(Photo: Omid Armin/Unsplash)The PlayStation 4 has narrowly avoided the chopping block—for now.
The beloved last-gen console was originally planned to be quietly put to bed as the PlayStation 5 took over. But thanks to the global chip shortage and its chokehold on PS5 production (among other things), the PS4 has been granted some unexpected bonus time on the assembly line.
Sources for Bloomberg say Sony announced the decision to its assembly partners late last year. PS4 assembly was originally supposed to end in late 2021, though those plans had never been announced to the public. Because the PS4 uses older chips that face less demand, Sony is able to keep producing it, hoping all the while that it somewhat quenches the public’s thirst for consoles that can manage popular PlayStation titles. Sony intends to produce one million PS4 units this year.
The newer PS5 has been notoriously difficult to track down since its November 2020 debut. If today’s pandemic-era demand for hardware weren’t enough (and it is), scalpers have made it even tougher to secure a PS5 without having to pay sketchy eBay users nearly twice as much as MSRP. Sony last said it expected PS5 shortages to continue well into 2022, but that was in May, and we’re now seven months deeper into a semiconductor shortage that doesn’t show any signs of letting up soon.
The COVID-19 pandemic has also thrown a wrench or two into software development agendas, preventing studios across the industry from producing quality games at the rate they would have otherwise liked to. More than a year has passed since the PS5 hit the market, and one could still argue that the console hasn’t made any exclusive titles into must-haves.
With over 116 million units sold since its launch in 2013, many believe the PS4 is far from the end of its life. “It is one of the best-selling consoles ever and there is always crossover between generations,” Sony told Bloomberg. The older console still provides Sony’s gaming division with a decent amount of support, given its subscription and software sales. The PS4 may not boast the same processing and graphical power the PS5 is capable of, but it’s affordable and continues to offer a pretty solid UI. Plus, you can actually find it on store shelves.