News

Did a Sony Exec Say PlayStation 5 Is Entering the 'Latter Stage of Its Lifecycle'?

According to news reports, the console fell short of its expected sales for the financial year.

Published Feb. 14, 2024

 (SOPA Images / Getty Images)
Image Via SOPA Images / Getty Images

When Sony released its end-of-the-quarter figures on Feb. 14, 2024, the video game industry took notice. The company, known for its PlayStation consoles, had kept quiet about the future of its current flagship, the PS5, which launched in November 2020. But with rumors swirling about future releases from Sony's two main competitors, Microsoft and Nintendo, gamers were curious about the future of the PS5.

According to a news report first published in Bloomberg, even Sony executives had started to see the writing on the wall for the console, with senior vice president Naomi Matsuoka saying that "looking ahead, PS5 will enter the latter stage of its lifecycle."

While the PlayStation 5 is still the top-of-the-line in terms of video game consoles (in fact, Microsoft's recent business strategies might suggest Sony is close to winning the console war), Matsuoka's comment came in the wake of a rather large overprediction in sales.

In its report, the company announced that it was lowering its original goal of 25 million console sales in the fiscal year to 21 million after lower-than-expected numbers during the all-important holiday season. But that announcement isn't the only reason it's likely going to be a quiet year for Sony. The company also announced it would not release any games in existing first-party franchises until after April 2025. 

So does that mean the PlayStation 6 is coming soon? Probably not. If the rumors about new Microsoft and Nintendo products in late 2024 are true, Sony might be forced to release something in response. But if the products turn out to be updated versions of the current hardware — the Xbox Series X/S and the Nintendo Switch line — then a smaller upgrade (like the recently released PS5 Slim) might hold the company over until it's time for the next generation of consoles. 

Sources

Kafka, Peter. "Here's Why Microsoft Is Going to Let You Play Xbox Games on Rival Consoles." Business Insider, https://www.businessinsider.com/microsoft-xbox-games-other-consoles-why-playstation-switch-2024-2. Accessed 14 Feb. 2024.
Kharpal, Arjun. "Nintendo Is Expected to Launch the 'Switch 2' Console This Year. Here's What to Expect." CNBC, 7 Jan. 2024, https://www.cnbc.com/2024/01/08/nintendo-switch-2-console-coming-in-2024-analysts-say.html.
---. "Sony Cuts PlayStation 5 Sales Forecast to 21 Million Units after Posting Record Revenue." CNBC, 14 Feb. 2024, https://www.cnbc.com/2024/02/14/sony-posts-record-quarterly-revenue-on-playstation-sales-boost.html.
Nussey, Sam. "Sony Slashes PS5 Sales Target, Plans 2025 IPO for Financial Unit." Reuters, 14 Feb. 2024. www.reuters.com, https://www.reuters.com/technology/sony-profit-falls-15-april-december-period-2024-02-14/.
"PlayStation 5 Launches in November, Starting at $399 for PS5 Digital Edition and $499 for PS5 with Ultra HD Blu-Ray Disc Drive." PlayStation.Blog, 16 Sept. 2020, https://blog.playstation.com/2020/09/16/playstation-5-launches-in-november-starting-at-399-for-ps5-digital-edition-and-499-for-ps5-with-ultra-hd-blu-ray-disc-drive/.
Porter, Jon. "Sony Misses PS5 Sales Target as Console Enters 'Latter Stage of Its Life Cycle.'" The Verge, 14 Feb. 2024, https://www.theverge.com/2024/2/14/24072692/sony-ps5-forecast-cut-q3-2023-earnings.
Shirey, J. Brodie. "Rumor: Next Xbox Console Could Be Coming Sooner Than Expected." Game Rant, 15 Dec. 2023, https://gamerant.com/next-xbox-console-release-window-2026-rumor/.
"Sony Plans Financial Unit IPO in 2025 After PS5 Sales Underwhelm." Bloomberg.Com, 14 Feb. 2024. www.bloomberg.com, https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2024-02-14/sony-lowers-sales-outlook-after-underwhelming-ps5-sales.
Welsh, Oli. "PlayStation Won't Release Any Major First-Party Games before March 2025." Polygon, 14 Feb. 2024, https://www.polygon.com/24072730/no-new-ps5-games-exclusives-2024-release.
Yin-Poole, Wesley. "PS5 Entering 'The Latter Stage of Its Life Cycle', Sony Says." IGN, 14 Feb. 2024, https://www.ign.com/articles/ps5-entering-the-latter-stage-of-its-life-cycle-sony-says.

Jack Izzo is a Chicago-based journalist and two-time "Jeopardy!" alumnus.