My biggest take away from this, and looking at the trend over the past 3 years is....
Physical media is DEAD.
In another three years, I expect we would find that less than 20% still buy physical. Now its making more and more sense why sony is making a digital-only PS5.
Could also be part of the reason for the rumors of a 'short' PS5 life cycle of maybe 5 years and potentially no Pro this time around. Maybe SNY see's PS5 as a transitional console gen perhaps? They could potentially focus PS6 hardware on the APU, RAM, and SSD speed, while mostly ignoring the ODD and SSD storage quantity because you won't sell many discs and won't need to store too many games, since by then most users may have worthy speeds and data caps, if any. This wouldn't be the worst way to kick off another gen for SNY, if that's the way the industry ends up by then.
If SNY goes this route, it would look to me as if they are more worried about locking down the install base instead of growing the brand. There's going to be a lot of potential consumers who won't have good enough internet in 5 to 10 years still, and they would be forced to spend more on the ODD SKU, and large expandable storage. Potentially more on data overage charges as well for day one downloads, updates, DLC, etc. Unless SNY can somewhat turn a blind to them, and open the entry streaming market to those with worthy internet by selling them a cheap streaming only console, I don't see the brand growing much in terms of install base. Profits however..
We are saying the same thing... just calling it different names.
What you call legs, I call price.
If sony drops the PS4 to $149 this year, be rest assured it would sell another 20M unit even after the PS5 launches. At the launch of the PS2, the PS1 cost under $100. The PS2 cost $149 when the $599 PS3 launched.
But my main argument is that the PS4 doesn't even need to have legs. Sony needs to get the PS5 out and have a SKU be $399, and get the price of that SKU down to $199 as soon as possible. You want as many people on the new platform buying their games directly from you with no used game market insight and not people still buying your previous console. And I can see why they are stubbornly leaving the PS4 price at $299. They may want to create a situation where you should buy a $399 PS5 instead of a $299 PS4pro slim and a discontinued PS4 slim.
And I don't feel the investment required to make a PS4 super slim and a PS4 pro slim is necessary (even though I suspect sony may still do it).That's at least $300M in R&D and retooling. That kinda money would have been better put towards subsidizing the cost of the PS5 DE and bring it in at $349 instead lol. Or hell towards some other first-party projects.
Call me crazy, but I am of the mind that if your previous console is still doing very well when the new console comes out, then something is wrong and you have a big problem.
Focusing more so on PS5 and refraining from a PS4 SS and/or Pro S would fall into line with SNY's marketing so far in contrast to MS. The XBSX marketing has a fairly significant focus on the past. The PS5 marketing focus seems to be on the future. To allow PS4 to quickly fade away, wouldn't be a crazy idea as long as PS5 is cheap enough soon enough, along with PS4 BC. SNY will lose some potential sales to those waiting for a sub $300 PS4, but they would strengthen their core and present user base this way. Perhaps just let those transitioning to PS5, flood the used market with their PS4's? PS3 didn't get all that cheap late in the gen and look how that worked out for a cheap enough launch PS4. Maybe SNY will try the same thing for PS5?
A $199 PS4 SS would be really cool to see though and I don't think it would directly impact PS5 sales much. How many consumers who have $400-$500 to spend on PS5, are really going to decide to spend $199 on a PS4 SS and buy a ton of games or just save the rest instead? That is upfront money for SNY though as you stated, that could be going to a PS5 subsidy of some sort. Focusing on PS4 and allowing PS3 to quickly fade worked last time, so who knows?