By Paul Kainoa Vigil / November 28th, 2015
Sony Computer Entertainment of Japan recently took to their website to announce the closing of PlayStation Store services for the PlayStation Portable on March 31st of next year in Japan. New PlayStation Portable content will not be accessible via the PlayStation Store through the handheld itself, but PSP content can be downloaded via other platforms: PC, PlayStation 3, and PlayStation Vita. You can also re-download content that you’ve already purchased. Additionally, the UMD Passport Service (a program Sony is running whereby PlayStation Portable users can register game UMD’s with Sony and access a digital version for use with the Vita) will also be ending at the end of March of next year in Japan.
While the PlayStation Portable ultimately ended behind its competitor the Nintendo DS in hardware sales, it was an important platform. It was Sony’s first foray into handheld gaming, and also placed more emphasis on additional features like a video player. If some of Sony’s recent comments on the Vita are any indication, handheld platform development won’t be a priority for the company in the near future. It’s also worth noting that certain games really thrived on the platform too. The Monster Hunter series grew to prominence on it in Japan, too. The God Eater series also got its start on the PlayStation Portable.
It has been at least a decade since the PlayStation Portable was released in three major commercial regions (North America, PAL, Japan) and productions of new units has since discontinued. Gaming companies seem to be closing more of their services for the platform, as with Phantasy Star Portable 2: Infinity‘s multiplayer servers being closed this summer by SEGA. At the least, it seems to difficult to argue that ample time hasn’t been given for people to make use of online services for the PlayStation Portable.
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