The PlayStation 4 life cycle is entering its final phase, according to Sony Interactive Entertainment President and CEO John Kodera, refueling speculations that the PlayStation 5 is on its way.
The PlayStation 4 remains on top of the video game industry, despite challenges such as the arrival of the Nintendo Switch. However, after nearly five years since its release, is it finally time for Sony to move on and focus on the PlayStation 5 launch?
PlayStation 4 Life Cycle Enters Final Phase: What Does That Mean?
In an investor relations call, Kodera shared some insights on the company's business plans. One of the most notable statements that Kodera made was reported by The Wall Street Journal's Takashi Mochizuki.
PS chief Kodera: PS4 is entering final phase of its life cycle, which would have negative impact to the unit, but recurring revenue via membership services etc should cushion some of that. — Takashi Mochizuki (@mochi_wsj) May 22, 2018
So, what does the statement mean? The "negative impact to the unit" that Kodera mentioned may hint at upcoming discounts that would pull the PlayStation 4 price below its manufacturing cost. This will not be a surprise for a five-year-old console that is entering the "final phase of its life cycle." This does not mean that the console will be abruptly taken down from shelves anytime soon though.
Despite its age, the console is still selling well, with PlayStation 4 sales even pulling off feats such as beating the Nintendo Switch last February. Nevertheless, Kodera's statement reveals how Sony is looking at the console, and while the PlayStation 4 end of life date might not be coming soon, it is now in the horizon for the massively popular console.
PlayStation 5 Release Date Rumors
Kodera's statement on the final phase of the PlayStation 4 life cycle re-ignited speculation that the PlayStation 5 is on the way. Another statement, meanwhile, might have pegged a PlayStation 5 launch date.
SIE head Kodera told analysts and investors that the period until March 2021 would be when PlayStation to "crouch down once" to grow further in the future. hmmmmmm. — Takashi Mochizuki (@mochi_wsj) May 22, 2018
The statement is again ambiguous, but it appears that Sony has something big planned for March 2021. Kodera did not confirm it, but many would think that it will be the PlayStation 5.
A March 2021 date for the PlayStation 5 launch coincides with the prediction of IDC's Lewis Ward, who also expects PlayStation 4 sales to reach 100 million units in 2019. There are also reports that Sony will start PlayStation 5 production in the near future.
Until the PlayStation 5 release date, it is not likely that Sony will stop doing the things that has made the PlayStation 4 the top console of its generation. PlayStation 4 owners should just enjoy the ride while they still can.