Sony factory in Japan makes a PlayStation 4 every 30 seconds, mostly with robots

Sony reportedly has a mostly automated factory across the bay from Tokyo, Japan that is capable of churning out a PlayStation 4 every 30 seconds.

The facility, located in the outskirts of Kisarazu across the bay from Tokyo, is described as “a large white building” that “towers over an otherwise suburban landscape,” according to the Nikkei Asian Review.

The factory, which is operated by Sony’s manufacturing arm Sony Global Manufacturing & Operations, features a 31.4-meter (103 feet) assembly line for the PlayStation 4 that was completed in 2018. The process requires only a few human workers —  two to add motherboards to the assembly line, and two to place the finished consoles in their packages.

A total of 32 robots take up the rest of the assembly line, with 26 of them dedicated to attaching wires, tape, and other flexible parts. The PlayStation 4’s flexible flat cable, for example, is attached with one robot arm holding up the cable and another twisting it, in a specific direction and at a certain pressure, the Nikkei Asian Review reported.

“There’s probably no other site that can manipulate robots in this manner,” said one of the site’s engineers.

PlayStation 5 production

The PlayStation 5 is set to launch in this holiday season, and COVID-19 will have no significant impact on the console’s timeline, a spokeswoman for Sony told Bloomberg in March. It remains to be seen if that will hold true, but with a factory that can churn out a PlayStation 4 in half a minute, it might take more than a pandemic to thwart Sony’s plans.

Meanwhile, a photo of what looks like the upcoming PlayStation 5 coming off of a production line has recently made the rounds online. The details behind the image remain unverified, including where the picture was taken.

Digital Trends has reached out to Sony for confirmation on whether the PlayStation 5 will also be assembled at the Kisarazu factory, and if a similar, mostly automated process will be used for the next-generation console’s production. We will update this article as soon as we hear back.

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