Apparently, Sony can’t seem to keep up with the demand for PlayStation 5 consoles and wants gamers to buy PlayStation 4 consoles instead. Sony has denied that it told manufacturers it planned to “discontinue [PS4] assembly at the end of 2021” and will now continue to make new PS4s for the retail market this year.
How can Sony make one console but not another? Well, it comes down to hardware in the face of an ongoing (and worsening) global chip shortage. According to Sony, “the older console uses less advanced chips, is simpler to make and provides a budget-friendly alternative to the PS5.”
The strategy — It appears Sony is encouraging gamers to buy a nearly decade-old console because it’s cheaper. But that isn’t much of an upside, considering the PS4 still costs $300 compared to the PS5’s $500. It’s a bizarre sales strategy disguised as a solution, but perhaps Sony genuinely believes its hands are tied.
The company wants to continue to make money, surely, so it makes sense that a business dependent on console sales — with no consoles to sell — would then pivot and tell gamers to buy its older consoles. This decision was intended to “fill the supply vacuum,” according to a Sony employee. But the demand for the 2013 console has understandably plateaued.
This whole situation is a Band-Aid over a headache, as the PS4 doesn’t satisfy the consumer demand for ray tracing in games, PS5-exclusive titles or access to a superior 4k gaming experience.
PS4 FOMO — This news does not come with extra promises, like PS5 exclusives being adapted for the PS4. So if you’re buying a PS4, all you’re really getting is access to the Sony titles made for an early 2010s console. There are still some great games on it, though, so if you’ve missed out on Ghost of Tsushima or Bloodborne, now’s your chance.