Sony’s PlayStation 4 is entering its ‘final phase’, according to a recent tweet by Wall Street Journal reporter Takashi Mochizuki, citing a talk with PlayStation Chief Tsuyoshi Kodera. But the console’s wind-down may last longer than you think—three years before the next PS console arrives, says Kodera in a recent interview with WSJ.

“We will use the next three years to prepare the next step, to crouch down so that we can jump higher in the future,” Kodera told The Wall Street Journal.

The announcement came shortly after new Sony CEO Kenichiro Yoshida announced a three-year business plan to shift the company’s focus towards content and recurring revenue generators like PS Plus, PS4’s online subscription service.

“Sony PlayStation is our largest ‘community of interest’ with 80 million monthly subscribers on the PlayStation Network,” Sony CEO Kenichiro Yoshida said.

Since PS4’s release in 2013, the console has sold more than 79 million units. That figure includes PlayStation 4 Pro, the console’s hardware overhaul that allows 4K rendering and improves PSVR performance, which launched in November 2016.

Kodera says PSVR sales are growing, although it’s admittedly under Sony’s expectations. Citing official figures released in late 2017, over two million PSVR’s have been sold worldwide since the headset’s release in October 2016.

Kodera told a group of journalists, WSJ included, that Sony is currently looking at ways to better incorporate mobility into the next PlayStation, similar to how Nintendo Switch can play equally as a portable device and at-home console.

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What this means for Sony’s VR strategy, we’re not sure. Considering PSVR already taxes PS4/Pro’s rendering capabilities, a true PSVR 2.0 is likely out of the question before the next console product cycle. But as the lines blur between console and portable however—and inevitably the same shifts are mirrored across mobile VR and ‘tethered’ VR headsets with headsets like Oculus’ Project Santa Cruz poised to redefine mobile VR with its wireless, 6DOF capabilities—Sony’s next big move in the realm of VR may look very different three years from now.

Whatever the case may be, PSVR looks like it will be around for the next three years. As the only console-compatible VR headset on the market, continued growth is mostly assured as both console and headset prices decrease in the long wait for Sony’s next big move.

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  • Luke

    please mr. Takashi Mochizuki consider to make the next gen PSVR compatible with PC (steam), thx

    • David Herrington

      Never going to happen. The fact that you want it on PC means that they are doing a good job, which means there is a possibility that you will buy a PS4 just for PSVR. Making PSVR compatible with PC gaming doesn’t make them any money, only PSVR unit sales.

      • MosBen

        Well, traditionally, at least, console makes made very little money on console sales and made all their money on peripherals and game sales. Granted, the math gets a bit better on console sales over the life of the console, as the costs of production are pushed down a bit, but on the other hand that’s offset somewhat by pressure to lower the price of the console to attract new users.

        Releasing the PSVR on PC which could access a Sony-controlled storefront should be fairly profitable for them.

        • David Herrington

          Why devote so much time and money when they own the whole console ecosystem.

          • MosBen

            There are potentially lots of reasons for Sony not to release the PSVR on PC. But I wasn’t suggesting that they don’t have their reasons. I was just pointing out that the console itself is the least profitable portion of the equation, so there’s no reason to think that releasing the PSVR for PC wouldn’t be profitable, there just might be other reasons that make it not worth bothering with for Sony.

        • Raphael

          Why spend time on an idea that will never happen. Just because you think it’s a good idea… sony are never going to attach a playstation to steamvr. Consoles by definition are walled-gardens.

          • MosBen

            Because it’s the internet and people talk about much more fanciful things than an electronics company releasing an existing product on another platform? As I said in another comment, there are surely reasons why Sony hasn’t released the PSVR for PC, but it’s not because they couldn’t make money doing it.

          • David Herrington

            Of course they could make money on it. I could also go down to the street corner and make money selling lemonaide but I’m not quitting my day job for it because I can’t make as much as my full time job.

            The point is that Sony can use their time and effort making more money doing other things. Like staying in their own ecosystem and keeping as many users in it as possible.

  • Xron

    Sony’s PlayStation 4 is entering its ‘final phase’, according to a recent tweet by Wall Street Journal reporter Takashi Mochizuki.
    He is a reporter that talked with a guy from Sony.
    Well, xbox x uses mid level card from this gen ~480 oc’ed.
    So I suppose Sony will use Nvidia 1260/2060 or some card from Amd after Navis generation.
    The cards should be atleast around gtx 1080ti power, or even better.
    I hope ~gtx 1080ti level video card will be enough for true next gen Hmd.

  • Doctor Bambi

    “Sony is currently looking at ways to better incorporate mobility into the next PlayStation, similar to how Nintendo Switch can play equally as a portable device and at-home console.”, from a VR perspective this worries me a bit. If they go the Switch route it means mobile class compute on the next console. PSVR atm fills an important tier in the VR landscape between PCVR and mobile and I’m not sure they would be able to properly fill that role running on mobile hardware.

