PlayStation 4 was first launched in 2013 just before the holiday season and three years later, it was updated with the PS4 Pro and Slim versions. Sales are still going strong, though predicted to slow down in the coming years. However, it seems Sony is already planning to replace it with the PlayStation 5 as soon as 2018.
The PlayStation 4 will turn five years old in 2018, well beyond the half of a console’s usual life cycle. There are six or seven years in between the releases of Sony’s major consoles, which should mean that the current-gen platform should by then still have a year or so before a new one takes its place.
However, an analyst believes that the PS4 is already due for a replacement. Forbes reports that according to Macquarie Capital Securities analyst Damian Thong, the PlayStation 5 will arrive in the latter half of 2018.
It is worth noting that Thong is the same analyst who predicted the arrival of the PS4 Slim and Pro. They turned out to be real, so there might be some weight on his PS5 prediction.
Unfortunately, no information has turned up yet regarding the PlayStation 5’s specs. But at this point, it can already be speculated that it will sport an upgraded processor and GPU (probably based on AMD’s new architecture Vega), with bigger and faster memory. As the PS4 Pro’s handling of 4K resolution is still far from perfect, the PlayStation 5 should be able to fix that with true 4K gaming and more stable framerates.
These specs might be enough to convince gamers to make the upgrade to a PS5, but Sony should go beyond and offer more to ensure that more people will replace a perfectly functioning PS4.
PlayStation 4 Is Stronger Than Ever
Sony’s recent earnings report revealed that the company sold more than 20 million units of PlayStation 4 during the fiscal year that ended on March 31. It is the best year for the console yet and it brings the overall figure to 60 million units.
The PS4’s growth is faster than the PS2, which was previously Sony’s best console. After four years in the market, the second-generation console only sold about 71 million units, The Verge reports, which the current-gen system is expected to outperform.
PS4 still tracking alongside PS2 when launch aligned.
Should be ahead of PS2 12 months from now too if targets are achieved. pic.twitter.com/IaojJanYRc
— Daniel Ahmad (@ZhugeEX) April 28, 2017
But Sony predicts that the PS4 has reached its peak. In the next fiscal year, the Japanese company only expects to ship 18 million units. As the console nears the end of its life cycle, the sales are only expected to go down.
Another factor of the predicted slump is the rumored release of the PlayStation 5. As mentioned above, it may be replacing the PS4 soon. Fans will likely favor buying the newest one with more updated specs than the platform that has been out for more than five years.
Unless Sony dramatically cuts the PlayStation4’s price just as it did to the PS2. At the end of the latter’s life cycle, its price was reduced to about $129, which posted huge sales for the company. It is possible that the same strategy will be applied to the PS4 in 2018 or whenever the PS5 comes out.
As of now, though, the PlayStation 4 is doing extremely well, especially since a lot of exclusives have been and will be launched this year. Horizon Zero Dawn, Gravity Rush 2, and Kingdom Hearts 2.8 are only some of the recently released games that owners have the privilege of enjoying.
Titles like Crash Bandicoot, Gran Turismo Sport, and Ni No Kuni II: Revenant Kingdom are also arriving this year exclusively to the PS4, while Death Stranding by Hideo Kojima will be launched sometime in the future.
Nevertheless, Sony has a huge number of loyal followers that will support it whatever direction it takes.
[Featured Image byKevork Djansezian/Getty Images]