During its early years, the system received a mixed reception, due to its high price ($599 for a 60-gigabyte model, $499 for a 20 GB model), a complex processor architecture, and lack of quality games but was praised for its Blu-ray capabilities and "untapped potential". The reception would get more positive over time. The system had a slow start in the market but managed to recover, particularly after the introduction of the Slim model. Its successor, the PlayStation 4, was released later in November 2013. On September 29, 2015, Sony confirmed that sales of the PlayStation 3 were to be discontinued in New Zealand, but the system remained in production in other markets. Shipments of new units to Europe and Australia ended in March 2016, followed by North America which ended in October 2016. Heading into 2017, Japan was the last territory where new units were still being produced until May 29, 2017, when Sony confirmed the PlayStation 3 was discontinued in Japan.
In September 2012 at the Tokyo Game Show, Sony announced that a new, slimmer PS3 redesign (CECH-4000) was due for release in late 2012 and that it would be available with either a 250 GB or 500 GB hard drive. Three versions of the Super Slim model were revealed: one with a 500 GB hard drive, a second with a 250 GB hard drive which was not available in PAL regions, and a third with a 12 GB flash storage that was available in PAL regions, and in Canada. The storage of 12 GB model was upgradable with an official standalone 250 GB hard drive, and a vertical stand was also released for the model. In the United Kingdom, the 500 GB model was released on September 28, 2012; and the 12 GB model was released on October 12, 2012. In the United States, the PS3 Super Slim was first released as a bundled console. The 250 GB model was bundled with the Game of the Year edition of Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception and released on September 25, 2012; and the 500 GB model was bundled with Assassin's Creed III and released on October 30, 2012. In Japan, the black colored Super Slim model was released on October 4, 2012; and the white colored Super Slim model was released on November 22, 2012. The Super Slim model is 20 percent smaller and 25 percent lighter than the Slim model and features a manual sliding disc cover instead of a motorized slot-loading disc cover of the Slim model. The white colored Super Slim model was released in the United States on January 27, 2013, as part of the Instant Game Collection Bundle. The Garnet Red and Azurite Blue colored models were launched in Japan on February 28, 2013. The Garnet Red version was released in North America on March 12, 2013, as part of the God of War: Ascension bundle with 500 GB storage and contained God of War: Ascension as well as the God of War Saga. The Azurite Blue model was released on October 8, 2013, as a GameStop exclusive with 250 GB storage.
In December 2008, the CTO of Blitz Games announced that it would bring stereoscopic 3D gaming and movie viewing to Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 with its own technology. This was first demonstrated publicly on PS3 using Sony's own technology in January 2009 at the Consumer Electronics Show. Journalists were shown Wipeout HD and Gran Turismo 5 Prologue in 3D as a demonstration of how the technology might work if it is implemented in the future. Firmware update 3.30 officially allowed PS3 titles to be played in 3D, requiring a compatible display for use. System software update 3.50 prepared it for 3D films. While the game itself must be programmed to take advantage of the 3D technology, titles may be patched to add in the functionality retroactively. Titles with such patches include Wipeout HD, Pain, and Super Stardust HD. 2b1af7f3a8