Sony Shutting Down San Fran PlayStation Store

It's the end of an era, so to speak. With Sony suffering a Q4 that even the most bitter rival wouldn't wish on its competitors, the company has seen fit to shut the doors on its US flagship PlayStation store in San Francisco, California. With company sales in the dumps and some 16,000 Sony jobs already on the way out, the corporation has decided it best to not renew its lease on the PlayStation Store in the Metreon retail center when it expires on June 16th.

Sony spokeswoman Liz Archibald said of the closing: "While we are always looking at new avenues for additional retail exposure and space, we felt it best not to continue with a dedicated PlayStation Store at the Metreon at this time. We are actively looking at other opportunities to offer PlayStation products through direct retail channels." The store was dedicated exclusively to Sony's video game hardware and software and was the only one of its kind in the entire United States.

Reportedly, Sony spent around $85 million building the 300,000-square-foot shopping center that opened up ten years ago in a highly trafficked spot in San Francisco, and while The Westfield Group purchased the Metreon from Sony three years ago for an undisclosed price, we suspect that the firm simply felt the rent wasn't worth paying anymore given the current economic situation. Though, the aforementioned quote from Sony makes us wonder if this isn't signaling a shift in strategy that will end up being far more wide-reaching than the shuttering of a single store. Will Sony begin to take a more hands-off approach to marketing and moving its PlayStation wares through sales channels? Will retailers begin to chip in to pump up availability of Sony products? Offloading these chores doesn't seem like such a bad idea in times like these, but we suspect only time will tell what's really the cause of this close.