Black Boxes not ready to vanish just yet
While we are well over one year into the lifespan of Sony’s powerful “new” hardware, PlayStation 5, the console remains hard to come by. Component shortages, scalper problems, and a slower manufacturing process — all of which were, in their own ways, facilitated by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic — have left many customers sans shiny white boxes as the gaming industry rolls into 2022.
As such, it is being reported that Sony Interactive Entertainment is planning to increase the lifespan of its eighth generation hardware, PlayStation 4. According to sources at Bloomberg, SIE is backtracking on its originally scheduled plan to bring PS4 production to a halt in early 2022, and will now continue to produce its might black box, with an estimated one million brand new PS4 consoles set to roll out of the manufacturer over the course of 2022.
Of course, this is not an entirely shocking prospect. After all, Sony was producing PS3 hardware for years into the lifecycle of the PS4. But given that SIE was pretty confident it could start pumping the brakes on PS4 production in 2021, the possibility that it will actually accelerate production into this new year certainly comes across as something of an “emergency backup plan.”
It should also be noted that keeping a steady production line rolling — even if producing last gen’s hardware — keeps Sony in the good books of its employees, shareholders, and manufacturing partners. The PS4 still has life left in it, thanks to its expansive back catalog of fantastic releases, and the incoming arrival of brand new titles such as Horizon Forbidden West and God of War: Ragnarok — games which many predicted would be PS5 exclusive.
PlayStation 4 has certainly proved itself to be a real trooper of the PlayStation timeline. Originally released in the fall of 2013, the PS4 has — to date — had an almost unheard-of eight-year lifespan, during which it has shipped the best part of 120 million units, while also attracting millions of new subscribers to the PlayStation Plus service. When all is said and done, it would not be surprising if PS4 eventually turns out to be PlayStation’s single most lucrative and successful hardware of all time.