Sony nearly shut down the digital shops for the PS3, PSP, and PS Vita earlier this year. Because of the enormous demand from the gaming community for digital platforms, Sony reversed its plan and opted to just close the PSP shop. While the shops on the PS Vita and PS3 are still open, Sony is going to make it more difficult to buy games on any device.
Sony confirmed in April that the PS3 and PS Vita shops will stay available indefinitely, which came as a comfort to many in the gaming industry. There are a handful of games in those game libraries that are not available for purchase on either the PS4 or the PS5. However, it appears that owners of the PS3 and PS Vita will no longer be able to purchase games with credit or debit cards.
Sony stated today that customers would no longer be able to purchase games or in-game stuff using a PayPal account or credit or debit cards as of October 27th. This isn’t to say that customers can’t still buy games on those platforms, but they will have to use PlayStation Store gift cards to buy content on the PS3 and PS Vita’s digital stores.
Users may contribute dollars to their digital wallet using their credit card, debit card, or PayPal account, in addition to PS Store gift cards. Sony has yet to explain why these changes are being implemented, but one thing is certain: from October 27th, purchasing stuff through the in-game PS3 and PS Vita shops will be much less efficient.
After a period, it’s normal for gaming gear and software to drift out of popular availability. Consider the demise of the Nintendo 3DS, which occurred late last year. Not to mention the attempt to shut down the PS3 and PS Vita PS Stores. None of this is intended to be harmful on the side of the publisher; it just boils down to user inactivity on particular gaming platforms.
However, it is strange that Sony would remove something as obviously simple as a direct credit or debit card payment option for purchasing games. It’s conceivable that the decision was made to push more visitors to Sony’s newest systems, such as the PS4 and PS5. Whatever the reason, PS3 and PS Vita owners will have to make the most of the time they have left to buy games the way they want.