In March of 2005 the PlayStation Portable (also known as the PSP) came out in the United States. Sony’s first foray into the portable console space, the device was a noticeable success and would go on to sell over 80 million units worldwide. It may not have been as big as the rival Nintendo DS, but Sony’s device still sits as one of the very few that was able to actually challenge Nintendo to the portable space in any real way.
In 2014, after a nearly 10 year lifecycle, Sony discontinued making and selling the PSP, replacing it with its follow-up the PlayStation Vita. It seems Sony is now putting another nail the in PsP’s coffin. Sony has announced that it will be shutting down the PSP’s version of the PlayStation Store by the end of the month.
It should be noted that this does not mean Sony is shutting down online services for the PSP as you will still be able to play games online. You also will still be able to buy PSP games on the PlayStation Vita, and on the PlayStation Store’s website so you can transfer them to your device. You will just no longer be able to access the store from the PSP itself.
While the PSP was a great success, the Vita has been less so, especially internationally. Late last year Shuhei Yoshida admitted that we probably will not be seeing a PlayStation Vita 2. The device has been plagued by poor sales all its life, and that doesn’t appear to be changing anytime soon. Most recently, Sony has stopped shipping more Playstation TV’s, a box designed to put Vita games on TV, inside Japan.
One of the most recent signs of farewell for the PSP was last month when Capcom re-released jRPG classic Breath of Fire III on the PlayStation Store. This game originally came out in 1997 and was later ported to the PSP in 2005, although until last month that port never left Japan and Europe.
What are your thoughts on this and the PSP in general? Is the added inconvenience to downloading PSP games a big deal? Or is Sony right to start shutting things down? Share your thoughts in the comments below!