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.
SIE head Kodera: PSVR growing, but industry's growth is below market expectations. PS Vue is facing harder-than-expected competitions. Vue and PSVR would aim for further growth with realistic outlook.
— Takashi Mochizuki (@mochi_wsj) May 22, 2018
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.
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.