We're a little over a year into the lifespan of the PS5. The console continues to have widespread shortages, but still is one of the fastest-selling consoles in history. It's very likely it will surpass the lifetime sales of the PS1, and it's possible it could outsell the PS4 and even the Game Boy+Game Boy Color.
I had a thought today about what I think will happen in the future of the PS5. Please feel free to disagree, agree, or put your own predictions.
I do not think we will get a PS5 Pro. The PS4 Pro didn't make much of an impact, all things considered. We don't have overall sales numbers for it, but I'd be surprised if it sold more than 10 million of the 116 million and up PS4 consoles sold. With shortages and costs, I think Sony would much rather focus on one set of specs for the life of the PS5 instead of two.
First Half of 2022: All models of the PS4 discontinued worldwide.
Sony has already halted almost all PS4 production in the last year due to supply constraints and to focus on the PS5. It seems like they kind of already have discontinued the PS4, but I think they actually will in 2022. If it wasn't for supply chain issues, I think they would've held out until 2023.
November 2023: PS5 Slim and PS5 Slim All-Digital Launch
The PS3 and PS4 got Slim revisions about 3 years into their lifespans (it was longer for the PS1/PSOne gap and the PS2/PS2 Slim), and I think it will happen again with the PS5. Though I can see why many would think it won't happen until 2024 due to the current supply constraints and manufacturing costs. Sony would love to release the Slim as a digital-only device, but it seems even in 2021 the demand for optical drives is still high. I think Sony would make a lot of people mad if the PS5 Slim was digital-only.
The All-Digital will be $350 and the Standard Slim will be $400. The All-Digital Slim will be roughly the size of a PS4 Pro, and the version with an optical drive will be slightly bigger. There will be later SKUS of the Slim that have 1.65 TB of included storage instead of 825 GB. Limited Edition Premium SKUs will have 2.475 TB of included storage.
September 2026: PS5 Super Slim launches
Yup. I think Sony is going to bring back the Super Slim concept that they used with the final model of the PS3. The Super Slim will be $300 and will be digital-only. Sony will discontinue the All-Digital version of the original PS5 Slim but will keep the version with a disc drive so that consumers still have a physical media option for the PS5.
November 2027: PlayStation 6 launches
Had COVID-19 not happened, I would've expected Sony to go for a shorter generation and launch the PS6 in 2025 or 2026. But considering all the supply chain issues right now, I think they'll wait the 7 years they normally have waited for a while now. The PS6 will be digital-only. The most I could see Sony doing is offering an add-on accessory optical drive for watching movies, playing physical PS5 games and limited-run physical PS6 discs.
Lifetime Sales Predictions
Switch: 144 million (was 73, then 96, then 113 million, then 125 million)
PS5: 105 million Xbox Series S/X: 60 million
PS4: 120 mil (was 100 then 130 million, then 122 million) Xbox One: 51 mil (was 50 then 55 mil)
3DS: 75.5 mil (was 73, then 77 million)
"Let go your earthly tether, enter the void, empty and become wind." - Guru Laghima