Sony has finally ended its production of the Playstation 3 console in Japan, as seen on the Japanese website for PlayStation. Spotted by Gematsu, the 500GB model of the PS3, the only model remaining in the country, had its shipment tagged as “ended.”

Released in November 2006, the PS3 has already sold more than 80 million units on a global scale. Although this officially marks the end of the gaming console in Japan, Sony has not hinted its status in the U.S., where it continues to sell.

It’s now exactly a surprise, given Sony had announced back in March that shipments would soon come to an end.

It certainly does not mean the existing installation base in no longer supported, but it does bring the PS3’s run to an end after 11 long years.

So long, PS3

Early versions of news for the end of the PS3 had fans question its availability in the U.S., as various sites headlined the announcement without specifying that production had ceased, in fact, only in Japan. However, there is a huge possibility that Sony might be already preparing its fanbase for the absolute discontinuation of the console, considering the PlayStation 4 is currently its flagship system.

Such tactic had been done before, specifically by Nintendo. To recall, the Wii U was first announced to have been discontinued in Japan in November 2016. January of the following year saw the end of the Wii U for everybody – a carefully crafted marketing ploy to make way for the Nintendo Switch in March.

A point to make, though, is that fans weren’t exactly all loved up for the Wii U. There were a few who did enjoy the system, but sales didn’t measure up – the console didn’t just make it to the cut.

And yet, the PS3, in a way, is in an entirely different position, as its user base had been clearly defined.

Sony to focus on its current and upcoming systems

Sony did claim before, at the time of the PS3’s launch, that the console had a 10-year plan to it. It outlived the mark, running for 11 years, but in its lifetime, a fraction of the platform’s over 2,000 titles had been already ported to the PS4 or Windows PC via PlayStation Now.

Meanwhile, there are lots of ranging speculations over Sony's next moves. The gaming industry could probably see the end of the Sony PS3 soon, and it will be a global affair. Sony had somewhat hinted that gamers could do away with the PS3, all thanks to the eagerness of developers willing to make versions of their games fit for the current-gen console.

While some lamented the loss of the original PlayStation 3 model - a powerhouse console that was capable of playing almost any media source including PlayStation 2 games - the accessibility of later PlayStation models certainly helped Sony recover some of the ground it lost.

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