Sony has just shipped its final PlayStation 3 in Japan. According to Engadget, it is still being produced in other countries. However, the halt of production in Japan and the elimination of remaining stock has started winding down the 11-year-old console's life. It comes as no surprise since Sony had indicated that it was ceasing production back in March of this year.
Historically, the production life of Sony's consoles is about 11 years give or take a few years. The original PlayStation released December 1994 and ceased production in the spring of 2006, only months before the launch of PlayStation 3.
The PS2 began shipping in 2000 and stopped production in 2013, again, months before the release of the PS4. At the time, Sony announced that they would cease production in Japan in December 2012, and it was thought that they would slowly phase out production in other countries as well. However, only days later, on January 7, 2013, Sony announced that the console was being discontinued worldwide. If PS3 follows the same pattern, Sony will soon be announcing that the console has seen its last circuit board. However, with the introduction of the PlayStation Pro, it is hard to say if we will be seeing a PS5 anytime soon.
While it seems to be game over for the aging console, unlike the first two PlayStations, the PS3 did not launch in India until just five years ago, so perhaps Sony will continue producing in India and other countries that were late in getting the hardware.
According to Sony, the PS3 sold over 80 million units, which is nowhere close to the PlayStation's 102 million or PS2's record-breaking 150 million, due to the console's rough initial reception. However, it has seen its days, and we are on the cusp of a new generation of hardware, so the PlayStation 3 is right on schedule for retirement.