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PlayStation's secret weapon: a nearly all-automated factory

Robots carry on legacy of craftsmanship at little-known Kisarazu plant

PlayStation 4 units come off the assembly line at a pace of about one every 30 seconds. (Photo by Kento Awashima)

TOKYO -- Sony's PlayStation has won hundreds of millions of fans across the world since its launch in 1994. But few know just how much of the console's success can be attributed to an unassuming factory located just across the bay from Tokyo. (Click here for a graphic-rich version of this article.)

On the outskirts of Kisarazu, a large, white building towers over an otherwise suburban landscape. Once inside, visitors are greeted by the whirring of motors as dozens of robots seamlessly churn out PlayStation 4 consoles.

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