While we were all thinking it, Sony Interactive Entertainment CEO John Kodera has actually said it: the PS4 is nearing the end of its life. When that life will end isn't clear, but the Grim Reaper is circling and the PS5 is preparing to make an entrance.
Speaking at Sony IR Day 2018, an event at which Sony shares its short-and-mid-term plans to investors (covered on Twitter by The Wall Street Journal tech reporter Takashi Mochizuki), Kodera effectively got us ready for the PS4 entering its swansong years.
According to Takashi Mochizuki, Kodera told investors that the PS4 is entering the final phase of its life cycle, and this would have a negative impact on the firm. Revenue from membership services (such as PlayStation Plus) would cushion some of that.
SIE head Kodera told analysts and investors that the period until March 2021 would be when PlayStation to "crouch down once" to grow further in the future.Takashi Mochizuki (@mochi_wsj) May 22, 2018
SIE chief Kodera: Beefing up first-party titles wouldn't just mean more new IPs. Strategy includes franchising successful IPs and refreshing existing IPs.Takashi Mochizuki (@mochi_wsj) May 22, 2018
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.Takashi Mochizuki (@mochi_wsj) May 22, 2018
SIE chief Kodera: You can expect more exclusive titles for PS platforms!Takashi Mochizuki (@mochi_wsj) May 22, 2018
This doesn't necessarily mean the PS4 is being phased out soon, so don't start expecting a PS5 announcement at E3 in June. Kodera added that you can expect more exclusive titles for PS platforms and that Sony is beefing up its first-party support. The firm plans to do this by working on new IPs, franchising successful IPs, and refreshing existing IPs. This all sounds promising for the PS5 (and PS VR).
The PlayStation 4 turns five years old this November, and only has two more to go after that to match the life (as the main console) of the PS3. Find out everything there is to know about Sony's next console in our PS5 Everything we Know guide.