PS5 Reveal Caused PS4 Sales To Fall Below Sony's Expectations

The PlayStation 5 is coming.

96 Comments

While there's still plenty of life left in the current generation of gaming consoles, there's mounting excitement for next-gen consoles. As part of its latest earnings report, Sony announced this week that PlayStation 4 shipments have climbed to a staggering 100 million units life-to-date worldwide. And while that's a remarkable milestone, the recent trend hasn't been quite as positive--the 3.2 million PS4 systems that Sony shipped in the April-June quarter was "slightly below" the company's internal expectations. The reason for the downturn, according to Sony? The PlayStation 5.

Sony said the lower-than-expected sales were "primarily" due to the company's announcement of its next-generation console, tentatively known as the PS5. Sony has yet to officially announce its next-generation console, but PlayStation architect Mark Cerny started talking about the console and some of its specs earlier this year. After that, Sony demonstrated the console's much-faster loading times during a business meeting. It's yet to provide an official name or exact release date for the system.

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It's a historical trend in the games business that console sales of an older system drop off to a degree when a new console is revealed. The thinking is that people hold off on buying a console when they know a newer one is coming. That seems to be what's happening with here with PS4 sales. It's unclear if there are plans for a price cut or anything of the sort to help drive additional sales.

As a result of the lower-than-expected PS4 sales, Sony said it has "revised downward" its forecast of PS4 sales during the current fiscal year ending March 2020. The company is cutting its projections by 1 million units, from 16 million to 15 million.

15 million is still a massive shipment number for a console so late into its lifecycle. Sony said this ongoing success "demonstrates that the PS4 platform is still garnering support from many users."

Sony is also projecting a downturn for game sales during the current fiscal year. The company is lowering its expectations to be flat year-over-year instead of increasing due to lower third-party game sales. Lower-than-expected revenue from free-to-play games was also called out. This may be in reference to Fortnite and other battle royale games that are slowing down when it comes to revenue.

On the plus side, Sony said it expects its "network services" to generate more revenue in the current fiscal year. Overall, Sony said one of its major areas of focus during the fiscal year is on "preparing for the launch of the next-generation platform," in addition to growing the userbase the company already has.

The PlayStation 5 is rumored to launch in holiday 2020, which is also when Microsoft's Project Scarlett next-generation system is confirmed to release.

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Brentclarkx

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PS5 UNDERPOWRRED DON'T BUY

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Sevenizz

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Hard to believe an almost entire generation has gone and I still haven’t found a reason to buy a PS4. The ps5 isn’t looking any better for me as one of its biggest feature’s (backwards compatibility) means nothing to me.

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jenovaschilld

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@Sevenizz: I'll give you two good reasons. The Last Guardian and Horizon Zero Dawn. You could play games just as good or find other ones elsewhere. But exclusives drives a consoles demand, and for the amount of hours per dollar, there are some amazing exclusives on the ps4. Luckily I work, and have owned many different consoles over the past few decades.

Hey some games are not for everyone, but the PS4 has ALOT of amazing exclusives and one for just about any persons taste. I play game for the games, I could care less what it comes on, i only care about the game. If an old dirty smelly shoe-box has the games i want to play the most, that is the platform for me.

Old dirty smelly shoe-box 2, winter 2019, ah dammit its bundled with a mandatory kinect, shit.

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BigBlueBUSTN

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@Sevenizz: same for me and switch, zero reason to own one. ps4 has been great for me though

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Sound_Demon

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@bigbluebustn: Switch is under 3 years old. It's different entirely different. I also have to disagree big time. Switch is probably the best console with how far into its lifespan it is in the modern era.

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LiveDreamPlay

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@Sevenizz: Regardless of what console you make, you can't please EVERYONE. There will always be some that don't find the reason to buy it... Just how it is... Hope you find a platform that fits your needs...

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p0tent

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The PS4 Pro is still $499 in Canada, same as launch, how about a drop in price? I've seen the Xbox One X at least go on sale to $470

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Stunningham

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Edited By Stunningham

@p0tent: If i remember correctly, these companies don't make much off the consoles themselves and even lose some money when they go on sale. The real money maker is the licensing to the developers.

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Chubby170

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Edited By Chubby170

@p0tent: Im selling an Xbox One X, want it for $400? Brand new and sealed.

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Atzenkiller

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@p0tent: Do 30 bucks really make any difference to you? If you're looking for a lower price, the Slim model is for you. Although at this point you really might just want to wait for the PS5 if money's an issue. Or for the price drop that is likely to happen for the PS4 when the next model comes out.

