In March, Sony received widespread backlash for announcing plans to shut down the PS3 and Vita stores and remove the ability to purchase PSP games from both storefronts. The criticism led Sony to reverse course in part, promising to keep the PS3 and Vita stores open, but the company stayed committed to ending “PSP commerce functionality” on July 2nd. While it was unclear exactly what that meant at the time, Sony has shed a little more light on the situation: you’ll still be able to buy new PSP games on the PS3 and Vita stores, but you won’t be able to buy new DLC, according to the company’s UK and US support pages (via EuroJournal).
Here are the three new updates Sony made to clarify things, including that it will remove the ability to make searches or download DLC from the PSP store on July 6th:
What does this mean for you?
When the PlayStation®Store for PlayStation®Portable (PSP) was previously closed in 2016, you were still able to perform searches and make in-game purchases. Starting July 6th, 2021, you’ll no longer be able to perform searches or make in-game purchases.
What about PSP content that you already own?
You’ll still be able to download your previously purchased PSP content. You can download your previously purchased PSP content onto your PSP by accessing the Download List on the device.
What about PSP content that is available for purchase on the PS3 and PS Vita stores?
You’ll still be able to purchase and play PSP content that is available on the PS3 and PS Vita stores. However, you’ll no longer be able to make purchases via the in-game store for PSP content.
All of this naturally only applies to games that were sold digitally, but it helps preserve some of the PSP’s history and back catalog, since the native PSP storefront shutdown in 2016.
In comparison to Microsoft, which uses backwards compatibility across multiple generations as a major selling point for the Xbox Series X, playing older games on Sony’s consoles can often be a bit more complicated than just popping in an old disc. The Playstation 5 currently plays most Playstation 4 games, but if you want to play games from older generations on Sony’s newest console, you’ll need to pony up for a Playstation Now subscription, which lets you play Playstation 3 and Playstation 2 games streamed from the cloud, or buy full price remakes of the classics.
For the PSP, there’s still a feasible way to buy games for the beloved handheld, at least for now — even it means purchasing the games from one of two stores on entirely different hardware.