Sony has announced that it will close its PSP Digital Comics Store at the end of this month, finally bringing to a close the slow shutdown of one of the earliest mainstream digital comic outlets.In a statement released today, Sony explained that "the Comic Store for PSP (PlayStation Portable) available from the PlayStation Store (PS Store) will no longer be available after October 30, 2012." Thanking users for their support, the announcement continues, "After this date, users will be unable to purchase comic content from the PS Store's Comic Store. Where licenses permit, previously purchases or downloaded content will still be available for download until mid-January 2013. After this date, users will no longer be able to re-download any previously purchased content."

It's worth noting that the announcement doesn't explain what licenses will cease to be active after October 30, if any.

This shutdown is hardly a surprise; Sony announced in July of 2011 that the final update for the service had been released, with the company promising that the "Digital Comics Team will continue to work on bringing the comic service to other Sony devices." As yet, that hasn't happened outside of Japan, and Sony spokespersons say that there's nothing to announce "at the moment" in that arena. It seems as if Sony is, temporarily at least, abandoning the digital comics market to the likes of ComiXology, iVerse, Apple, Amazon and others. A sign of things to come, perhaps?

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