It can often take years for an outgoing hardware generation to be discontinued. But Sony has begun on the process forthwith, by discontinuing production of most of the PS4 models currently available.
According to Japan’s Game Watch (via VGC) all PS4 Pro models and most PS4 Slim models have had production discontinued. The only one that will still be produced is the basic 500GB slim model in black. With other colours and 1TB models now gone for good.
Of course, that means the PS4 is still being produced in some capacity, but we can’t see it lasting as long as its predecessor (the PS3 was still in production three and-a-half years after the PS4’s release) despite the console’s huge success.
Older, cheaper hardware has long been sold around into regions which will not or cannot pay for the latest and greatest. But the increasingly globalised nature of games marketing, via Youtube trailer for instance, has radically changed the business over the last seven years. As have the services that support them, such as PlayStation+.
So it’s unrealistic to continue to push the PS4 to regions such as Brazil or India for many years after the new hardware launch. Something that Sony is very aware of, having recently announced it’s launching the PS5 in India on February 2nd, despite it still being in short supply around the world.
Game Watch notes that the production capacity freed up by the old SKUs demise will be moved over to the PS5 instead. That sounds great, but presumes that the constriction on supplies lies at the assembly point, which seems unlikely given the huge capabilities of Shenzhen.
We’d instead bet that the speed of PS5 production is limited by the number of chipsets and mainboards that can be manufactured, which won’t be helped by the additional capacity further down the line until yields improve or the fabrication of such components increased in parallel.