While the PS4 is slated to hit 100 million units sold, Sony has admitted that sales of the console have been slowing down. In its quarter earnings report the company stated it sold 8.1 million PS4s during the holiday season of October to December. This was lower than the 2017 PS4 holiday sales of nine million. Sony claimed this is “in-line with our expectations for this sixth year of the platform.” Nonetheless, the PlayStation Plus subscription service continues to grow, with 36.3 million subscribers by the end of December, a 15 percent jump over the year prior.
“Although we need to be conscious of potential volatility in profitability due to the console cycle going forward, we are working to mitigate that volatility by leveraging the more-than 91.6 million unit cumulative install base of PS4 to benefit from the new business model created by network services and add-on content sales,” Sony CFO Hiroki Totoki said in a prepared statement.
That said, we won’t be surprised to see a PS5 soon enough. Previously, PlayStation boss John Kodera said (as per The Wall Street Journal’s Takashi Mochizuki’s translation) that the “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”.
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. This is presumably taking into account a PS5 launch in 2020.
NPD analyst Mat Piscatella have made similar claims. He stated that Sony’s PS4 and PS4 Pro successor isn’t due till 2020.
“2020 is what I have in my forecast. The data suggest there’s no need to do it earlier. But I’ve been surprised before so I’m as interested in this as anyone,” Piscatella said in conversation with Gamingbolt