Sony isn't ready to flip the reset switch on the PlayStation 4's 110 million+ install base, and confirms the console will live alongside the PS5 until at least 2024.
The PS4 is too valuable to retire, and Sony plans to gradually pass the torch over to the successor PS5 in a span of multiple years. Sony's Jim Ryan says the PS4 will remain a big part of the PlayStation business at least until 2024. Previously, Sony said the PS4 would be supported until at least 2022.
"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," Sony Interactive Entertainment president Jim Ryan told The Washington Post.
Sony's idea is to create a cross-gen ecosystem where games, content, and services are shared and somewhat unified across both platforms.
Gamers will slowly be transitioned to the new PS5 gen. Sony wants the PS4 era to carry forward with the PS5, but this isn't a sprint, more of a long-term job. This is vital for 9th gen's success, and it's a big reason why I said backwards and cross-gen compatibility is the most important feature for PS5 and Xbox Series S/X.
The main difference between the PS4 and PS5 platforms is the experiences offered. Games played on PS5 will be optimized with next-gen enhancements that redefine the experience including ray tracing, 4K 60FPS, 3D audio, and immersive haptic feedback.
Sony isn't going all-in on PS5 exclusives--not yet at least--and plans to release PS5 games like Horizon Forbidden West and Spider-Man Miles Morales on PS4 too. Sony also says it will release PS5 exclusive titles unlike Microsoft, who plans to support the Xbox One family for 1-2 years.
Sony's support could last even longer than Microsoft's. The big difference is that not all of Sony's new first-party games are coming to PS4.
The PlayStation 5 releases November 12, 2020 for $399 (digital) and $499 (standard disc-based version).
Check below for a complete list of 9th gen console spec comparisons: