With the recent news that Microsoft shuttered production of the Xbox One—finally ending 8th gen for the company—Sony isn’t doing that, at all. Various forms of the PS4 console have existed over the years, and Sony plans to keep it that way. The reasoning is clear, the PS5 isn’t able to keep up with demand.
As you already know, PS5 is in short supply due to the pandemic and a worldwide shortage of components. And in the light of this conundrum, anonymous sources claimed Sony was planning to shift its full attention to the newer console. A Bloomberg report cited an anonymous insider source, stating that Sony Interactive Entertainment planned to drop the PS4 console from its lineup in 2021. Sony has come out since then to dispel the rumors, saying that they plan to keep the PlayStation 4 in production in a limited capacity.
That’s not to say they’re still pouring all their effort into the aging consoles. Sony has made it clear that they wish users to purchase PS5s instead. Obviously, older consoles like the PS3 and PS VIta have gone the way of the dodo. The company previously announced that they were ending production on certain PS4 consoles last year.
It’s worth pointing out that the PS5 has been the fastest-selling Sony console yet. PS4, released in 2013, has sold more than 116 million units to date. In its Q2 2021 earnings report, Sony revealed that it’s sold over 13 million PS5 consoles. That milestone was hit on the PlayStation 5 faster than the PS4, allowing Sony to claim a new record for the velocity of console sales. It’s likely that the PS5 could have sold many more units if it were not for the global shortages. The PlayStation 2 remains their best-selling unit of all time, with more than 155 million units sold, having ended production in 2013.
All that comes while acknowledging that the PS5 has had a tough time. The success of the Switch has been a major surprise throughout the industry. and the ongoing chip shortage has had a major negative impact on PS5 availability. Sony’s chief financial officer Hiroki Totoki conceded during a financial results briefing in October that PS5 sales in 2021 were lagging behind projections, and that they planned to do what they could. But really, only stopgap solutions can be offered.
“Worldwide, there is a disruption in logistics, and mainly semiconductor device supply being constrained, and this is having a larger impact [than expected], and as you know, the hardware sales in the first quarter were less unit wise and so this is having an impact on us, and likewise for the second quarter,” he said.
“But I think that with our efforts and putting in place different measures, the PS platform momentum can be maintained, and especially to the users who are waiting for the PS5, we want to be able to supply as many PS5s as possible to our customers who are waiting – that is our thinking.”