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Sony Kills the PlayStation TV and the PSP's Native Storefront

Sony's portable efforts are slowly coming to a halt.

News by Mike Williams, .

The portable machine is beginning to wind down at Sony. The company is closing the native PlayStation Store on all PlayStation Portable units on March 31. Users will still be able to purchase games on their PSP's, but they have to do so through the web-based PlayStation Store. Sony already killed worldwide shipments of the PlayStation Portable in 2014.

"Why?" the world asks.

Speaking of ceasing production, Sony has also decided to drop the PlayStation TV in Japan. Japanese site AV Watch (translated via Kotaku) noted that the end of February was the final shipping date for the micro-console in Sony's home region. The company also confirmed to GameSpot that it already ceased shipping the console in the United States and Europe. That only leaves the rest of Asia as potential shipping locations for the PlayStation TV.

"PlayStation TV shipments were terminated at the end of 2015 in SCEA and SCEE," a Sony spokesperson told GameSpot. "Shipment is still continuing in SCEAsia (as of the end of February, 2016), and we have nothing to announce regarding the timing of termination."

Like many of the Android micro-consoles, the PSTV seemed like one of those classic solutions without a problem. There is a small niche of consumers who want to play portable games at home, but for many, the point of portable games is that they're portable. Frequently, those games are made for resolutions that look horrible when they're blown up and the experiences are shorter so people on the move can enjoy them. It was an experiment and the final conclusion seems to be "It was not needed."

Still, both situations taken together show the slow decline of the portable side of Sony. The PlayStation Vita trudges on, based on significant Japanese support and the fact that indies frequently bring their games to PlayStation 4 and Vita. But the likelihood that Sony offers up another dedicated portable is slim, given that even Nintendo is seeing declines in that sector. Sony Worldwide Studios president Shuhei Yoshida admitted as much last year at EGX.

"People have mobile phones and it's so easy to play games on smartphones," Yoshida said. "And many games on smartphones are free, or free to start. I myself am a huge fan of PlayStation Vita and we worked really hard on designing every aspect. So I hope, like many of you, that this culture of playing portable games continues but the climate is not healthy for now because of the huge dominance of mobile gaming."

So drink deep, my friends. The Vita is the end and all that's left is Nintendo's NX, which should have some portable aspect. Vita may mean life, but death is still waiting to take it.

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Comments 28

  • Avatar for riderkicker #1 riderkicker 2 years ago
    Coming soon, the PS TV2, stream PS4 games to your office. This time, use the new Pico PS Vita Memory cards.
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  • Avatar for jeffcorry #2 jeffcorry 2 years ago
    I'm going to be honest. This is a bummer for me personally. I just picked up a PSTV less than a year ago and I really, really like it. I know the PSP had the game link cable, but that wasn't the same as playing those games with the Dual Shock. I have put a bunch of Playstation Classics and PSP games on it and it has been wonderful. Tactics Ogre and Valkyria Chronicles II on the big screen is nice...blur and all.
    ...actually, I haven't bought any Vita games.
    Ha. Maybe I'll hit Tales of Hearts R. It's on my to do list.
    PSP was such a phenomenal system. I still go to it. Much more often than the DS. Classic Final Fantasy is probably the reason why.
    And though I love my 3DS, there's no classic Final Fantasy. Shame.
    So. I will be playing PSP and Playstation TV for a long time to come.
    As far as the store goes...at least we can still get games on there. Perhaps I'd better run through and see if there's any games that are "must have" for my personal tastes before it becomes too difficult.
    But I must admit I have a little bit of melancholy at the thought of the end of this era...
    I like my phone...but it's just not the same.Edited March 2016 by jeffcorry
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  • Avatar for jimgamer #3 jimgamer 2 years ago
    Frankly we were lucky this even saw launch in the West. I picked up the Japanese unit and still have a handful of classic (non-US) PSOne releases (Einhander, Gunnar's Heaven, Zanac x Zanac, Raystorm) and PSP games (Tekken Dark Resurrection, Salamander Portable), and of course 17 PCEngine must-haves. The US model could do with a broader compatibility list, but in short, it's a fun way to carry round a few PSOne games without a huge PS3 in your bag, and the Vita games generally look good on the big screen. Sadly the PSTV and the Vita fails are more illustrative of Sony's half-hearted marketing efforts and crappy decisions (memory cards, lack of UMD transfer program, failing to secure a decent CoD or GTA game), than anything technical. The hardware is solid and had so much more potential than we will ever see.
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  • Avatar for link6616 #4 link6616 2 years ago
    I thought sony killed the native PSP storefront a while ago... A shame, although downloading PSP games on it's wifi was... a long process.

