Sony has officially shut down sales of the PlayStation 3 in Japan, according to Gematsu. The official PS3 product page on the Sony Japan website states that shipments of the console have “ended.” However, it is not clear whether the company will close shipments in the United States as well.
PS3 got a slow start
It does not come as a surprise that Sony is ending the PS3, as the company always claimed it would support the console for 10 years. The 500GB PS3, which was launched in November 2006, was the lone variant in production until now. Since the PlayStation 2 was all over the market in the mid-2000s, the PS3 had a slow start. For almost a year, it sold at a loss amid criticism that Sony had priced it very high. As a result, the company reported operating losses in 2007, notes GamePlanet.
The PS3 came equipped with distinctive cell microprocessor-powered architecture, which was another barrier for adoption. Performance of multi-platform games was worse on the PS3 compared to the Xbox 360, which launched a year earlier, notes GamePlanet. Further, Sony’s console gave up its exclusive hold on popular franchises such as Grand Theft Auto and Final Fantasy. Later, the console recovered thanks to a few solid exclusives and price cuts, and Sony ended up selling close to 84 million units.
Some of the most-loved games on the PlayStation 3 are Uncharted Series, The Last of Us, Metal Gear Solid 4: Sons of the Patriots, several Yakuza titles, and five Ratchet & Clank games. There were some outlandish releases as well, but overall, the console maintained a pretty good lineup.
What is Sony changing after the PS3?
After ending production of the PlayStation3, the Japanese company will discontinue its cloud gaming service PlayStation Now on all platforms except for the PS4 and PC. This means Sony Blu-ray players, PS Vitas and PS3s and other supported TVs will no longer be able to access PS Now starting August 15, notes a90skid. By withdrawing support for other platforms, Sony is looking to give a better PS Now experience to PS4 and PC owners.
Only recently, Sony stated that it would like to alter some policies in its PlayStation Plus subscription service, which currently offers two PS3 games a month for free download. Every month, six games were featured, with two titles each for the PS4, PS Vita and PS3. In a recent Corporate Strategy Meeting briefing, the company declared its plans to make PlayStation Plus better so that fans are more apt to subscribe to it. The Japanese company will implement such policies to expand the subscription figures, which include 70 million monthly active users and 26.4 million PS Plus paying members, notes Express.
Although Sony’s U.S. plans are not clear, in India, the 500 GB PS3 has not been available for most of the year, according to Gadgets 360.
“We haven’t received any PS3 stock since November, and the demand hasn’t been there either. Neither for the console nor the games,” an independent game store owner based in Delhi told Gadgets 360. Further, if supply chain sources are to be believed, then in India, Sony is aiming solely at the PS4 and aims to double sales.