It was late 2015 when Sony had first announced its plan to discontinue PS3 production. Even though I was playing on PS4 at that time, it was the beginning of the end for one of my favorite consoles ever. In March 2021, Sony had announced to end the PlayStation Store for PS3, before taking the decision back.
The same fate is inevitable for my PS4 too. I had always been wondering about how long Sony will continue to support its software, hardware, and games. And how long will my favorite console physically last?
Thorough and more profound research gave me a few answers to my burning questions. Here’s what I found out.
How long will the PS4 last? Sony is not planning on retiring its massively lucrative PlayStation 4 anytime soon. Sony recently announced that the PS4 will still be supported for up to three to four years after the scheduled release of PS5. Furthermore, considering that PS2 lasted for 12 years and PS3 lasted for about 11 years, the physical age of PS4 is supposed to be up to 10 years.
PlayStation consoles are known for their long physical lives, and I assume that PS4 will be no different from its predecessors.
In this article, I will discuss how long Sony will support the PS4, its games, and how long it can physically last in this competitive world.
How Long Will the PS4 Last?
As I have mentioned earlier, Sony is not looking to discontinue its support for PS4 anytime soon. With millions of PS4 consoles sold worldwide since its initial release in 2014, PS4 is like a goose that lays golden eggs for Sony due to its incredible popularity.
The release of PS5 isn’t going to affect the reputation and admiration for its predecessor.
We can break down the lifespan of the PS4 into several different aspects.
- Regular software updates and support by Sony.
- Physical longevity of the console itself.
- Compatibility of the games you can play on PS4.
Let’s get to know more about it.
How Long Will Sony Support the PS4?
Sony hasn’t released an official statement yet that explicitly targets the question about how long they will support the PS4. But their head of platform planning, Hideaki Nishino, shed some light on the issue related to the duration of support for the PS4 earlier this year.
According to him:
“The current assumption is that the transition from PS4 to PS5 will take about three years.”
If I take a look at the overall consumer base of PS4, Sony has around 116 million customers. And it would be difficult for Sony to phase out such a large number of people even over the next few years.
Sony Interactive President Jim Ryan has also stressed how vital the PS4 is to Sony’s continued success. He acknowledged that PS4 will still be its top earner throughout 2023 and will keep receiving support for three to four years, till 2024-25.
“The PS4 community will continue to be incredibly important to us for three or four years. Many will transition to PS5, we hope if we do our job well, but tens of millions will still be engaged with the PS4.”
Ryan also mentioned that Sony has lined up software updates for PS4 for the rest of 2021 and 2022.
Unfortunately, the fate of the PS4 will be no different to previous consoles in the long run because technology is unstoppable. Sony will support your PS4 for the next 3 or 4 years. But as is the case with everything, good things do come to an end eventually!
Now let’s get to know how long the PS4 physically lasts and the contributing factors that affect its physical longevity.
How Long Will The PS4 Physically Last For?
Sony has always built its consoles to last for decades, provided that they are handled with care. On average, the PS2 lasted for about 12 years and the PS3 for almost 11 years. Currently, the PS4’s lifespan is unknown because it hasn’t reached its expiration time yet.
Of course, it depends on the quality of care, system use, but if I look at the pattern of physical issues of PS4 and how sturdy it is, the console is manufactured to last at least 7-10 years before parts need replacing.
And guess what? When PS4 was initially released in 2013, Sony’s Shuhei Yoshida had the same thoughts. He predicted a decade-long lifespan for the PS4.
A few contributing factors may limit the lifespan of PS4 compared to Sony’s previous consoles.
Increased chances of overheating in a smaller casing result from the better output, hence slow but eventual degradation of internal circuitry.
The average lifespan of a PS4’s HDD is 5-7 years, during which it will function normally. It can cease to run smoothly afterward.
Internal Clock/CMOS battery timing
Although this isn’t a current and urgent issue, in a few years, you might not be able to play the PS4 games offline when the CMOS battery inside the console dies.
The PS4 has a low-power CMOS battery on its motherboard that is used to keep track of time when the console is powered off. If that battery runs down or is removed/replaced, the PS4 will try to connect to Sony’s servers to sync its internal clock. If it can’t do that (after Sony has shut down the servers), the PS4 won’t play any games.
In general, CMOS batteries tend to have a lifespan of roughly 5 to 10 years, depending upon console usage.
And hence, roughly a decade for your beloved PS4 to live its life fully. Now let’s see how long Sony intends to support the PS4 games.
How Long Will Sony Support PS4 Games?
Sony intends to keep supporting the PS4 games and their developers for the next 3-4 years (i.e. 2024-25). However, along with the support for PS4 exclusive games, Sony also encourages game developers to make games that can be played cross-platform (that can be played on PS4 and PS5 both).
Here’s what Sony’s Hideaki Nishino had to say late last year:
“At a certain time, we will ask developers to develop on the premise of ‘cross generation’ of PS4 and PS5.”
So as long as Sony is providing support to PS4, the games developed for PS4 will also be supported. However, it will be up to the developers if they’d want to make the future games cross-generation or just exclusively for PS5.