PlayStation 5 manufacturing, as well as Xbox Series -especially the X Series model- cannot keep up with demand. The semiconductor crisis is preventing the new generation from selling as much as it could, and although it is breaking records, it is still not possible to buy one of the new consoles normally in a physical store. Sony has decided to continue manufacturing PlayStation 4 during 2022 to give an alternative to those users interested in PlayStation who cannot get the new console.
The Japanese conglomerate, whose PS5 has been short on supplies since its debut in November 2020, has told assembly partners late last year to continue assembling the older machine into this year, according to people familiar with the matter. Although Sony has never officially announced the cessation of PS4 manufacturing, its plan called for stopping assembly at the end of 2021.
This strategy would add one million more PS4s this year to try to fight off pressure to make more PS5s thanks to the fact that PS4, released in 2013, uses simpler technology than the new generation. On the other hand many of Sony’s own new releases still have PS4 versions, including the upcoming Horizon Forbidden West, Gran Turismo 7 and God of War: Ragnarok.
The high demand for electronic products and the complications for creating games brought on by the pandemic have changed Sony’s plans. Jim Ryan, head of PlayStation, had predicted a very fast transition between PS4 and PS5, and indeed the demand is there, but without enough consoles on the market and with the delay of many games this generation will take off somewhat later than expected. Also, PS4 is still an important source of revenue thanks to its catalog, new releases and subscriptions.
Although games are Sony’s biggest source of profit, the electronics giant is exploring new areas to maintain growth. For example, it is preparing to launch more powerful virtual reality headsets to take advantage of future games and applications in the so-called metaverse.