PlayStation CEO Confirms PS4 Entering Final Phase Of Life Cycle
PlayStation 4 is entering the final phase of its life cycle, Sony Interactive Entertainment president and CEO John (Tsuyoshi) Kodera said at Sony Investor Relations Day 2018 in Tokyo today. Rumours of a PlayStation 5 have been swirling for a while now, but now Sony Interactive Entertainment CEO, John Kodera, has fanned the flames yet further by claiming the PlayStation 4 is coming to the end of its lifespan.
It’s important to frame Kodera’s language within the context of the event. Kodera is speaking to investors regarding the future of the company in terms of multiple years. Having sold through well over 70 million PlayStation 4 already, there’s comparatively less opportunity to sell more going forward. This period of lessened hardware sales is what Kodera is referring to as the console’s final phase. The implication, of course, is that new hardware such as a PlayStation 5 is being prepared to take over.
Following that thread, Kodera would go on to say that between now and March 2021 would be when PlayStation “crouches down” in order to grow in the future. This lends itself to current speculation that a PlayStation 5 console would launch in late 2019 or 2020. If Kodera expects new growth by the end of the 2021 fiscal year, which ends March 2021, a 2020 PS5 launch makes a lot of sense. Console launches are typically quite costly, so growth would occur not the fiscal year of the launch but the fiscal year after instead.
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.
Regarding PlayStation VR, Kodera said that while the platform continues to sell, the growth speed of the market as a whole is lower than predicted. From now on they will aim for healthy growth with a more realistic outlook.
As for Sony Interactive Entertainment’s strategy for fiscal year 2018 (which started on April 1, 2018), the company will enrich and utilize exclusive titles for PlayStation 4, leverage the platform’s install base and active users, and grow and improve recurring revenue (PlayStation Plus, PlayStation Store, PlayStation Now, etc.).
View Sony’s Investor Relations Day 2018 presentation here.