Sony announced this week that sales of its latest gaming console, the PlayStation 5, have officially topped 50 million units globally. This major milestone comes just two years and one month after the PS5 first launched in November 2020.
Fastest-Selling PlayStation Console Ever
Crossing 50 million units sold makes the PlayStation 5 Sony’s fastest-selling console ever. The previous record-holder was the PlayStation 4, which passed 50 million units sold two years and seven months after its launch in late 2013.
“We’re truly thrilled to see such a strong reaction from PlayStation fans as PS5 continues to deliver captivating gameplay experiences,” said Sony Interactive Entertainment CEO Jim Ryan. “With unprecedented demand for PlayStation 5 continuing, we are doing all we can to ship as many units as possible throughout the holidays and into 2023.”
The PS5 hitting 50 million sales this quickly is impressive given the supply constraints Sony has faced trying to manufacture enough consoles to meet demand. Even two years after launch, PS5 stock continues to sell out extremely fast when retailers get new inventory.
|Time to Reach 50 Million Units Sold
|2 years, 1 month
|2 years, 7 months
|4 years, 9 months
|9 years, 6 months
As the table above shows, the PS5 achieved this sales milestone much faster than any previous PlayStation console. The PS5’s velocity is unprecedented in Sony’s history.
Outpacing the Competition
Not only is the PS5 Sony’s fastest-selling console, but it is significantly outpacing sales of Microsoft’s new Xbox Series X/S consoles.
According to research firm Ampere Analysis, an estimated 37.3 million PS5 consoles had been sold through October 2023, compared to just 11.9 million Xbox Series X/S consoles during the same period – more than a 3:1 ratio favoring PlayStation.
Sony’s dominance in console sales this generation demonstrates their continued strength in the gaming hardware market, which is vital to drive future revenue from game sales and online services. Xbox is struggling to take share from PlayStation despite more competitive pricing and its Game Pass subscription service.
Strong PS5 sales should enable Sony to further invest in exclusive first-party gaming content and attract support from third-party publishers. This creates a virtuous cycle that reenforces the PlayStation platform’s appeal in the eyes of gamers.
Boosted by Strong Exclusive Games
A steady stream of highly acclaimed exclusive games has fueled momentum for PS5 hardware sales. Recent major exclusives like God of War: Ragnarök and Horizon Forbidden West have earned strong review scores, driving fan excitement.
Upcoming exclusives slated for 2023 and beyond include Marvel’s Spider-Man 2, Final Fantasy XVI, the next Gran Turismo racing sim, and more. Sony’s ability to secure must-have exclusive games remains a key factor attracting gamers to PlayStation despite the PS5’s higher price point.
“We feel very good about the variety of great entertainment experiences that we can offer for PlayStation 5 which are possible only on PlayStation,” said Sony Interactive Entertainment CEO Jim Ryan.
Supply Constraints Persist
While reaching 50 million sales is a big achievement for Sony, the company is still leaving money on the table due to insufficient inventory meeting surging demand. Even two holiday shopping seasons after launch, restock drops of the PS5 sell out almost instantly.
Bloomberg recently reported the PS5 is on track to be supply constrained through the end of 2023 according to people familiar with Sony’s operations. Limited component availability is restricting Sony’s ability to produce as many PS5 consoles as it would like.
Getting more consoles into gamers’ hands will be a top priority for Sony in 2024. Given the PS5’s blistering early sales pace, it’s likely the console could become Sony’s best-selling PlayStation system ever once supply normalizes further into its lifecycle.
The previous best-seller, PlayStation 2, currently leads the pack with over 155 million lifetime units sold. Can PlayStation 5 surpass that once supply opens up?
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