Sony signals the end of PS3, ending production in Japan

Earlier in the year, Sony indicated that it planned to end PlayStation 3 production in Japan. Though production continued on for a couple of months after that, Sony has finally decided to pull the plug. The company has listed the status of the last remaining PS3 model in Japan as "shipment complete."

That, obviously, means that there won't be anymore PS3s made for sale in Japan. Listings for the PlayStation 3 in the US and Europe don't appear to have been updated yet, suggesting that this halt to production hasn't spread overseas. Still, with Sony putting a cap on PS3 production in Japan, it probably won't be long until that spreads to other regions.

It's been a surprisingly good run for the PlayStation 3, especially when you consider that it was third place in sales for much of the previous generation. Microsoft's Xbox 360 was able to just edge it out in overall sales, while neither the 360 nor the PS3 could beat the Wii's stellar numbers. Despite its struggles against stiff competition, the PS3 was still in production for an impressive 11 years.

Perhaps we can look forward to a similar timeframe for the PS4? At this point, the PlayStation 4 is only four years old, but the key difference between it and the PS3 is the fact that the PS4 is leading the pack this generation. With roughly twice the number of sales as the Xbox One, that lead probably won't dwindle significantly, so we may even get a production run that lasts longer than 11 years.

After all, the PlayStation 2 had an incredible production run, launching in 2000 and being discontinued on a worldwide scale only in 2013. While we may not see 13 years for the PlayStation 4, it isn't hard to imagine Sony keeping its latest console in production for 10 years or more. In the meantime, we'll keep an ear to the ground for any news of Sony discontinuing the PS3 in the US or Europe, so stay tuned.