The PlayStation 3, the first model of which was launched in November 2006, will soon be laid to rest. According to Gematsu and the Japanese website Gamestalk, Sony will soon end production of the PS3 console in Japan.
The Japanese multinational conglomerate reportedly mentioned on the 500GB black PS3's product page – the only remaining model of the gaming console in production in Japan – that the device's "shipments are scheduled to end soon" as well.
Although Sony didn't provide a specific date, a game shop in Kurume, Fukuoka said in a tweet that it received a notification that PS3's production will end in March. If true, then Sony will stop shipping PS3 models once the remaining units are over.
Sony's gaming consoles are known to have a 10-year lifespan. Therefore, decommissioning the PS3, which turned 10 in November last year, doesn't come as a surprise.
In fact, Sony has been preparing to withdraw the console from service since last year. While the company reportedly released the final first-party PS3 title in October, it will also cease the console's access to PS Now from August this year.
"After thoughtful consideration, we decided to shift our focus and resources to PS4 and Windows PC to further develop and improve the user experience on these two devices. This move puts us in the best position to grow the service even further," Sony said in a recent blog post.
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Sony continues to dominate console war
Although Microsoft no longer provides sales figures for Xbox, recent numbers released by analysts suggest that Sony still leads the gaming console market, with the PS4 selling twice the units of Xbox One in 2016. Both the consoles were launched in late 2013.
Find more statistics at Statista
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Analysts also believe that the global gaming console market will decline at a rate of around 13 percent over the next four years due to constant challenges from alternative gaming platforms, including PC gaming, online gaming and mobile gaming.
However, once the next-generation gaming consoles are available, the market outlook is poised to change.
"The gaming console market is heavily influenced by the launch of next generation gaming consoles," Technavio, a technology research and advisory company, said in a report. "With the next generation of gaming consoles likely to be launched around 2019-2020, the market is expected to witness growth henceforth."