And so it begins…PS3 discontinued in New Zealand

In what could be the beginning of the end for Sony’s much-loved PlayStation 3 console, the company has today confirmed that the PS3 has been discontinued in New Zealand, meaning that no more consoles will be made and shipped to retailers.

Speaking to ThoseGamers, Sony Computer Entertainment New Zealand (SCENZ) confirmed the news with the following statement:

SCENZ will not be shipping anymore PlayStation 3 consoles to its retailers however the platform is still available in retail outlets throughout NZ and being supported with peripherals, great new releases and back catalogue software.”

At the time of writing, Sony has yet to confirm plans to discontinue the PS3 in other areas of the globe, although we’ll be sure to keep you posted on any developments. 

PS3 was formally announced at E3 2005, where Sony displayed a silver-branded console alongside a prototype SixAxis control pad, colloquially known among gamers as ‘the boomerang’ due to its distinct shape. It was at this event that the now-infamous Killzone 2 trailer was shown, as well as the Final Fantasy VII tech demo, both of which were utilized as an early means of demonstrating what the console was capable of. Despite this, a functional version of the PS3 was not present at the Los Angeles-based show. 

Interestingly, this early version of the PS3 sported two HDMI ports, three Ethernet ports and six USB ports—a configuration that would not be present in the final retail version released in November 2006, presumably to cut costs. The system was re-revealed at E3 2006 where Sony confirmed it would ship in two specifications: 20GB ($499) and 60GB ($599). Sony used its press conference to display a number of then-upcoming titles, including Afrika and Genji: Days of the Blade, the latter which spawned the ‘Giant Enemy Crab’ Internet meme. 

Launched in Japan on November 11 and the U.S. on November 17, PS3’s debut was plagued by numerous outbreaks of violence; one customer was shot, members of the public were robbed at gunpoint while camping out for a PS3, while another incident saw 60 campers fighting over the possession of 10 consoles. PS3 didn’t see the light of day in Europe until March 2007, due to a shortage in materials used for the system’s Blu-ray drive. The console wasn’t able to elude controversy in the U.K. either, with launch game Resistance: Fall of Man‘s depiction of Manchester Cathedral coming under scrutiny by the Church of England

Sony would later release two new models of the PS3, namely the Slim in 2009 and the Super Slim in 2012. The former included decreased power consumption and quieter cooling system, while the latter featured a traditional manual sliding disc tray and clocked in at 20 percent smaller and 25 percent lighter than its predecessor. Three different hardware configurations of the Super Slim were available: 500GB, 250GB and 12GB Flash Memory, the latter of which is exclusive to European territories. 

As of November 2013, the console and its various incarnations have sold 80 million units worldwide