If you were under any illusions as to just how popular the PlayStation 5 is, how about this: since launching in November 2020, the PS5 has shifted a whopping 7.8 million units. That’s a lot of units, and even better than the 7.6 million they had projected.
This figure was first reported by industry analyst Daniel Ahmad on Twitter, who parsed reports from Sony themselves in their financial results for the fiscal year that just came to an end on March 31st. It’s not a stretch to say Sony have shot past 8 million units now that we’re at the end of April.
This is impressive on plenty of fronts, but there are two that stand out the most: the fact that the figure is ahead of the PS4’s 7.6 million units during the same launch timeframe, and that demand remains high despite so many stock issues. That will likely remain the case as the pandemic wears on with supply just not able to meet demand, and as long as scalpers don’t get put in the lowest circle of Hell like they deserve.
Despite some hardware issues, that didn’t stop Sony’s Game & Network services division (basically PlayStation) from posting their best ever year with $3.22 billion profit.
Plus, PlayStation Plus
PlayStation Plus continues to be a huge driving force for Sony, with the subscription service now approaching 50 million subscribers. As of the end of March, total Plus subscribers were 47.6 million, which is a massive increase from the 41.5 million of last year.
This, alongside PlayStation Now (that you expect will be given a facelift any day now) and other services that Sony provide, which may include Funimation for their 2022 report, generates approximately $300m each month and $3.6bn per year.
Microtransactions Make Mad Money
However, the biggest money spinner for Sony seems to be everyone’s favourite thing about gaming: microtransactions and DLC, even more so than full game sales. While games accounted for $5.12 billion of their revenue, add-on content took in a gigantic $8.59 billion. That’s 34% of their whole business.
The reason for this is pretty clear: the likes of Fortnite, Warzone and Genshin Impact, big free-to-play games with massive, dedicated audiences. Whether you like it or not, it seems like these kinds of games are here to stay.
What About The PS4?
However, as the new guard comes in, the old guard must make way, and that seems to be the case for the PlayStation 4. While the ol’ gal has managed to hit 115.9 million units sold in its lifetime as of March 31, 2021, sales slowed significantly with “just” 5.7 million units shifted in the 2019-2020 fiscal year.
These sales are likely only to trend further downwards as the PS5 becomes more accessible and the older console gets less fashionable. While that means the PS4 will be unlikely to ever match the PS2’s hardware sales, it’s likely to be much, much more profitable overall thanks to the rise of add-on content, probably to the point of generating the most amount of money of any console ever. That’s probably what matters most.
The rest of the report is pretty fascinating with tonnes of figures to digest, including the fact that Sony hope the current fiscal year to be just as strong, and that 338.9 million games, physical and digital, were sold over the year.
While these figures are likely buffed a little by “The Event” that changed life as we know it, the PlayStation brand is in a very strong spot and will likely only keep growing.
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