The Sony PlayStation 3, or PS3 as it is better known worldwide, is certainly one of the iconic consoles of its time. After all, it is just two generations down from Sony’s unprecedented gamble into the home video game console industry, attempting to knock off juggernauts Nintendo and Sega (the latter being on the decline at the point in time) from their lofty perch, and boy, how has Sony succeeded. The Sony PlayStation proved to be an unprecedented success, and this led to an even bigger success with the sequel, which is the Sony PS2. Certainly, the way Sony managed to make a name for themselves in the home video game console market saw them end up as the industry leader, forcing Nintendo to innovate and take a slightly different route with their subsequent consoles after the cartridge-based N64. It is now more than a decade since the first Japan-manufactured Sony PS3 rolled off the assembly lines, and as time progresses, there must be closure to every story. The same applies to the Sony PS3, which has just ceased production in Japan.
In fact, the official Japanese PlayStation website has already issued an update, citing that the PS3’s production will finally grind to a halt. First seen over at Gematsu, this particular notification was then added to the page where the 500GB model is concerned. It made perfect sense, taking into consideration how the only remaining unit which was still being produced in the Land of the Rising Sun happens to be the Sony PS3 500GB make. While the inevitable has happened, it is still a sad thing to experience. There were some warning signs before this though, as back in March this year, word leaked out that shipments of the 500GB PS3 are set to stop sooner rather than later.
Following those rumors, there was a tweet from a game shop that is located in Fukuoka, pointing out that production is set to be wrapped up in March, although as we now know, there must have been some nitty gritty which needed to be ironed out, ending up with a May date instead.
It makes plenty of sense to stop the production of the Sony PS3 simple reason. Gamers have long moved on to the Sony PS4 for some years now, and it will also consume additional resources by Sony to ensure that support for the decade-old PS3 continues. Once there is no more PS3 to support, all of Sony’s video gaming resources can be strategically placed to handle everything about the PS4. Does this also mean that there is a move by Sony towards the PS5? Only time will tell, but won’t it be cool due to the possible naming convention that it will be known as the Sony P5 instead?
The Sony PS3 was first introduced in Japan on November 2006, having sold a whopping 10.26 million units in its home country as of December 25 last year. Globally, the PS3 was a resounding success, having achieved a respectable 80 million units as of November 2013. More recent weekly Japanese sales charts indicate that approximately 300 to 400 PS3 consoles are still being sold throughout the country each week on average. Interestingly enough, the PS3 was discontinued in New Zealand (of all markets) two years back on September 29, but then again it is a minor market that has not had too much of an impact in the global sales figure of the console.
Apart from the original Sony PS3 that was released in 2006, Sony also ensured that interest remained with the console by rolling out not one, but two more refined models in subsequent years: the PS3 CECH-2000 model on August 18, 2009 which was also known as the Slim model, while the PS3 redesign (also known by its model number CECH-4000) is the Super Slim make.