The PlayStation 5 and the Xbox Series consoles were released in November 2020 to rave reviews from those who could get their hands on them. One of the few complaints around the systems was the lack of true next-gen experiences, a complaint that has faded as new games have gradually been released, stocking up each console’s game library. Both the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X|S remain in demand, although there are still some issues when it comes to keeping the platforms in stock.

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Many would-be next-gen gamers are still following stock trackers as they desperately aim to get their hands on their system of choice. This is in response to the shortage of next-gen consoles, along with the massive demand for them, which has created a tricky situation for gamers to navigate. There are still stock drops for next-gen consoles ongoing, however it is not much easier for gamers to get their hands on a next-gen system now than it has been over the past year or so. While they could drop into the resale market, this would lead to inflated prices, which many may not want to pay.

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In response to the shortage of next-gen consoles, many gamers may look to the console’s previous-gen counterparts insteadm whether that be the PS4 Pro or Xbox One X for their 4K capabilities, or to the base Xbox One and PS4 for those less concerned with having the best graphics available. Although, as has been made clear recently, gamers may have varied success in finding even previous-gen systems depending on their console of choice. While both Sony and Microsoft occupy the same space, they are of course separate companies, and their approach towards the distribution of previous-gen systems makes this clearer than ever.

Why More PS4s Are Being Produced

PS4 black with logo

While Sony considered discontinuing the PlayStation 4 at the end of 2021, it seems as though the previous-gen system is now set to earn a new lease on life. In response to the shortage of PlayStation 5 systems, Sony is ramping up the production of the PlayStation 4. While this may seem illogical, it comes as a result of a semiconductor shortage that is seriously impacting the production of PlayStation 5 systems. This will no doubt come as a frustration to gamers who own a PlayStation 4 but are yet to get their hands on a next-gen system, but for gamers without any system, this could provide an opportunity to grab one.

Earlier last year, there were reports that the PlayStation 5 would be redesigned in 2022 to ease supply shortages, however these plans have fallen quiet. Until PlayStation 5 stock shortages have been eased, it seems that the PlayStation 4 will be the main console for PlayStation fans who have yet to upgrade. This at least leaves gamers with a way to play video games, albeit not with the 4K 60fps graphics that many may have hoped they would have experienced by this time. Fortunately, there are very few next-gen exclusive games as of now, so gamers on PlayStation 4 will still have much of the same choice as gamers on PlayStation 5.

Why The Xbox One Has Been Discontinued

xbox one console white on table with controller

According to reports, not only has the production of Xbox One consoles been halted, but it was actually halted at the end of 2020 around the time the Xbox Series consoles were launched. This is part of a clear shift towards the next generation of gaming, and a step away from the previous generation despite the gains that the Xbox One made in the tail end of it. The PlayStation 4 was the firm first choice for gamers in the previous generation, selling over double the amount of units that the Xbox One sold. This may be what prompted the focus on Xbox Series X|S over Xbox One.

It seems as though this shift towards a focus on next-gen gaming has paid off for Xbox, as the Xbox Series X and S are much more competitive with the PlayStation 5. Xbox’s budget option, the Xbox Series S, has also performed well despite not offering 4K graphics or a particularly large SSD. It may be that gamers have been convinced by the system's offerings, like Xbox Game Pass, or it may simply be that it’s more readily available than the PlayStation 5. This generation, Xbox seems to have gained major ground on PlayStation, justifying the decision to halt the production of the Xbox One in late 2020.

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What the Handling of Last-Gen Consoles Shows

microsoft-xbox-one-ps4-cross-platform-play-controller

It’s clear that the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 have received vastly different treatment since the launch of the next-gen systems, which may speak to a broader sense of these companies’ philosophies. The Xbox One is seemingly being left in the past in favor of greener pastures, while the PlayStation 4 is still being relied upon. While the next-gen exclusives for the PlayStation 5 show that the next generation of PlayStation is still receiving attention, it isn’t quite the full focus of Sony. This may lead to some frustrations from the standpoint of fans who either own a PlayStation 5 or are looking to purchase one in the near future.

However, from another perspective, the halted production of Xbox One systems may be of concern to those who still own an Xbox One and had hopes of continuing to use it going forward. The accelerated focus on the Xbox Series X|S systems has seemingly led to great results in terms of sales of those systems, but Xbox One fans face being left behind. Where Xbox is fully ready to commit to the future of gaming with the Xbox Series of consoles, PlayStation is dragging its heels. It’s fair to say that both PlayStation and Xbox are looking forward to the next generation, but PlayStation looks to keep that link to its past, which may slow the transition down for better and for worse.

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(Left) Red dead redemption 2 promotional image (Right) Spider-Man ps4, spider-man promotional image
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