Console life cycles have traditionally been about six years from one to the next (with the PS3 and PS4 each extending to seven years), but the upcoming PS5 life cycle may be the shortest console generation yet. According to a report by Digitimes, sources from Sony’s back-end supply chain in Taiwan are making the new five-year PS5 life claims, while also estimating between 120-170 million consoles shipped in that period. That’s an enormous number, as after just over six years, Sony recently reported 110 million PS4 consoles sold.
The report says that estimates are expected to double lifetime shipments of Microsoft’s Xbox Series X in that same period, which makes sense as Microsoft shifts from a console-focused approach to buoying support for its myriad services and subscriptions. If this report proves true, that means the PlayStation 6 could launch as soon as holiday 2025, though any number of things over the next five years could push that launch date, even if that’s currently Sony’s aim.
Such high sales/shipment projections seem to hint that Sony isn’t going to prohibitively price the PS5. This comes after some concern that the custom architectured SSD and other premium computing features in the PS5 console would drive up the consumer cost for the next-gen console. Sony’s comments regarding the PS5 price point up until now have prepared fans for a premium price to match. However, these enormous sales projections could hint at a more accessible point of entry. It’s important to note that projections and reports don’t account for the difference between the standard PS5 with the disc drive and the all-digital version, which could be a key piece of Sony’s strategy for pricing and demand.
The increased estimates in a shorter period of time track with recent reports that Sony was ramping up initial production of the PS5 to meet increased launch demand, another hint that the price may be more affordable than initially thought. Sony hasn’t made any indication of when it plans to reveal the PS5 price, but a rumored State of Play on August 6th may offer additional details about the console. The company promises it will make an announcement in advance of PS5 preorders going live, so eager fans will be able to plan their purchase of the next-gen console. Recently datamined information from Sony’s direct purchase website indicates that PS5 purchases may be limited to one per user to help prevent scalpers from eating up launch inventory and marking up the price on resale.
What do you think about the potential of a shorter console life cycle next-gen? Do you want Sony to move on from the PS5 after just five years, or would you prefer them try to stretch it out to the traditional six to seven year console life cycle we’ve seen up until now?