At the end of March, Sony announced they had sold a hair under 80 million PlayStation 4 units — a milestone that took the PS3 seven years to reach. But with hardware rapidly changing and the slight upgrades the PS4 Pro offers in addition to the competition of the Nintendo Switch and Xbox One (and Xbox One X), the PS4’s fifth anniversary would also mark its shift towards the back-end of its lifecycle.
During its Investor Relations Day, PlayStation CEO John Kodera explained that the PS4 is getting older, but it won’t quite be put out to pasture thanks to revenue coming in from PlayStation Plus. The Wall Street Journal’s Takashi Mochizuki translated the meeting which has led to raised eyebrows to some fans:
And the most interesting bit of information to come from the PS Boss:
Expectations of hardware have changed quite a bit since the Xbox 360’s decade of dominance, and Microsoft and Sony have both discussed the console market as an ever-changing beast. Unlike previous, hardline console releases, there can be hardware upgrades mid-lifecycle, and fans shouldn’t be concerned about this news due to the many, many great games still on the horizon like Last of Us 2, Spider-Man, and whatever else they have up their sleeve at E3.
Considering the slow and gradual segue of consoles to a quasi PC gaming platform allowing users to keep their software and even having their games upgraded and updated when new hardware releases, fans should welcome Sony’s message that the end is nigh for the PS4. The next-generation was inevitable, after all.
And if 2021 is looked at as a date that Sony would “crouch down” to grow further in the future, it seems like he’s telling the investors that revenue will be up once a new piece of hardware is launched at the end of their fiscal year, which is March 2021. In other words, this timeframe would line up nicely with the launch of the PS5 in the fall of 2020.