Sony Interactive Entertainment president and chief executive officer John Tsuyoshi Kodera noted in an investor relations call today that the PlayStation 4 is entering the final phase of its life cycle, via Japanese gaming news site Siliconera.
So, what does that mean? We’ve reached out to Sony for comment and will update this story if we hear back from them. But don’t think this means we’re going to see a PlayStation 5 soon. Throughout the year, rumors have circulated that we could see Sony’s next console as early as this year. We find that unlikely.
The PlayStation 4 has shipped just under 80 million systems since launching in 2013. It has been a giant hit for Sony and continues to sell well. There’s no reason to reset and lose that install base.
“Final phase” is vague. Kodera could be saying that we’re in the last third of the PlayStation 4’s life cycle. A PlayStation 5 in 2020 makes a lot more sense than one in late 2018, especially with giant exclusives like Insomniac’s Spider-Man and Naughty Dog’s The Last of Us Part II still on the way.
That’s unless a PlayStation 5 defies expectations. Sony already released the PlayStation 4 Pro in 2016, an enhanced version of the console that supported games in 4K and gave them better performance. If a PlayStation 5 was another iterative system that still played all PlayStation 4 games — and even made them look better — it’s a little easier to see one coming sooner.
But don’t jump to any conclusions because of Kodera’s comment. He did not confirm the PlayStation 5.