Sony’s PlayStation 3 Is Now Fifteen Years Old As Of Today

A man in a black jacket and glasses holds up a PlayStation 3.

A customer holds a 60GB PlayStation 3 at a launch event in Tokyo.
Photo: YOSHIKAZU TSUNO/AFP (Getty Images)

Can you believe it? The PlayStation 3 launched fifteen years ago today. It was an expensive console and a messy launch with hyper overload and some truly bad press conferences. But Sony didn’t give up on the PS3, and neither did gamers.

The PS3 was home to a slew of great exclusives, such as The Last of Us, Demon’s Souls, Little Big Planet, Metal Gear Solid 4, and Yakuza 4. It’s now easy to look back at the PS3 was a terrific game console, but it wasn’t always that way.

A man takes photos of the PS3 consoles and a prototype boomerang controller.

I’m still slightly annoyed we never got to try out the boomerang controller.
Photo: TORU YAMANAKA/AFP (Getty Images)

I remember sitting in the audience at Sony’s E3 press conference, knowing at the time I was witnessing history. It was one of the most embarrassing press conferences in E3 history, spawning seemingly endless memes for years. ($599 US dollars! Giant enemy crabs!)

Stumbles aside, people really wanted the PS3. When it launched in Japan on a chilly November night, there were long lines for the pricey console, with reports of gray market sellers allegedly hiring people to wait and purchase the PS3.

Once the initial hype settled, reality set in. Blu-ray and Super Audio CDs were neat and all, but this wasn’t just some expensive entertainment hub. It was a video game console, and like so many machines at launch, it lacked games. More worrying were developers saying programming on the console’s system architecture was difficult. It started to seem like the PlayStation 3 was a disaster.

But then, Sony turned things around. It ditched the silly Spider-Man style font, slimmed down and simplified the hardware, and released a sleeker PS3 Slim version in September 2009. It was an instant hit. The PS3 rose from the dust heap and turned things around in a nearly unprecedented way.

The PlayStation 3 never lived up to the initial hype. But it did live long enough to become a great console.

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