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Sony's Tokyo main headquarters. / Photo by: mk7 via Wikimedia Commons

 

The next iteration of the PlayStation gaming console will likely happen in 2021, according to Tsuyoshi Kodera, CEO of Sony Interactive Entertainment, as reported by Kyle Orland for ars technica. 

Speaking to Takashi Mochizuki of the Wall Street Journal, Kodera said they will use the intervening years before 2021 to prepare for the next step and to be able to jump higher in the future. Previously,  Mochizuki wrote that PS4 was close to the end of its lifecycle, but Kodera’s statement means the PS4 is assured of three more years of unchallenged attention from the Japanese console maker. 

Originally launched in 2013, a scheduled phaseout in 2021 means the PS4 had a total of eight years in its lifecycle, which is a break from the usual six-to-seven year gap that separated previous Playstation rollouts. But such longevity is understandable given the PS4’s continued commercial success which has outsold all previous Playstation models at this point in their respective lifecycles. Its long lifespan has been helped by the introduction of the PS4 Pro in 2016, with better hardware and is fully compatible with the original 2013 model. It remains to be seen if the rumored PlayStation 5 will be radically different from PS4 or is just going to be a routine hardware upgrade for the same suite of gaming software. 

However, it looks like subscriptions and online services will play important roles in the next PlayStation console, based on statements made by Kodera during a press conference held at the company's annual Investor Relations Day. Sony is likely to focus on unveiling exclusive titles and reducing the retail price for the PS4 until its successor arrives in 2021, Kodera stated in the press conference. But online services such as the PlayStation Vue not only generate revenues but also gather data from Sony’s customers, which is a precious commodity in an era where knowledge of consumer preferences can be a big advantage for any business.