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Still Looking for a PS5? Sony’s Got a Solution: More PS4s?

The strategy would add about a million PS4 units this year.

Sony calling on the PS4

PlayStation 5s continue to feel like a myth in gaming. Released in November 2020, the console is still difficult to track down due to chip shortages that many hope will be more manageable this year. Until that day comes, Sony has come up with an interesting alternative, and by interesting I mean, “Huh, that’s … an idea, I guess?”

In an effort to combat the PS5 shortage, Sony has decided to produce more PS4s.

Sony’s … plan?

“The strategy would add about a million PS4 units this year to help offset some of the pressure on the company’s PS5 production, a figure that will be adjusted in response to demand,” is what sources told Bloomberg. Bloomberg also reports that Sony technically never officially stated when productions of PS4s would stop, but unnamed sources told them that the original plan was to discontinue assembly in 2021.

A Sony spokesperson negated that statement, saying that the company had not planned to stop making the console. “It is one of the best-selling consoles ever and there is always crossover between generations,” is what Bloomberg reports being said.

It did seem like ending production completely in 2021 was jumping the gun as the PS5 was just released in 2020. For reference, the PS3 stopped production in 2016 (North America) and 2017 (Japan) despite the PS4 being released in 2013 (North America) and 2014 (Japan). The PS2 didn’t stop production until 2013, lasting up to the release year of the PS4!

Then again, the PS2 was an absolute beast.

So no, it doesn’t sound like they had plans to stop production altogether, but I don’t think they planned on increasing it, either, especially in an attempt to make up for PS5s being so scarce after a year and some change. Console popularity is to be expected at launch, but it tends to reach a point where it doesn’t feel like you have to activate a prayer circle to be able to get what you want at its retail price (since, you know, there are marked up PS5s you can buy for a ridiculous amount of money – please don’t do this).

The PlayStation unit is grappling with a series of unanticipated challenges, including a slower-than-expected PS5 production pace and online scalpers choking off retail supply of the newer console. Extending PS4 availability is seen within the company as a means to fill the supply vacuum and keep gamers within the PlayStation ecosystem, according to a Sony official who is not authorized to speak publicly.

Is this actually a good idea?

I get the logic of giving PlayStation hopefuls something, especially with big games like God of War Ragnarok and Horizon Forbidden West being available on PS4 as well as PS5, but I’m just not sure if this will be worth it in the long run since the entire point is to, eventually, move on to the next-gen console. As pointed out over at Kotaku, “Gamers who want a PS5 but purchase a PS4 now as a compromise will always be at the mercy of whether or not Sony decides to release a new title for both consoles. Currently, the games that haven’t been released for cross-platform include Demon Souls, Returnal, Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart, and Final Fantasy VII Remake: Intergrade.”

I share the same concerns. Because if this is indeed the year where more PS5s can be produced, then Sony’s gonna look at the PS4 and go, “I don’t know her.” Not right away, of course, but there will be fewer releases on PS4.

Now if they were making it so PS5 games could be played on the PS4 then this would be a different conversation, as this comment from on that Kotaku article points out:

PS5 Kotaku comment

While I adore my PS4 and its gaming library if you’re wanting the next Sony console to get what’s coming in the future, then I’m not sure how long the PS4 is gonna help you out there. All companies stray away from the past gen console at some point, so I can’t imagine there being a lot of new PS4 titles coming down the pipeline after the likes of God of War and Horizon – and even then there will be a push to get you pumped for the PS5 version since it’s the newer one.

I feel like the people who will benefit from this news are people who genuinely just want a PS4 and aren’t in a rush to get a PS5. As I said, there are plenty of games to be excited about with the PS4, but the folks who are ready to get the next thing aren’t gonna be interested (or already have a PS4).

At the same time, as Bloomberg reports, gaming is Sony’s biggest source of revenue, so I get that they want to do something. And, let’s be honest, despite the initial “huh” of it all, I’m sure they will sell those PS4s.

They’ll just also have to deal with everyone who wants a PS5 going, “How does that actually help me?”

(Image: Sunrise/Sony)

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Briana (she/her - bisexual) is trying her best to cosplay as a responsible adult. Her writing tends to focus on the importance of representation, whether it’s through her multiple book series or the pieces she writes. After de-transforming from her magical girl state, she indulges in an ever-growing pile of manga, marathons too much anime, and dedicates an embarrassing amount of time to her Animal Crossing pumpkin patch (it's Halloween forever, deal with it Nook)