It was out with the old and in (possibly) with the new for Sony this year. As the bells struck midnight on January 1 2013 Sony quietly shut down its production of PlayStation 2 consoles.
That’s right Sony Japan has stopped producing what has to be one of the oldest surviving consoles on the market. And some believe that the move comes just as the console maker is about to start production on the PlayStation 4.
Sony has been making PS2 consoles since 2000 and since then has sold over 150 million of the devices – making it the most successful console, in terms of hardware sales, in history.
With the PS4 on the horizon and the PS3 still going strong (it had a great Christmas period in 2012) it’s kind of surprising that Sony is still making a console from 2000. And with the close of the PS2’s production we also see the close of one of the golden ages of the home console market – one which we’re unlikely to see a return to.
The PS2 was launched at a time when Sega’s DreamCast was new and Nintendo’s GameCube console was not yet launched. Sony had the market to itself for a long period of time and in spite of a lacklustre set of launch titles and some production issues it proved to be hugely popular with gamers.
But many of the features which supported the PS2 on its launch, in build DVD players for example, are no longer de rigueur as users move online to download new content and games. Indeed, in 2012 in the UK alone over £1 billion of online media was purchased – the highest amount recorded to date.
Rumours that Sony has stopped production to allow it time to start making PS4s are likely true. It will take some time for the company to produce enough of the new consoles to meet the expected demand…and Sony, along with other console manufacturers, have a nasty habit of underestimating consumer demand for new releases.
With an official announcement of the PS4 due later this year (probably sooner than later) we can expect that the PS4 will be released around October/November 2013, just in time for Black Friday and for the Christmas market.
Just be sure to pre-book as soon as you can.
Sony’s 12 year support for the PS2 is good news for those that bought a PS3 in the past number of months (and at least half a million of you did) as Sony will still be supporting the console for some years to come. Indeed, even though Sony Japan won’t be producing any more PS2s it will still be making software for the aging device.
So, before the PS2 takes its place in the museum of consoles perhaps it’s time to take it out again a give GTA one more turn.