Not to be morbid about console lifecycles, but it’s a good question to ask “When will the PS4 be discontinued?” With the PS5 and Xbox Series X|S consoles largely considered to be in the current console generation, the PS4 and all the eighth-generation consoles along with it are becoming less and less relevant. It will be of course at least a handful of years before we see the PS4 experience what the PS3 is currently going through with support ending, but new console owners are still curious whether how long the PS4 will be viable given the difficulty of claiming a PS5.
When will PS4 be discontinued?
We speculate that the PS4 will be discontinued in 2025 at the earliest. This might come as a surprise given the lifespan of the PS2 and the PS3. The PS2 first launched in Japan on March 4, 2000 and was discontinued worldwide on January 4, 2013, giving it about a 13-year lifespan. The PS3 launched in Japan on November 11, 2006 and was discontinued at the latest in May 29, 2017 in Japan, giving it only an 11-year lifespan. With the PlayStation console lifespan seemingly trending downward, why then do we think that the PS4, which first launched on November 15, 2013 in North America, will have a 12-year lifespan or longer?
First and foremost, Sony plans to phase out first-party games on the PS4 by fiscal year 2025, according to the Sony Business Segment Briefings 2022 presentation. On page 34, a slide entitled “Evolving Shape of First-Party Portfolio,” the chart indicates that the publisher wants its first-party catalog to only consist of PC, mobile, and PS5 games by 2025 at the latest. In the next three years, we will likely see other major publishers follow suit in not making new games for the PS4, though given the prominence of live-service titles, there will likely be content, patches, and DLC for PS4 games.
While Sony could discontinue the PS4 sooner than 2025, we believe that the covid-19 pandemic, the chip shortage, and by extension the PS5 console shortage — with predictions that it will head into 2024 — will continue to extend the lifespan of the platform. We are beginning to see some games let go of their last-gen versions, like Gotham Knights and Test Drive: Unlimited, but until we see games that want to reach the widest userbase possible like FIFA and Call of Duty not have a last-gen version, the PS4 will continue to hang on.
When will PS4 support end?
— Ask PlayStation JP (@AskPS_JP) February 28, 2022
If we define “support” as after-care support, then the PS4 will likely still have support until 2028, conservatively. Sony Japan only ended after-care support of the PS3 in April 2022 (as noted in the tweet above), about five years after the console was discontinued, so we expect that PS4 support will still be available for quite a long time. As for the PlayStation Store on PS4, that’s harder to guess. Sony had planned to cease operations for the PS Store on PS3 and Vita, but changed its mind in April 2021.
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