The PS2 is the most popular video game system in history, and with well over 140 million units sold worldwide now, it's kinda difficult to see the PlayStation 3 ever reaching that number. But in terms of a life cycle, Sony thinks the PS3 can live even longer than the PS2.
The PS3 currently sits at about 24 million sold and we're nearly 3 years into the console's lifespan. But even so, analysts expect big sales spikes thanks to the recent price drop and introduction of the new PS3 Slim, and more importantly, those experts are predicting a sustained increase in sales. Plus, you've got the ever-rising popularity of Blu-Ray and the Network, and of course, the games. So perhaps it's not so far-fetched to believe the PS3 will "significantly outpace" the PS2 in the future, but even if it doesn't in terms of sales, it will in terms of years; so said SCE Europe head man Andrew House during a recent Edge interview :
"If you look at the PS2, still in some markets going very strong, especially in North America in its tenth year on the market, we still can't predict where that lifecycle will end. I have a theory that with successive generations, and with more value added and built into the console in terms of experience – and let's not forget that the PS2 really didn't offer a tremendously robust network experience – that what you effectively do is potentially lengthen that lifecycle more and more as you get to the next iteration."
For our part, there certainly is a long way to go; the PS2 launched a decade ago and who knows where we'll be in 2016? Maybe the PS3 will be in 200 million homes by then…or maybe it'll never break 100 million. But the point House wants to make is that they'll still be selling the PS3 in 2016 and beyond, which would favorably compete with the PS2's long-running lifespan.