Production of the long-running PlayStation 3 gaming console from Sony has finally come to a complete stop in Japan, as forewarned by the company two months ago. While this does end the PS3’s run as a device, the platform itself will live on. It has to; after all, it sold no less than 80 million units over an 11-year period, fostering a rich gaming community numbering that many millions of users, and being part of milestone markers such as Blu-ray and PlayStation Plus.
At the end of last month, the PlayStation 4 has nearly reached that milestone – a couple of million short at 78 million units sold – and it’s not even been four years since it launched. PlayStation 2 hit a whopping 155 million units, but it’s probably more fair to compare the PS3 with the PS4 rather than the PS2, considering the pricing and features gap between the second and third iterations.
One of the contributors to the success that PS3 has enjoyed over the years is the launch of PlayStation Plus in 2010. The subscription service set a standard of sorts, and Microsoft followed up with the Games with Gold library as part of its Xbox Live initiative three years later.
The PlayStation 3 500GB model was the last one being produced in Japan, and the website now shows shipments for that product as “ended”, according to gematsu, which spotted it on the official Japanese PlayStation website.
First launched in November 2006, the PS3 console leaves a legacy of more than a thousand games, both exclusive and non-exclusive. At the time of this writing, the PlayStation store lists 1,335 titles for PlayStation 3. A few might not be games, but it gives you an idea of the prolific number of games released for the console over the past 11 years – more than 100 titles per year, or one every three to four days. Wikipedia lists 1,433 PS3 games released or to be released on Blu-ray disc for PlayStation 3.
The exact number is not important, but the body of games created for or released to the PS3 platform will ensure that it will live on until the devices themselves die a natural death. And that’s not going to be for several more years, at least. Moreover, Sony will probably keep support and updates going for the PlayStation 3 for a couple of years, after which it will inevitably peter out, possibly sometime in 2018.