Posted on Jan. 12, 2022, 1:38 p.m.Updated Jan 12, 2022, 2:07 PM
Sony had to ease off the production of PlayStation 4, he changed his mind. Faced with the supply problems of its replacement, the PlayStation 5, the Japanese group has decided to put a boost on the production lines of PS4. According to the Bloomberg agency based on internal sources, it plans 1 million additional units of its old console.
The objective of the maneuver, according to an official interviewed by the agency, is “to fill the supply vacuum and keep players within the PlayStation ecosystem”. Sony would have, at the end of last year, informed its suppliers that it intended to extend the production of the PS4 until the end of 2022. The group has never officially announced an end date for its console but, always according to the agency, he would have planned to interrupt the assembly at the end of 2021. Part postponed, therefore.
Success marred by the Covid
In January 2021, Sony announced the discontinuation of four variants of its PS4, while deciding to keep one model (the Jet Black 500 Go) in the catalog. Even if there is always a “cross between the generations”, recalls Sony to Bloomberg, the ambition displayed by Jim Ryan, the head of PlayStation, was to make a “rapid transition”.
Launched on November 12, 2020, the PS5 faced the Covid pandemic head-on. And in particular, the shortage of semiconductors, which has caused significant delivery delays. Still, the next-gen console had the best start in Sony history. It passed the 10 million units mark in mid-July 2021, a month before its predecessor.
VIDEO. Semiconductor shortage: why manufacturing delays are piling up
Shortage that lasts
More than a year after its launch, the supply chain is still out of order and Sony has reduced its targets from 16 to 14.8 million units produced in 2021. The group’s chief financial officer, Hiroki Totoki, had warned shareholders : “The shortage of components is expected to last until the end of 2022. To try to save the beautiful commercial dynamics – breathless since – and not to frustrate the customers too much, Sony even, for a time, considered to remodel its console.
Can the PS4 keep sales afloat? According to an internal source interviewed by Bloomberg, it will at least have the merit of giving Sony “more leeway with suppliers during negotiations.” On the commercial level, the bet seems daring. As “Numerama” recalls, PS4 sales have already severely eroded, from 1 million units sold in the fourth quarter of 2020, to 500,000 in the first quarter of 2021 and then 200,000 over the following three months.
In order to support PS4 sales in 2022, Sony may be able to count on the next flagship releases from its PlayStation studios. “Horizon Forbidden West”, “Gran Turismo 7” and “God of War Ragnarok” are all planned on this machine.
The PS4 is the second best-selling home console in history with 116.6 million copies. If, by chance, its production were to extend to 2023, it would reach the symbolic milestone of ten years of longevity. It is, however, less than the PS2, the best-selling console in history with 155 million units, which will have remained in the catalog for thirteen years.
Last October, Sony raised its annual net profit targets to 730 billion yen (5.5 billion euros), from 700 billion in August, counting on the good performance of cinema, music and sensors of picture. On the other hand, he remained cautious on games because of the shortage of chips and a possible decline in the “home lifestyle” linked to the pandemic.