Sony's PlayStation 2 console ceased production in Japan on Friday after more than 12 years, making the video game system’s run longer than some of its competitors, according to Maximum PC, which cited a Japanese website.
As the remaining PS2’s are bought off the shelves of Japanese stores, the phase-out will end the run of one of Sony’s longest lasting gaming system, which was originally released on March 4, 2000. A newer version is now available; however, fans can still scoop up some PS2s.
PS2, the second system in the family, reportedly sold more than 150 million units, according to a GameSpot article from February 2011. The article also noted that there were nearly 11,000 available games at that time for the system, along with more than 1.5 billion PS2 games sold.
New games for the console were released even after the system’s predecessor PlayStation 3 became Sony’s flagship gaming console, with titles coming out as late as 2012, according to Ars Technica. New games continued to be published for the system, though they’ve become scarces in recent years.
Based on Neilson ratings, Ars Technica claimed that in 2008 the PlayStation 2 was the most-used gaming console. This was despite several competing consoles including the PS3, Microsoft’s Xbox 360 and Nintendo’s Wii offering a more advanced-gaming experience, it said.
There have been several models over the years since the system's release. The original “fat” PS2 graced gamers’ homes until 2004, when the PS2 Slim was released; the system received software updates until 2007.
Sony fans looking for a nostalgia kick can still get their hands on a refurbished console from certain video game retailers. Game Stop, for instance, offers the Slim system for about $60, along with used games for it; and there are other Internet outlets that have the system used and refurbished.