After breaking sales records across over the last seven years, it looks like Sony’s PlayStation 4 could be reaching the end of its life soon. Sony appears to have ended production of almost every model of PS4, leaving just the basic 500GB slim console to carry on the name.
Rumors of the PS4’s end-of-life status started at the weekend, when a Twitter user in Japan shared an image from an electronics store. The image showed a shelf full of PlayStation hardware products with an important announcement to the customers displayed prominently at the top left:
“Dear customers: due to the manufacturer ending production, the following products will not be restocked.”
・PS4 500GB Glacier White
・PS4 1TB Jet Black
・PS4 1TB Glacier White
・PS4 2TB Jet Black
・PS4 Pro 1TB Glacier White pic.twitter.com/nub3lxcJGX
— Cheesemeister (@Cheesemeister3k) January 3, 2021
As translated in part by “Cheesemeister”, the announcement states:
“Dear customers: Due to the manufacturer ending production, the following products will not be restocked. Please be aware in advance.”
The note then lists five different types of PS4 available in the Japanese market, including the Japan-only 2TB console. That accounts for all but one of the console forms you can buy in the country, with the exception being the 500GB Slim in black — which you’ll see is on sale for roughly $240.
Following this, Sony updated the Japan version of the PlayStation website. If you click through the PS4 products on the website, the only listed product now is the same 500GB Slim, with all other PS4 and PS4 Pro models removed.
At the moment this only applies to Japan, but if Sony has ended production of these consoles, as suggested, it’s only a matter of time before this extends to other territories. Sony no doubt requires further production capacity for the PlayStation 5, for which demand is far outstripping supply, and discontinuing older consoles — especially the PS4 Pro, which sits at the same $399 price point as the Digital Edition PS5 — will facilitate this.
It’s a similar situation that Microsoft encountered last year. Then Microsoft ended production of all but the Xbox One S ahead of the Xbox Series S/X launch, calling time on the Xbox One X after just 30 months. Sony’s PS4 Pro, it seems, has endured a similar fate after four years on sale.
Of course the 500GB PS4 could persist for years yet. The previous generations of PlayStation all survived for over 10 years, and the PS4 has only just passed seven. Even so, with 114m units sold, it probably won’t pass the PS2’s 155m lifetime sales.