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PS4 enters the end of its life cycle, says Sony

Today during the Sony Corporate Strategy Meeting, PlayStation boss John Kodera said that the PlayStation 4 is entering the end of its life cycle. While this could have a negative impact on Sony's overall gaming division, it probably will not because the revenue from subscription services like PlayStation Plus can help offset any decline in hardware sales, Wall Street Journal reporter Takashi Mochizuki quoted Kodera as saying. It is important to note that Sony will not suspend the PS4 now or in the short term, of course. The system is expected to continue to sell well, as new exclusive games like The Last of Us: Part II, Spider-Man and others come to light.

As the most important context, Kodera was talking to investors and analysts about the health and viability of the PS4 as a platform. Earlier this year, Sony said it expected to sell 16 million PS4 during the year, compared to 19 million for the previous year, so Kodera probably tried to contextualize and explain the slowdown in sales and everything that means. And the wording about the PS4 that enters the end of its life cycle may mean that the system still has many years of viability, only that the console is not going up as fast as it did in relation to sales. And of course, that is expected, given that the system was launched almost half a decade ago.

The PS4 was launched in November 2013, so it makes sense that the console enters the final stages of its life cycle now given the historical trends of consoles. The system sold more than 79 million units for Sony's latest count, which puts it just below the PS3 that reached 80 million units in 2013.

The Sony Game & Network Services segment is expected , which houses the PlayStation business, remains juggernaut for Sony, with PSN hitting 80 million active monthly users (which is 70 million this time last year). In addition, Sony said it will seek to add more PS Plus subscribers in the future, which will help Sony earn more money regularly. On top of that, Sony said it wants to create more first-class exclusives, while also looking to "take advantage of growth opportunities" in the area of ​​"complementary content."

In general, Sony predicted a decline in profits for the games and networks services division for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2021. For that year, Sony expects its games and networks services unit generate between 130,000 and 170,000 million yen in profits, which compares with 190,000 million yen for the current fiscal year.

Interestingly, Kodera also said during the meeting that the period running from now until March 2021 would be a time when the PlayStation will "crouch once" to be higher in the future. However, it is not immediately clear what he meant by this, but there is already speculation that a PlayStation 5 console will arrive. PlayStation executive Shawn Layden recently confirmed that Sony's E3 2018 report will not include any hardware announcements, however.

Also during the event, Kodera said that PlayStation VR as a platform is growing, but not at a level that reaches the projected. That is not the only PlayStation company that is not having the best time, since PlayStation Vue, Sony's television broadcasting service, is facing tough competition that apparently has a negative impact. Kodera said that PlayStation VR and PlayStation Vue can still grow, but not necessarily at the speed they would like to see.

Earlier this year, NPD analyst Matt Piscatella told GamingBolt that the PS4 should have another strong sales year in 2019, although not as good as 2018. He added that the next PlayStation console probably will not launch until 2020 or later.

Sony's E3 2018 report will take place early next month in Los Angeles. We will not hear anything about the new hardware; Sony will focus on four great games during the event.

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