In March, Sony received widespread backlash for announcing plans to close the PS3 and Vita stores and remove the ability to purchase PSP games from both storefronts. The criticism led Sony to partly reverse course, promised to keep the PS3 and Vita stores open, but the company was determined to end the “PSP Commerce Functionality” on July 2nd. While at the time it was still unclear exactly what that meant, Sony has shed some light on the situation: You can still buy new PSP games in the PS3 and Vita stores, but you cannot buy new DLC, according to the company United Kingdom and US Support Pages (above Kotaku).
Here are the three new updates Sony has made to make things clearer, including the fact that July 6th will remove the ability to do searches or download DLC from the PSP store:
What does that mean for you?
When the PlayStation®Store for PlayStation®Portable (PSP) previously closed in 2016, you could still search and make purchases in-game. As of July 6, 2021, you will no longer be able to search or make purchases in-game.
What about PSP content you already own?
You can still download your previously purchased PSP content. You can download your previously purchased PSP content to your PSP by accessing the download list on the device.
What about PSP content available in the PS3 and PS Vita stores?
You can still purchase and play PSP content that is available in the PS3 and PS Vita stores. However, you will no longer be able to make purchases through the in-game store for PSP content.
All of this only applies to games that were sold digitally, of course, but it helps preserve some of the PSP’s history and back catalog, since the closure of the native PSP storefront in 2016.
Compared to Microsoft, which has multi-generation backward compatibility as Main selling point for the Xbox Series X, playing older games on Sony’s consoles can often be a little more complicated than just inserting an old disc. The Playstation 5 currently plays most of the Playstation 4 games, but if you want to play older generation games on Sony’s latest console, you’ll need to purchase a Playstation Now subscription that allows you to stream Playstation 3 and Playstation 2 games from the cloud, or Buy remakes of the classics at full price.
There is still a viable way for the PSP to purchase games the beloved handheld, at least for now – even if it means buying the games in one of two stores on completely different hardware.