The PlayStation 3 is about to die.
Sony has announced that it will soon end production of the console in Japan. It's likely that it will stop being made everywhere else soon after.
The company hasn't announced the date that production will come to an end, or made a public announcement about it. But on Sony's website it lists the 500GB standard model as the only one remaining in production in the country, and states that "shipments are scheduled to end soon".
A tweet from a gaming shop in Japan suggests that shipments will come to an end in March.
The console was first released in November 2006. It was superceded in 2014, by the PlayStation 4.
Sony has stated before that it works on a ten-year production cycle for all of its consoles, and so the console is coming to an end almost exactly as scheduled.
The end of production doesn't mean that anything will happen to existing PlayStation consoles. But it does mean that support will likely be cut off soon – the company is likely to slow down updates at the same time, potentially meaning that problems with the online services and digital downloads could go unfixed for some time, or at all.
It's likely that some consoles will continue to be sold throughout the year. But they will probably be in shorter supply, potentially pushing up the resale value of the system.