Last Friday we heard that Sony Computer Entertainment Japan ceased sales of the now legendary PlayStation 2, the greatest gaming console the world has ever seen, at easily the best selling too. With just over 12 years on the market tens of millions in sales that dwarf the current generation of PlayStation or Xbox in terms of numbers, of course it has had a little longer to rack up those numbers, but it was still ahead if you could the first 7 years of each format.
The PS2 may not have the CPU/GPU processing power of the current consoles, but it still has some of the most defining games in gaming history, especially some of the greatest Final Fantasy titles ever put to our screens, Gran Turismo 4 still holds a place as the best in the series (in my opinion), Metal Gear Solid 2 and 3 are still as good today as they ever were, but of course this list could be endless given that the PS2 has a colossal back catalogue that is hard to match (in terms of size) with any other format excluding the PC.
All shipments on Japan "have been completed" reported web-site Famitsu, stating that the console is no longer available for sale in that market and no doubt other markets such as Europe and the US will follow soon after. It is expected however that developing markets such as the Southeast Asian countries will keep the console for some time, as the hardware has been selling strongly there for the last few years throughout those areas, but this isn't the case for places like Japan, the UK and US where sales can't compete with the deals on current gen hardware.
With developing markets still buying them like hot cakes, the PS2 starts its departure from this world with a legacy of 153 million hardware sales, which is simply amazing for any console, well done Sony.