    Vita TV stuff expected, a real shame it never kicked off although unsurprising. I actually mis interpreted the title as "Sony kills the (PS TV and PSP's) native store front." Not "Sony kills the PSTV. Also kills the PSP's store front."
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  • Avatar for LBD_Nytetrayn #5 LBD_Nytetrayn 2 years ago
    Since PS4 doesn't do PS1 Classics, I'm wondering if now is a good time to try to get a PSTV for those.
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  • Avatar for FunkyJunk #6 FunkyJunk 2 years ago
    I got a PSTV just about a week ago because it was $50 for the bundle (system, two game downloads, Mem card, & PS3 Dualshock) and have enjoyed it for what it is.
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  • Avatar for jimgamer #7 jimgamer 2 years ago
    @LBD_Nytetrayn you should check the compatibility list first. Image quality is good enough, though no smoothing available as seen on the Vita itself (or PS3).
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  • Avatar for mr-faramir #8 mr-faramir 2 years ago
    sony need to release TV-out component cable for handheld VITA and add dualshock3-4 bluetooth pairing on it. Voila handheld and microconsole at the same device! if my PSPGO can do this why not VITA? I doubt sony will care though, and those expensive memory card...Edited March 2016 by mr-faramir
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  • Avatar for WiIIyTheAntelope #9 WiIIyTheAntelope 2 years ago
    @LBD_Nytetrayn I've had a good experience with mine. I'd really suggest to pick one up straight away if you're thinking of it. I grabbed mine for like $35 last year...once eBay becomes the only source for these things you sure won't be getting deals like that
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  • Avatar for detten17 #10 detten17 2 years ago
    sucks to hear that the PSP storefront is getting canned. Wonder if I should pick up a PSP 2000 before they become too rare. I got a few PSP games that probably won't see a digital release.
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  • Avatar for NateDizzy #11 NateDizzy 2 years ago
    @FunkyJunk Bought one a couple months ago, and now have 5 games for my PSTV. Maybe I'll buy a couple more. All in all, I think it's been a solid purchase for the fire sale price. Thankfully, Japanese devs seem to see the sense in releasing for both the Vita and PS4, so I doubt we'll be missing out on too much future content.
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  • Avatar for link6616 #12 link6616 2 years ago
    @mr-faramir That's pretty much how I used my PSP go actually. I'd get home, plop it in it's stand, PS3 controller at the ready and keep playing. It was great, but then I upgraded my TV to something with a less adjustable zoom feature, and I couldn't do the tiny box...
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  • Avatar for Mooglepies #13 Mooglepies 2 years ago
    It's such a shame portable hasn't didn't worked out for Sony, because the Vita is such a wonderful piece of hardware.

    The screen on the OLED model is absolutely stunning, and the d-pad is easily the best d-pad I've ever used. They nailed the hardware perfectly, it's just a crying shame that so few people were interested.
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  • Avatar for manny_c44 #14 manny_c44 2 years ago
    There are a lot of 'end of the portable era' articles circulating. It's hard to imagine it being true, from a serious-gamer stand point...I have preferred portable since the original Gameboy. I have a nice phone and have even helped develop successful games for phones but the total collapse of portable gaming platforms just seems impossible to me.Edited March 2016 by manny_c44
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  • Avatar for himuradrew #15 himuradrew 2 years ago
    I used to carry my Vita almost everywhere.

