Sony Reverses Course On Shutting Down PlayStation Store For PS3, Vita Devices
from the about-face! dept
Well, well, this is certainly moving fast. Regular readers will recall that we’ve been having a conversation lately about how both customer purchases and video game as art are generally preserved in the face of platforms shutting down the hosting servers that keep all of this data. With a specific eye towards art preservation, this conversation has been largely propelled by Sony’s recent announcement that it would be shutting down support for the PlayStation Store for the PlayStation 3, Vita, and PSP consoles. The consternation over all of this only got worse when it was noticed that Sony’s batteries on the PS3 and PS4 consoles have a weird little time-sync check-in that has to occur with the PlayStation Network if they’re replaced, or else those consoles will be unable to play many, in some cases all, games.
Phew. Anyhoo, while these revelations have been ongoing over the past few weeks, Sony suddenly announced that it was kicking the can down the road by reversing its decision to stop supporting the PS3 and Vita PlayStation Stores.
Today, Sony announced it will no longer shut down the PlayStation Store for PS3 and PS Vita users.
“Recently, we notified players that PlayStation Store for PS3 and PS Vita devices was planned to end this summer,” wrote Sony Interactive’s president and CEO Jim Ryan on the PlayStation blog. “Upon further reflection, however, it’s clear that we made the wrong decision here. So today I’m happy to say that we will be keeping the PlayStation Store operational for PS3 and PS Vita devices. PSP commerce functionality will retire on July 2, 2021 as planned.”
To be clear, the public backlash and angst over all of this is what drove this decision. That being said, it’s still worth noting that Sony listened to the public critique of its plan and reversed course. But while that’s ultimately a good thing, it’s a temporary good thing. Unless someone is going to start suddenly paying attention to what happens when this issue comes up again in the future, this is just punting on the problem for now.
But there may be some reason for hope. Based on some of what’s coming out of Sony’s reversal, it looks like the company may actually be paying attention to the preservation issue.
The Gamer recently published interviews with several indie developers who would have lost their work and revenue if Sony continued with its plans. It seems this change of heart was in part motivated by the idea of digital conservation. In the blog, Ryan mentions being happy that Sony’s figured out how to “keep this piece of our history alive for gamers to enjoy.”
Again, alive for now. Sony’s actions in the coming months are going to demonstrate better whether the company is now committing to a new focus on preservation or if this was all done as a temporary solution to a longer term problem.