Sony has announced that it will retire its video game console, PlayStation 4 (PS4), with the intent of focusing on subscription and online services. In 2013, the company first launched PS4 and now intends to concentrate on online subscriptions and offerings. Sony management divulged that profitability is the motive behind the company’s decision.
During the conglomerate’s yearly Investor Relations Day held early this week, PlayStation executive John Kodera confirmed the news that, indeed, the popular game console’s swan song is nearing. Kodera pointed to sluggish hardware sales which are expected to carry on within the year as the primary reason behind the company’s decision.
Since its launch 5 years ago, nearly 80 million PS4s were sold. However, in recent years, from 19 million units, sales spiraled down to only 16 million in 2017. Kodera explained that this is normal for the life cycle of video game consoles. However, he assured that this maneuver is merely a company strategy to fine-tune its marketing and sales ploy for the coming years ahead.
Sony will focus on increasing its revenue from its subscription and online services which include those which require membership as well as the PlayStation Vue (PS Vue). Other services which the company is looking to develop is the PS Plus subscription service which is riding high with a 60 percent growth since 2016.
Kodera affirmed that the PS Vue streaming service is still to be settled though, keeping in mind the dominance of multi-billion dollar streaming services like Netflix. Nevertheless, he noted that Sony is looking at the situation as a case study to get more insights about the users’ streaming habits and will, hence, use this knowledge to develop its online offerings.
PS Vue is one of Sony’s Internet services. Launched in 2015, it is structured as a multi-channel video programming platform. With the rise in the population of cord-cutters, PS Vue delights users because they also do not have to possess a satellite TV provider nor a cable subscription.
In addition, PS Vue users can relish services like video-on-demand and cloud-based DVR for streaming TV programs, sports, and movies. They can access these services using a PlayStation console.
Other compatible devices include digital media players (such as the Roku player, Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV, and Android TV), applications and mobile and tablet devices (like the iOS, Android, Google Chromecast, and Amazon), and smart TVs. With the PS4 retiring soon, Sony’s subscription and online services are good reasons streaming fans do not need to mope.