Sony hasn’t stopped manufacturing the PlayStation 4
While many of us fall somewhere between trying to find a new-generation gaming console like the Xbox Series X / S and PlayStation 5 or trying to find worthwhile gaming experiences once we have them, Sony tells Bloomberg it’s still manufacturing new PlayStation 4s. According to the report, an internal plan had projected an end to the production of the system in 2021, but the ongoing shortages will cause the company to build about a million PS4s in 2022, according to sources.
Sony confirmed that PS4 production is still ongoing, providing a quote to Bloomberg saying the system “is one of the best-selling consoles ever, and there is always crossover between generations.” That fits, since it certainly feels like the PS4 should still be around — there are still new cross-generation games coming out like Horizon Forbidden West, and it’s not like you can reliably find a PS5 just sitting on store shelves.
The curious thing is that, at least online, we couldn’t find many new PlayStation 4 consoles either. A check of Best Buy, Amazon, Walmart, and Target showed all the stores either lacking a listing for PlayStation 4 consoles entirely or saying they’re out of stock on new systems. Only GameStop had even a hint of a new system but only in-store, and stores within 500 miles of my location all claimed not to have any. If you absolutely must have a PS4 Slim right now, Sony will sell you one directly for the same $299.99 price it’s charged since 2017. But you can only get one — as its site notes, “[due] to high demand, consoles are limited to 1 per household.”
Microsoft’s Xbox One lineup is in similar shape, if not worse. Prior to the launch of the Xbox Series consoles, Microsoft told us it would discontinue the Xbox One X and Xbox One S Digital Edition while continuing production of the standard, disc-equipped Xbox One S. We haven’t seen an official update since, but it appears that many months have passed since anyone in the US has reported seeing a new Xbox One console on sale anywhere. A Microsoft Store page is still offering bundles, but we couldn’t quite click the button to put one in our digital shopping cart.
Microsoft didn’t immediately respond to a question about the manufacturing status of older systems, but for now, the Xbox Series S might be the only easily obtainable gaming system that you can get brand new. Various iterations of the Nintendo Switch seem to come and go on retail websites, so it mostly depends on which model you’re looking for.
For the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X, there are signs the situation is improving. Retail drops have lasted longer and come on a more regular basis than usual. At the same time, reseller prices on sites like StockX have continued to slip. For the PlayStation 5, the recent peak for sale prices came in early November at $811, while systems are currently moving for $638. StockX sale prices for the Xbox Series X similarly have dropped over the same period, from $797 on November 4th to the $570–$580 range recently.