    • Dave

      I don’t think the strategy for Sony will change for the next PS/PSVR. It’s pretty simple, the next PS will still produce and render the content and stream to the HMD. The only question is if this will be a teathered connection or not.

      Talk of a Santa Cruz like device from Sony is wild speculation. This is suggesting that the VR strategy from Sony will diverge and produce a new marketplace not based on PS content, although Sony may well still produce a standalone headset I definately don’t see this impacting the delivery of the next generation of PSVR.

  • That’s bad. Very very bad. That means Sony is putting down their VR toy. Waiting 3 years for any possibility of a VR upgrade is basically killing it.

    So forget Sony and VR. Who is next?

    • David Herrington

      Sony was one of the first to develop VR, they have a lot invested in it. They won’t drop it unless it tanks. PSVR holds the majority of the VR market and has by far made the most money.

      HTC and Oculus are solely created for VR and so have to innovate or die while Sony can still make money with regular games. Sony just has to watch them flounder for the next 3 years and then pick out the best parts of each HMD to create a blockbuster PSVR 2.0.

      • I mostly agree. Sony has held the majority. However, they appear very willing now to give that away. I think they are about to be blown away by Oculus.

        The Oculus Go is like a nuclear bomb in VR. Even if it fails, it has made it obvious what is about to happen. VR cannot have a wire. Or a PC. Or a console. Not now. Not after the Oculus Go it can’t.

        There’s no going back now.

        • David Herrington

          I think you misunderstand. Oculus doesn’t have the user-base that Sony has. So it doesn’t matter if Oculus has a better HMD than PSVR. The simple fact is that PSVR will always be cheaper than Oculus because you only need a $300 PS4 instead of a $1300 PC. Because its cheaper and because Sony’s user-base is huge, Sony will always out sell Oculus. PSVR just needs to be almost as good and it will always out sell Oculus.

          • No. I’m not talking about Oculus Rift. I’m talking about Oculus Go.

            Fourteen people will buy a Rift. It has absolutely nothing to do with anything. The Go is the thing.

          • Laurence Nairne

            Go will sell a lot, sure. It’s also a strong media device, it’s great for business (I develop for it for our clients), and it’s obviously hitting the right note being an all-in-one, untethered device. More to the point, I kinda like it.

            That being said, it’s limited (3DoF being the biggest issue), its battery comparatively sucks considering it does a lot less than a phone and yet it drains quicker than probably any Gear VR compatible phone on an equal playing field.

            Conceptually it has changed the game being a complete device, but then you can put Mirage Solo in that camp too (if it wasn’t so damned expensive). I don’t know what the next year holds for this industry, let alone the next three, but I don’t see Sony getting trampled in the dust of some VR revolution when they’re currently in a fairly forward-footed stance.

          • I kind of hope you’re right. I really like the approach Sony has taken, but a 3 year wait has to be seen as worrisome.

          • Laurence Nairne

            I’d say they have at least until 2021 until all of the moving parts that are coming together for VR arrive in a tidy package, so they have time yet to improve their model :)

    • Engineer_92

      David said it right. Sony has no reason to push out a next gen VR until it is something that is truly amazing. Until then, they’ll rake in revenue through PS exclusives and other content. You need to realize that the PS4 is a console first platform not solely focused on VR

  • Lucidfeuer

    Hopefully, fake news. This doesn’t make strategical sense at all and would be beyond stupid.

    • David Herrington

      Doesn’t make sense? Microsoft isn’t really as big of a competitor with a lack of exclusive games, and Nintendo has just begun to come back into the console scene with the Switch, which you might say isn’t a contender in the same category as the PlayStation with it being less powerful and a portable. (I own both PS4 and Switch and love them both)

      This means that, effectively, Sony has no real console competition to push them to release new hardware. Sony owns the majority of console gamers and now just has to sit back and watch the money roll in.

      Waiting a year or two more also gives them time to build a truly stunning PS5 powerhouse and unique PSVR 2.0.

      What part of this doesn’t make sense other than the fact that we don’t want to wait 3 years?

      • Lucidfeuer

        Ahah, I actually meant the opposite: 3 years is TOO early.

        You said some of the reasons why and there are way more, in fact the PS4 has all the opportunities on not relying on the 10 years cycle (2021 would only be 8 years) and keep on further upgrading, refining and innovating on the PS4 platform.

        Personally I don’t give a single ish about the PS5, I don’t want one, won’t buy one, the console format is soon going to be obsolete. However, what Sony clearly needs for the future it to get their damn platform in order to compete with PC platforms (Steam, Uplay, Origin, Gog, Battle.net etc…) and have a fully backward compatible playstation platform.

