In a statement published on Monday, SIE president Jim Ryan said that the platform holder had realised it had made “the wrong decision” in planning to close the stores.
“Recently, we notified players that PlayStation Store for PS3 and PS Vita devices was planned to end this summer,” Ryan said.
“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.”
He added: “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.
VGC analysis had suggested that around 140 PlayStation games would no longer be available for purchase in any form when Sony closed the PSP, Vita and PS3 stores as initially planned.
Now a far smaller number of titles – around 35 digital-only PSP games – will disappear following the July store closure.
Although users will still be able to redownload their previous purchases for the foreseeable future, from July 2 it will no longer be possible to buy games on the PSP online marketplace.
Journalist Brittany Vincent argued in a VGC column that the games industry needs to increase its efforts for preserving video games, before more titles are lost to time.
“The medium is priceless – and while many of us were careless in its infancy, there’s no real excuse these days not to archive every bit of the art form we’ve come to cherish, not with high fidelity capture cards, the ability to scan items and documents directly from our phones, and literal 3D printers,” she wrote.
“If we don’t want to see additional games lost to the sands of time, it’s time to start getting serious about preservation – before it’s too late.”