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p0tent

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Edited By p0tent

@Atzenkiller: No, money isn't really an issue for myself on getting this. However it's the same price at launch for what is now old hardware, which is almost 3 years now. Xbox One X is more expensive hardware and I've seen it on sale for less. My point is, maybe they would push more consoles if they would drop the price?

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Atzenkiller

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@p0tent: Of course they would. But an actual price drop would be by $100, not just 30 or so. Even $50 wouldn't make that much of a difference. $400 for hardware that gets completely replaced by a newer version and becomes obsolete, for probably not more than $500 at most in a bit more than a year, is just not a competitive price at all.

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BigBlueBUSTN

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@p0tent: youve seen it on sale because it isnt selling, thats why xbox has those sales.

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Thanatos2k

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Shrug? It has more to do with the fact that there haven't been any keystone exclusives this quarter.

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marcusi23

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@Thanatos2k: i would say it has more to do with it being a 6 year old console with 100+ million consoles in people houses. then to not having a top tier exclusive this quarter. But then again you could be right not having an exclusive to bring in sales could hurt the quarterly xbox hasnt had a many if any top exclusive in its 6 years and its sitting probably around 50million sales. Exclusives does drive sales.

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thedarklinglord

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Sony can't honestly be surprised. I mean, once they said the PS5 would be backwards compatible, that pretty much killed the PS4. Sure, there will be a spike around the holidays, assuming there are some really good Black Friday/holiday deals, but it's hard to imagine most people continuing to buy a console that on its way out. Unless they do something crazy, like discontinue the PS4 Slim and drop the Pro down to $199 (or maybe a bundle that comes with The Last of Us Part II for $249). Because, aside from a great deal, there's no reason not to wait and see with the PS5.

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jenovaschilld

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@thedarklinglord: They -Sony- is not surprised nor is any in the industry. 8 generations and 50yrs of history has taught them this. Tariffs , economic global slowdown, popularity, factory fires, etc etc have also kept prices from naturally falling each year of a consoles generation.

But lets see who well sales do this Christmas- which should be good for all three consoles makers- lol- not like they are hurting as the 8th gen has 200+million consoles sold. The gaming industry certainly does not need a go-fund-me page.

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BigBlueBUSTN

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@thedarklinglord: drop the pro by half? wont happen

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gotrekfabian

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I doubt that it's due to this minimal announcement which Joe Public doesn't even know about, PS4 has simply reached saturation point.

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I_P_Daily

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Hopefully arrogant Sony gets hit hard next gen.

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BigBlueBUSTN

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Edited By BigBlueBUSTN

@i_p_daily: arrogant? they crush every gen for a reason

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Sound_Demon

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@bigbluebustn: They're still arrogant. They declined cross play because they thought playing on PS is the most superior form of gaming. Also they are doing all this stuff with censoring games now too. They're definitely arrogant. No question.

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CyberEarth

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@Sound_Demon: Microsoft also declined cross-play when it had the #1 selling console. Don't be shocked that gaming is a business, and the top player doesn't want to share. That's called... business. The only reason Microsoft wants to share now with cross-play is because it's no longer the top player. "Sure! Sharing is great when I need it to compete! When I don't, no sharing for you!"

As for censoring games, both Microsoft and Sony do it with their consoles. Nintendo has pretty much always done it since the age of NES. Just the way consoles are. If you want uncensored games, you go with PC so you can mod them however you'd like.

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Sound_Demon

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@CyberEarth: Who's shocked? Who doesn't understand? Why are you explaining any of this to me. You're answering points I haven't raised. I only said they were indeed arrogant. Nothing else.

Definition of mod can be found here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mod_(video_gaming)

Mods do not counter censorship. Censorship is an tweaking things in game so they don't appear for whatever reason. Mods add content and alterations not in a base product...

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gotrekfabian

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@Sound_Demon: I have to agree. Whilst a user of their products I really didn't like their attitude towards their user base this generation. They refused to give basic functions such as folders and online anonymity until people petitioned in millions, backwards compatibility was never attempted in favour of PSNow (though they'll never admit to that), EA Access was denied instantly (again due to PSNow imo) and they assume that their hold on the market will automatically crossover into the next generation.

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LiveDreamPlay

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@i_p_daily:

If they keep the same focus and keep doing the same things, success is pretty much guaranteed.

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jyml8582

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Everyone knows PS5 is coming, but what reveal? There was no photos, no release dates, not even a mock up. A REALLY FAST drive? OMG revealeddddddd!

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BigBlueBUSTN

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@jyml8582: the fact that they have a chip and features announced is a reveal

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LiveDreamPlay

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@jyml8582:

Depends on what you call reveal. An executive of the company revealing its existence can also be considered a reveal...

