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If you are only just now discovering the wonders of Sony's first handheld device, the PlayStation Portable, it's about to get trickier to download new games onto your system. The PlayStation Store is closing shop on the console later this month.
That may sound like terrible news at first, but it's actually not so bad so long as, along with your PSP, you also have either a PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4 or PC.
Sony made the announcement official this week on its official website, explaining that on March 31, the PlayStation Store on the PSP will be closed. However, you'll still be able to purchase PSP games from those other platforms listed above. It won't be nearly as convenient as simply downloading a game onto your portable console, but the extra steps simply include downloading the game onto, say, your PS3, hooking up your PSP, then transferring the game over.
To be clear, this closure does not affect games that have internal sales. The announcement states that you'll still be able to make in-game purchases directly from the PSP. Also, your catalog of previous downloads are 100 percent safe. You won't be able to peruse them and re-download them directly from the PSP but, again, all you have to do is access your download list from one of those still-connected devices, download what you want and then transfer it onto your PSP.
We understand that there are still some folks who fall into a category of owning a PSP but not a PC, PS3 or PS4 and, unfortunately, that's the only crowd who will be greatly impacted by this change.
To be fair, though, the PSP hasn't been a focus for any developer for over two years now. There are still occasional downloadable titles arriving on the console, like last year's rad Brandish, but those are very few and far between. With this announcement, we imagine even those titles are going to dry up completely, too.
The real shame here is that this closure means that there's a good chance PSP games that aren't already available digitally probably won't ever be made available. There are plenty of great PSP games available digitally, such as Final Fantasy Tactics: War of the Lions, God of War: Chains of Olympus and Persona 3, but there are still a couple of big holes in that collection, including the fantastic Kingdom Hearts game, Birth by Sleep, as well as one of my favorite titles of all time, Valkyrie Profile Lenneth.
But times are changing and the only way forward is into the future. A future that, sadly, will not include a functioning store on the PSP.
What we're interested in knowing is whether or not any of our readers are still rocking a PSP? Will this store closure on the device have a big impact on your ability to continue playing games? Any titles you wish were available digitally? Let us know in the comments section below.