    Sadly, it's now simply used as my PS4 Remote Play machine. I now have my N3DSXL with me at all times. :(
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  • Avatar for naazimeaala75 #16 naazimeaala75 2 years ago
    @FunkyJunk can you direct me where you bought that 50$ PSTV bundle from?
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  • Avatar for mr-faramir #17 mr-faramir 2 years ago
    @link6616 yeah the only downside was psp dont upscale the native image to your TV resolution. but its the only way to play monster hunter freedom unite without hand cramps :)
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  • Avatar for VotesForCows #18 VotesForCows 2 years ago
    Everyone's saying pretty much the same thing on here - the PSTV is an awesome system. Its a shame it didn't do well.

    For me it was a very welcome, affordable entry point to the PSP and Vita libraries. And there is just so much good stuff on there - thrilled to finally have one!
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  • Avatar for SuperShinobi #19 SuperShinobi 2 years ago
    Now would be a good time to buy a PSTV, as they are now incredibly cheap, with stocks being cleared. It's a good way and by far the most affordable way to get access to the Vita's excellent library of games.

    The Vita itself continues to do very well in Japan - it's in the top 3 every week in the hardware charts - and remains popular with indie developers, so there will be plenty of Vita games for USG to cover in the future as well.
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  • Avatar for serialsleeper #20 serialsleeper 2 years ago
    This is a huge bummer. I use my PSTV constantly. It's an amazing console with an amazing library. I expect I'll still be using it for many years to come.
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  • Avatar for jgoreham #21 jgoreham 2 years ago
    @jeffcorry I love mine too!
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  • Avatar for matthewjohnson31 #22 matthewjohnson31 2 years ago
    @naazimeaala75 Just go to cheapassgamer.com, bundles have popped up on there pretty regularly for the past several months.
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  • Avatar for gordallott #23 gordallott 2 years ago
    "Sony's portable efforts are slowly coming to a halt."

    is a weird subtitle for the discontinuing of a 12 year old store and a non portable bit of hardware. close enough to be called clickbait
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  • Avatar for MetManMas #24 MetManMas 2 years ago
    @LBD_Nytetrayn Going by the list on the PlayStation Store, there are some pretty significant omissions on the PSone side. Metal Gear Solid, Silent Hill, the Suikodens (I think), Mega Man Legends, Strider 2...

    Anyway, with the on-system PSP store shutting down and PS TV no longer shipping units, I might just go on and get a Vita. The system's been 'dying' for years but still keeps trudging along regardless, and while I do have some interest in a PS3 'cuz there's a lot of stuff not on PS4/360/ PS Now I'd like to play, portable PSone games still interest me.

    Or maybe I'll just hold out and hope that PSone on PS4 becomes a thing and that we see PS4 versions of stuff like Oreshiika and Shiren 5.

    And I'm still waiting for that Tokyo Jungle remaster, Sony. =/
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  • Avatar for DiscordInc #25 DiscordInc 2 years ago
    Sony's portable systems never clicked with me, but this is still kinda sad. I keep debating whether I want to pick up a Playstation TV even though I need another system like a hole in my head
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  • Avatar for jgoreham #26 jgoreham 2 years ago
    @DiscordInc It has a small footprint (thinking about using sticky velcro to mount mine to the back of the tv, out of sight and out of mind) and if you already have a dual shock, you don't need a new controller. If you see one cheap it's worth picking up if there are Vita games you want to play on TV. I got the Lego Movie game bundle for $50 bucks and at that pricepoint, I was happy with my purchase to think of it as a Persona 4 machine and have ended up quite pleased with a lot of other games I can play on it (Digimon Cyber Sleuth here I come after pay day!!!1), especially PSP games that I missed out on first time around that I haven't managed to find hard copies of to play on my PSP.
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  • Avatar for jacklarson #27 jacklarson 2 years ago
    PSTV didn't have enough services to compete with Roku and Apple and couldn't even play all of Sony's own PSP or Vita games to boot. Not surprised that there wasn't a market for this device. What a piece of crap.
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