Sony has finally ended production of the PlayStation 3.
This report comes from Gematsu who translated a page on the official PlayStation Japanese website which notes that production of the last remaining PlayStation 3 model, the 500 GB design, has ended. While this technically only applies to Japan, the fact that Sony’s manufacturing operations are primarily based in Japan means that a full discontinuation of the console’s production should be imminent.
At the risk of framing this announcement as an obituary, this seems like a good time to talk about the PlayStation 3’s legacy. Sony’s successor to one of the most successful consoles of all-time got off to an infamously bad start. The formal E3 reveal of the PlayStation 3 was lowlighted by the console’s insanely high price and Sony’s…questionable enthusiasm regarding certain launch titles (this was the source of the “Giant enemy crab” and “Ridge Racer!” memes).
The botched launch of the PlayStation 3 combined with the exceptional buzz the Xbox 360 had generated until that point meant that Microsoft took a surprising lead in the hardware race in the early days of the competition.
Sony would eventually right the PlayStation 3 ship somewhat by making changes to the console’s price and basic design. While some lamented the loss of the original PlayStation 3 model – a powerhouse console that was capable of playing nearly any media source including PlayStation 2 games – the accessibility of later PlayStation models certainly helped Sony recover some of the ground they lost.
All told, the latest PlayStation 3 sales figures have it trailing the Xbox 360’s lifetime sales by a few hundred thousand units. Many believe that the PlayStation 4 will ultimately surpass the PlayStation 3’s in the sales race.
Still, the PS3 will always be remembered as the console that brought us the Naughty Dog resurgence (The Last of Us and Uncharted) as well as all-time classics like Journey.