Sony tried, and failed, to close the PlayStation 3 and PS Vita storefronts last year – after an enormous social media backlash convinced the company to change its mind. PlayStation boss Jim Ryan took to the PS Blog with his tail between his legs, stating that his firm “made the wrong decision here” and is “glad to keep this piece of our history alive for gamers to enjoy”.
While there was never any commitment from the company regarding how long it’d keep the consoles’ PS Stores operational, Nintendo has since announced that it’ll be taking both the Nintendo Wii U and 3DS storefronts offline in March next year. That period of notice is important, because Sony initially offered about four months for fans to buy the games they wanted.
Consequently, it seems highly unlikely there’ll be anywhere near the same backlash for Nintendo’s announcement, meaning that the closure will almost certainly go ahead as planned. And that raises the question: is Sony now in a better position to justify the closure of its own storefronts? It’s obvious, at least to us, that the platform holder would much rather cease to maintain these legacy systems.
Ultimately, though, Ryan made the above commitment to PS3 and PS Vita less than a year ago, so we can’t imagine it’ll rescind it anytime soon. But it’s important to remember that Sony never made a promise to preserve these platforms indefinitely, so they will go offline at some point – perhaps the Japanese giant will learn from Nintendo here, and give everyone a bit more notice when it does eventually decide to pull the plug.