Sony officially marks the end of the PS3

PS3

After nearly 11 years of continuous production, Sony has taken the final step in curtailing the number of PlayStation 3 consoles in the market; manufacturing of all iterations of the system has ended, and as of today, its final shipment has been funneled through its distribution network in Japan.

Production of all PS3 units has already halted in other countries, making this the official sign that Sony no longer has an active hand in PS3 console inventory.

The legacy of the PS3 is as eventful and infamous as it is storied and successful. The version of the PS3 you'll find on store shelves today is markedly different than the shiny George Foreman Grill-esque contraption that came out in 2006. Not only has the form factor drastically changed, but both fundamental hardware and software have been altered over the years. Sony stripped away the components necessary to play backwards compatible PS2 titles, it lopped off two of the four USB ports, and it removed the ability to run Linux instead of the proprietary PS3 operating system.

And of course, Sony suffered one of the most prolific cyber attacks in corporate history in 2011, when 77 million PlayStation Network accounts were compromised, forcing Sony to shut down the service for an unprecedented 23 days.

On the positive side of things, the PS3 ushered in the era of Blu-ray Discs, it was the first console to support stereoscopic 3D gaming, and it heavily promoted the concept of digital downloads over the need to buy packaged retail copies of games.

The legacy of the PS3 also includes the premium online service PlayStation Plus, and the streaming-on-demand platform PlayStation Now, both of which remain stalwarts of the PS4's digital offerings.

The remaining PS3 games in development include Cars 3, based on the new Pixar movie, and perennial sports titles NBA 2K18 and, for Europe only, Pro Evolution Soccer 2018. All of these are multi-platform releases that are also coming out on the PS4.

With its span from 2006 - 2017, the life of the PS3 rests comfortably on par with its two predecessors. The original PlayStation system lasted 11 years as well (1994 - 2005), while the PS2 lasted slightly longer, with its 13-year run (2000 - 2013) being one of the longest in console history.

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