KEY POINTS

  • Sony is allegedly shutting down its PS3, PSP and PS Vita digital stores in the summer, a report says
  • PS5 backward compatibility may be limited to PS4
  • A Sony patent could leave a glimmer of hope for PS backward compatibility hopefuls

With Sony unleashing a new game console in the PlayStation 5, there were concerns about what games from old consoles would still be playable moving forward. Most know that this usually comes from the backward compatibility route, but only games from the PlayStation 4 have so far been included in the jump.

Beyond the PS4 game titles, there remains no word on whether older games will make their way to Sony’s latest game console. But the chances of that happening may have gotten lower as Sony plans to permanently close its PlayStation 3, PlayStation Portable and PlayStation Vita digital stores this summer, TheGamer reported, citing an unnamed source familiar with the situation.

Sony will shut down the PSP and PS3 stores on July 2 after being active for 16 and 15 years, respectively. Meanwhile, the Vita store will close on Aug. 27 after a decade, the outlet said.

This means that all digital downloads of games as well as DLCs for these game consoles will no longer be available. However, this may exclude cases for users who may have made prior purchases of games in the past. This would be somehow similar to the situation of Nintendo when it closed down its Wii shop.

For now, fans should wait for an official update regarding the report of Sony shutting down its PS3, PSP and PS Vita stores.

If one looks at the trend, old PS games being shelved does make sense. Although there are games that most would still want to play now, the focus is more on the latest games to make the most out of the PlayStation 5’s new and advanced features. Some gamers would prefer to carry on playing some of their favorite titles but not all may make sense.

Related to the backward compatibility possibilities was the patent that was spotted on March 18. Titled “Methods and Apparatus for Awarding Trophies,” it was all about awarding trophies and emulated games.

Worth noting here is that there was no mention of PS5 backward compatibility support. The keyword here is emulation, which refers to past games most probably know from the PS3, PS2 and PS1.

But like the claims that the PS3, PSP and PS Vita stores are shutting down, there is no telling if this pertains to the backward compatibility concern of gamers who are already on the PS5. Being a patent, Sony is unlikely to comment on it for now. Further, the fact that it is a patent indicates that it may or may not be forthcoming to the PlayStation game console series.

There is plenty of enthusiasm for video games, but with the impending launch of new consoles by Sony and Microsoft there is also the question if the machinery is not vulnerable to being disrupted by a shift to cloud-based gaming There is plenty of enthusiasm for video games, but with the impending launch of new consoles by Sony and Microsoft there is also the question if the machinery is not vulnerable to being disrupted by a shift to cloud-based gaming Photo: AFP / MARK RALSTON