issues that concern us. Jim Ryan attributed our outcry as a significant factor, so it’s nice to be heard. However, I’m primarily worried about video game preservation in its entirety – not just at Sony. Sony is a strong company, and Playstation is not under threat of collapse. We’ll soon see a host of new video games, and I swear I’ll get that PS5 one day. Yet, after seeing Sony square up with old video games once, I hope the whole industry keeps in mind that their old hits, or even duds, hold a special place in our hearts.