It’s official. Famitsu had reported last month that the PlayStation 2 would no long be shipping in Japan. Sony has just joined in claiming that production of the world’s best selling video game console has finally come to a complete halt. From this moment forth, PlayStation 2s are no longer being made.
The final statistics for the video game juggernaut far exceed what seemed remotely possible after seven years of the current console cycle. After 13 years, the PlayStation 2 sold over 150 million units, more than double the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. It sported 10,828 games worldwide, sold over 1.5 billion units of gaming software, and was home to Grand Theft Auto and Gran Turismo, the two biggest franchises their generation.
With Sony taking a beating financially in recent months, who knows where the future of the PlayStation brand lies? The PlayStation 4 is rumored to be just around the corner, so one can expect that it will take at least one more console cycle for a spin. The brand saw a surge in popularity over 2012 thanks to some well constructed, gamer-friendly press, and they are continuing strong into 2013 with huge exclusives like The Last of Us, God of War: Ascension, Sly Cooper Thieves in Time, Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch, and Beyond: Two Souls.
All seems ready for Sony to continue being a top brand in the gaming market for yet another round, but whether or not they have the ability to recapture their enormous success with the PlayStation 2 has yet to be seen. You can’t catch lightning in a bottle twice, and consoles just don’t magically sell 150 million units. The timing must be right, the competition must be weak, and that little extra something needs to kick in, and so far, I don’t get that vibe from any of the big console makers.
The PlayStation 2 was a once in a lifetime phenomenon, a gaming device which stayed loyal to true video gamers to the bitter end and at the same time, managed to be the king of the world. Good show, my old friend.