In a financial call yesterday, Sony told investors that no first-party games will be released on the PlayStation 4 in 2025, showing Sony is finally preparing to leave its legacy platform entirely and switch fully over to the PS5. But there are a few barriers to a more aggressive transition to the next gen. Namely, the number of people who are still buying games on the PS4.
Sony has high hopes for the PlayStation 5, and the numbers back up that confidence. According to the cited survey, more people have expressed interest in the PS5 a year after launch compared to the PS4, and the newest console sold faster than its predecessor. Overall retention, play hours, and transactions are higher on the PS5. So it makes a lot of financial sense for Sony to make an aggressive push to consolidate on the newer console.
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However, the financial report also shows that PS4 is still the main platform that drives PlayStation revenue. 65% of its PlayStation Store revenue comes from the PS4, and 69% of PlayStation Plus subscribers are still on the PS4. So if you're planning to stay in the PS4 ecosystem, you've got at least a couple of years to figure out how to score a PS5. Games will still be cross-platform throughout this fiscal year. (Psst. If you're seeking a PS5, we can help.)
Sony acknowledges that the PlayStation 5 rollout is still being plagued by supply issues, which is the main reason why its 2021 earnings fell short of its internal estimates. The coronavirus pandemic is still impacting the availability of parts, especially the current crisis in Shanghai. The sanctions against Russia over its war in Ukraine also negatively impact PS5 logistics and production. This March, Sony halted digital sales of PlayStation games in Russia.
Whether or not supply can keep up with demand, third-party developers are starting to move on to the next gen. Warner Bros. Montreal recently canceled the PS4 version of Gotham Knights. The developers behind Metal: Hellsinger and The Chant also canned planned PS4 versions.
Despite all the production and logistical challenges, Sony expects to sell more PS5s than PS4s in 2024.