The PlayStation 5 has now sold over 50 million units and is on track to outsell the record-breaking PlayStation 4, Sony has said.
Reuters reports Sony recorded its best-ever November for PlayStation console sales with the PS5, which is now in its fourth year of life.
Sony has set an ambitious target of selling 25 million PS5 consoles in the current financial year ending March 31, 2024. If it manages it, it’ll be the most consoles Sony has ever shifted in a single financial year.
The latest news comes after Sony had called the 25 million target “high” and “not within easy reach”. But speaking today to the financial press, Eric Lempel, senior vice president for global marketing, sales and business operations at Sony Interactive Entertainment, expressed confidence in the PS5. “Given the momentum we’ve had in November and a lot of what we’re seeing in December, just in general we’re feeling very good about sales overall,” Lempel told Reuters. “We are still pushing really hard and I think we will have a record-breaking year no matter where we end up.”
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Meanwhile, Lempel told the Financial Times the PS5 is now on-track to outsell PS4, which has sold 117 million units since going on sale in 2013. “I think we have the ability to get there,” Lempel said. “Demand for the [PS5] going into this year was huge… Momentum is strong now and it’s continuing.” The PS5 hit 50 million sold on December 9, 161 weeks after it launched in November 2020. The PS4 reached 50 million sold 160 weeks after launch.
While the PS5 appears to be doing the business for Sony, console rival Microsoft is having a tougher time with the Xbox. Xbox sales have collapsed in Europe, and Microsoft hasn’t announced Xbox Series X and S sales in years. Microsoft executives have insisted console sales do not paint an accurate picture of the overall health of the Xbox business, which encompasses PC, mobile, streaming, and the Game Pass subscription.
Financial Times quotes analysis by Ampere that shows PS5 sales grew about 65% to 22.5 million units this year, whereas Xbox sales fell about 15% to 7.6 million. That means the PS5 has outsold the Xbox Series X and S by almost three to one. The near seven-year-old Nintendo Switch, meanwhile, saw sales fall 18% to 16.4 million in 2023. Nintendo is expected to release its next-gen console next year.
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Microsoft bolstered its gaming fortunes this year after it bought Activision Blizzard for an eye-watering $69 billion. That means the likes of Call of Duty, World of Warcraft, and mobile hit Candy Crush Saga now fall within the Xbox brand. Microsoft is expected to begin launching Activision Blizzard games into Game Pass in 2024, and it seems likely future Call of Duty games will release in the subscription service day-one. Microsoft is also plotting its own app store in a bid to take on Apple and Google.
Sony, meanwhile, still enjoys big sales of its single-player PS5 exclusives, which it launches on PC after console. Insomniac’s Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 is the fastest-selling PlayStation Studios game ever over a 24-hour period, with more than 2.5 million physical and digital copies shifted. But its live-service push appears to be in flux following the cancellation of Naughty Dog’s The Last of Us multiplayer project. Sony plans a mobile push of its own, although it has yet to detail its efforts.
This week, hackers released data stolen from Insomniac, revealing private staff information, Marvel’s Wolverine assets, and the studio’s future slate of games. Sony is yet to comment.