According to the official Japanese PlayStation website, the last PlayStation 3 model still being manufactured in Japan, the 500GB model, has now officially ceased production.
The PlayStation 3 launched in November 2006 and has been through a number of iterations since. The original PlayStation 3 consoles were large and bulky, with a maximum HDD size of 80GB. The PlayStation 3 Slim model was launched in 2009, giving players a much smaller console to store, and larger HDDs. Finally, the PlayStation 3 Super Slim was released in 2012, bringing the smallest console size yet, as well as the largest storage with up to 500GB of storage.
Head of Software Product Development for Sony America, Scott Rohde, told press that people have been buying PlayStation 3 consoles even after the launch of the PlayStation 4. He also said that the PlayStation 3 would be supported as long as the consoles continue to offer good business for Sony there, a good sign for those still using the system.
Scott told press that Sony saw a similar sales pattern with the PlayStation 2, which kept on selling while the PlayStation 3 was gaining traction in the market. However, it seems as though the PlayStation 3 is now harming Sony’s bottom line, which is why the company have decided to stop manufacturing any more of them in Japan, though some suspect other territories will cease production as well before too long.
The PlayStation 4 broke sales records for Sony, and has sold around 60 million units as of April according to their last announcement. Sony has predicted another 18 million units will be sold over the next financial year. There are rumours that a next generation PlayStation is planned to launch in 2018, but with the success the PlayStation 4 is experiencing this seems highly unlikely.
E3 2017 is just around the corner, and Sony will be bringing more announcements about games, services, and new hardware for the PlayStation 4 over the coming weeks. This year has already been an incredibly strong one for Sony with the launch of Horizon: Zero Dawn, and a number highly-anticipated coming to PlayStation 4 in the following months. Whether or not there are any announcements surrounding support for the PlayStation 3 is unknown.