        Then they need to get-up to today’s standard of a media box (not having an ultra bluray reader make the PS4 Pro a no-go) and if ever they had that much ambition (or strategic insight) they would invest way more into making PSVR the standard VR gaming/cinema platform.

        • David Herrington

          Compete with PC platforms…
          https://newzoo.com/insights/rankings/top-25-companies-game-revenues/

          I’m unsure about how Origin or Battle.net does on a regular basis but Sony is a king of game sales.

          • Kev

            That is just plain false. PC games did $32.6 Billion in sales last year, The entire PS4 game list combined did a total of $11B. All console games combined did just slightly more than pc at ~$33B. League of Legends, World of Tanks, MMO’s and others do a massive business. The “true” king if there is one is mobile games which is $50B/yr.

          • David Herrington

            So what you are saying is that Sony pulls in 1/3 the total equivalent of ALL sales that happen on PC… which is crazy high. I’m guessing that Steam also pulls in about as much as Sony as well. They are both great platforms and neither want to push into each others zones aside from stealing people into their own ecosystems.

            Mobile gaming doesn’t affect PC or Console gaming and shouldn’t really be included. No one has said, “I’m going to buy this $1 game on iOS so I can’t afford God of War on PS4.”

          • Kev

            Your assertion was Sony is king of game sales. Just not true almost no matter how you run the numbers. Also you really think mobile gaming got to $50B+ per year $1 at a time? The average aggregate per title is like 5x that and they get it multiple years per person.

          • Anonymiiss

            I’ve never heard of Tencent until now :o

        • Raphael

          “Ahah, I actually meant the opposite: 3 years is TOO early.” <<< Once again we see your perfect business insight (not emotion driven at all lol) versus the tiny collective mind of sony. I have contacted sony and showed them your posts here in the hope that they might realise their business strategy is idiotic while yours is clearly superior. I think bedroom potato experts such as yourself should be hired by tech giants like sony.

          • Lucidfeuer

            I’m already locally in contact with Sony but thanks, I’m not searching for a job although I’d like to produce on the PSVR platform. It seems you’re the one emotionally driven, flappy.

          • Raphael

            I punch your cartoon head. PS4 does or doesn’t use x86 processor? I forget. I only read the spec prior to its launch.

    • PhyllisHGarcia

      Get paid up to $5212 by working with Citizens Financial Group
      online okno.uk/r/38Dtn

  • brandon9271

    I didn’t care about PS4 and I doubt I’ll care about PS5. I’d love to be wrong but I doubt it. The best multi platform games come to PC and are better than their console counterparts and the few exclusives are usually graphically updated sequels or HD remakes.

    …meh

    • Raphael

      Yes but u are missing the point. Having a major console developer bring VR to a console is good for the VR industry. It also makes the likes of nintendo look like dinosaurs with their boring safe bollocks. I’ve always detested consoles but I can appreciate the good thing sony did in creating PSVR. It’s also a showcase for affordable platform and affordable VR hardware. While scummy companies like intel have been pushing up the cost of their processors over the years and Nvidia likewise with their GPUs… Sony demonstrate how it’s possible to create mobile-beating VR and make it affordable.

      Although I don’t like consoles… for the first time in decades I might buy a PS4 and PSVR alongside my PC VR.

      “and the few exclusives are usually graphically updated sequels or HD remakes.” << absolute nonsense. PSVR has a growing list of original exclusives.

      "The best multi platform games come to PC and are better than their console counterparts" << this just reads like kiddy fanboy bollocks. I'm a PC VR user and sentences like that are an embarrassment.

      • brandon9271

        If you read what i said in the context of general console gaming and not VR then it would make sense. When I say multi platform games are better on PC I’m talking about non VRVR gam like GTA or Skyrim and when I mention exclusives being sequel or HD updates I’m talking about stuff like Halo, Drake’s Fortune, Metal Gear Solid… Etc. In the context of VR you may well be right but I’ve largely ignore PSVR because the $700-800 Investment for everything needed would be better spend of PC VR in my opinion.

  • MosBen

    3 years sounds about right, though it will be interesting if they go for a full-on PS5 or if they go for another upgrade, a la the PS4 Pro/XBox 1X. It certainly sounds like they want to end up with something like the Switch, but for a company that has marketed their brand so heavily on having powerful hardware that seems like an odd way to go to me.

  • WyrdestGeek

    “Final phase of lifecycle”, but next console not for three years…

    Huh. One assumes that one or the other of those two assertions will get “walked back” in the next few days. It’s just kinda not a good look.

  • I don’t think they can keep this PSVR for 3 more years. It would fall behind all other VR headsets out there…