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m4a5

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@jyml8582: Just look at the author........

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dzimm

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Nobody wants old and busted. They're going to hold out for the new hotness.

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Atzenkiller

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@dzimm: I'm sure plenty of people would buy a PS4 if they haven't yet since the PS5 is probably still more than a year away. But not everyone wants to spend multiple hundred Dollars on 2 consoles in such a time span. Buying a PS4 at this point does not make that much sense financially, especially since the PS5 will replace it completely due to its backwards compatibility. So the decrease in sales is in no way surprising and Sony needs to drop the price if they wanna entice people to keep buying the PS4.

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dzimm

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@Atzenkiller: You essentially said the same thing I did. Only I said it far more succintly.

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Atzenkiller

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@dzimm: I didn't. What I did say is that the PS4 is too overpriced at this point for anyone to consider buying it instead of just waiting for the PS5. A price drop would alleviate that. I can see plenty of people picking up a Slim now if it only cost $200.

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Hanzoblade1

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Well i could buy another PS4 but i don't need it, who on earth doesn't own one?

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Atzenkiller

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@hanzoblade1: One of the over 7 billion other people on this planet. How many units do actually think the PS4 has sold so far? Billions?

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dzimm

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@hanzoblade1: I don't own one.

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lebanese_boy

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@dzimm: Me neither.

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deactivated-5f4e2292197f1

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What PS5 reveal?

As for sales declining, everyone knows the new ones are coming, and since Sony isn't clear on anything, many probably assumed they were coming this holiday or in Spring.

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sonic-boom

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I had a PS2 and PS3 but never got a PS4 due to my back catalogue. When I finally cleared it and was considering a PS4, the PS5 rumours hit hard with mentions of backwards compatibility. I've since decided to just be patient and wait for the PS5 and skip the PS4 entirely, so I suppose I'm one of those jerks to blame for Sony's revised projections.

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spartanx169x

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@sonic-boom: Well you have not really missed anything unless you are into PvP, PvP games tend to lose their players over time which would hurt you if you wanted to just now start playing them, but other than that you will not have missed a thing, because all the PS4 games will be playable on the PS5.

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Taylor_Sparks

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@spartanx169x: I wouldn't be so sure about ALL PS4 games being available on the PS4. I still struggle with what that guy said. He said that the PS5 will fully be backwards compatible but will it be like Xbox Ones where they choose games with the most votes or will it actually be compatible with EVERY game?

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WitIsWisdom

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Edited By WitIsWisdom

@taylor_sparks: If the PS5 is fully backward compatible then it won't be a problem.... the Xbox One is NOT fully backward compatible (regardless of what MS wants to call it, and I personally say it isn't backward compatible AT ALL). Which is the reason you have to DOWNLOAD entire games to the hard drive. The disc is just a license to prove you own the game, but you are downloading the game off of their servers and not off the disc. So, sure it is a type of check, and you can play certain games, but it is by no means compatible. Backward compatible means you put the disc in and it reads and plays off THAT disc. If the PS5 is truly bc then every game (online games have to have servers up and running still) should work just like you were playing it on the PS4 without a mandatory full install (unless for whatever reason the game was made like that for the PS4... although I can't think of any). It should also mean that any games we have from PlayStation plus and PS store games will likely transfer as well (if we like).

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spartanx169x

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@taylor_sparks: That's a fair question. I do know that all Xbox One games will be fully compatible on Xbox Scarlett. So I would have to think that Sony will do the same with PS4 and PS5 for competition sake. But PS3 games as far as i know there are no plans whatsoever to make them compatible unlike the fairly big library of 360 games available on the XB1. I think the next gen will be much closer in competition than this gen has been.

(Side note: Red Dead Redemption updated for the XB1 X looks amazing. Also I own the PS4 and XB1X.)

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gotrekfabian

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@taylor_sparks: If it isn't every game then there will be an uproar. Both PS4 and PS5 run x86 architecture meaning that all games will automatically be compatible with PS5.

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JamesBR27

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Edited By JamesBR27

PS5 will continue with the nonsense of censoring games for adults, so that will still make the PC a king among games and gamers alike. Too bad Steam is losing many games to Epic games store though.

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SoNin360

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@jamesbr27: Plenty of other places to see anime tiddies, my dood.

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Gamerforlife96

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@SoNin360: Lol

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JoInfo

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Gamestation 5 is going to rule.

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Furwings

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They'll sell 15 million more before the PS5 launches. FFVII Remake, The Last of Us 2, Death Stranding and Ghost of Tsushima will be a big part of that along with price cuts to the hardware as well as PSVR.

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