JAN. 4, 2013 • On Dec. 28, Famitsu reported that Sony Computer Entertainment had ceased shipping PlayStation 2s to Japanese retailers. All existing inventory in-channel would be sold off until no more remained. No other territories were mentioned in the report, and Sony has remained mum on further details. Today, The Guardian in the U.K. reported that it had received confirmation from Sony that, “all PS2 manufacture has ended worldwide.” The console was originally released in Japan during March of 2000. Since then, more than 150 million units were sold around the world, as well as more than 1.5 billion individual games for the system.
Impact: At the time of its launch in early 2000 Sony talked about a ten-year lifecycle for the PlayStation 2. Thirteen years later it looks like things are finally winding down for what will probably be the most successful video game console ever. The PS2 conquered all major markets it entered and DFC does not expect a future dedicated game console to ever match that success. In its tail years the PS2 was penetrating emerging game markets and helping Sony establish the PlayStation brand in the far corners of the world.
Alas this wildly successful system was not enough to lift Sony above other marketplace challenges and internal missteps. Unfortunately, the launch of the PlayStation 2 seems to represent a peak for Sony as a company. While many publishers and developers were able to ride the PS2 to greater success, Sony was not so fortunate. Right before its launch in 2000 Sony stock was trading at around $150 a share. By early 2013 Sony stock was selling at about $11 a share and Sony as a company was valued less than PS2 publisher Activision Blizzard. This is truly the end of an era.