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PlayStation 4 is in 'final phase' of its life, says Sony – offering clues for PS5 release date

Andrew Griffin
Attendee Kristen Sarah uses Sony's Playstation VR at the Sony booth during CES 2018 at the Las Vegas Convention Center on January 9, 2018 in Las Vegas, Nevada: David Becker/Getty Images

The PlayStation 4 is nearing the end of its life, says Sony. But that doesn't mean that PS5 is about to arrive.

New CEO John Kodera has said that the console is entering the "final phase" of its life.

But that doesn't mean that the old console will be dying, or that features will be tailed off. In fact, it might only mean that games are getting more advanced and that the console is mature.

It doesn't mean that the PS5 is right around the corner, either. Mr Kodera said that the company would be using "the next three years to prepare the next step, to crouch down so that we can jump higher in the future".

That is probably a suggestion that the new console will come in 2021, or soon after.

In the meantime, Sony will probably keep looking to make money from the sales of games. It will also focus on making money from services like its PlayStation Plus programme, with Mr Kodera remarking that we are "no longer in a time when you can think just about the console or just about the network like they’re two different things".

Sony has sold more than 75 million consoles in the five years since it was released. But the amount sold has been dropping: last year, it felt from 20 million units to 19 million.

At the same time, it has been looking to release more hardware that is additional to the PlayStation, not an entirely new generation. It has released the PS4 Slim, the much more powerful PS4 Pro, and an entire virtual reality rig that relies on the PlayStation in the PS VR.