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Sony Lays the Early Groundwork for PlayStation 5's Introduction

Chris Morris

The PlayStation 4 has been a sales juggernaut for Sony, selling 79 million units as of the end of April. But the company is warning investors that the system’s best sales days are behind it and it’s entering the last part of its lifecycle.

While Sony intends to strongly support the PS4 with new software, comments from PlayStation boss John Kodera at Sony’s Corporate Strategy Meeting Tuesday have sparked whispers about when the company will begin talking about the PlayStation 5.

Perhaps anticipating this speculation, Sony announced 12 days ago that it would have “no new hardware announcements at E3,” the upcoming video game trade show where major systems have been unveiled in the past.

Video game industry insiders tell Fortune they don’t expect the PlayStation 5 to be available until 2020.

Kodera, though, indicated it might even be a bit longer before the next generation console hits shelves, indicating an early 2021 launch was possible.

Sony, officially, has not confirmed it is even working on a fifth installment of its PlayStation hardware, though it is widely expected to do so. As yet, it would appear the company has not sent development kits to game makers, which allow them to begin making games that can launch with the new system.

Even if the PS4 has hit its sales peak, don’t discount it was a profit monster for Sony. Developers are intimately familiar with the system and its capabilities now, meaning the quality of upcoming software for it is likely to be high. Upcoming titles like The Last of Us: Part II and Spider-Man are highly anticipated. And this year’s God of War has set sales records for the company, selling 3.1 million copies in three days.