Sony PlayStation 5 Tops 50 Million Console Unit Sales in Three Years

Sony Interactive Entertainment Dec. 20 announced the PlayStation 5 console has surpassed 50 million units sold through to consumers, three years after its Nov. 2020 launch.

“Achieving this PS5 sales milestone is a testament to the unwavering support of the global PlayStation community and their passion for the incredible experiences created by the talented developers from PlayStation Studios and our partners,” Jim Ryan, president and CEO of Sony Interactive Entertainment, said in a statement. “We’re grateful for all of our players who have joined the PS5 journey so far, and we’re thrilled that this is the first holiday season since launch that we have a full supply of PS5 consoles – so anyone who wants to get one can get one.”

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It’s been the biggest November for PlayStation consoles sold through to consumers, according to the company, driven by recent hits such as the Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 from Insomniac Games, as well as partner titles including Baldur’s Gate 3 from Larian Studios and Alan Wake 2 from Remedy Entertainment and Epic Games. EA Sports FC 24, the newest entry from the perennial sports favorite, and the PlayStation debut of Roblox have also been hugely popular with the community, according to Sony.

PS2 is still the top-selling console ever with 159 million units sold, according to analyst Michael Pachter at Wedbush Securities. Nintendo DS is No. 2 with 154 million units, and Nintendo Switch with 134 million.

Sony Continues to Expand PlayStation 5 Footprint, Distance Itself From Rivals

The Sony PlayStation ecosystem continues to distance itself from rivals Microsoft Xbox and Nintendo Switch in the competitive video game market.

Sony Interactive Entertainment April 28 said it sold a record 19.1 million PlayStation 5 video game consoles in the fiscal year ended March 31, beating its forecast of 18 million by more than 6%.

Many of those unit sales were to gamers over 45 years of age, the fastest growing consumer base, up nearly 22 million since 2018, according to research group Circana.

By comparison, Sony said it sold 11.5 million PS5 consoles in the previous fiscal year, ended March 31, 2022, as the company was facing supply chain issues brought on by the COVID pandemic. The company’s gaming division annual revenue was 33% higher ($26.6 billion) than the previous fiscal year at $20 billion, coming in as the biggest category by sales. Sony is forecasting 25 million PS5 units sold through March 31, 2024.

Meanwhile, rival Xbox Gaming saw quarterly revenue decrease $133 million or 4% driven by a decline in Xbox hardware sales. Hardware revenue decreased 30% on a strong prior year comparable, driven by lower volume of consoles sold. Xbox content and services revenue increased 3% driven by growth in the subscription-based Xbox Game Pass.

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In terms of hardware sales, Sony has sold about 30 million PS5 consoles  compared to around 18.5 million Xbox Series units.

Xbox Gaming nine-month revenue decreased $800 million or 6% driven by declines in Xbox content and services and Xbox hardware. Xbox content and services revenue decreased 5% driven by a decline in first-party content, offset in part by growth in Xbox Game Pass. Xbox hardware revenue decreased 11% driven by lower volume and price of consoles sold.

Nintendo reported a 26% drop in Switch hardware sales to 1.5 million in the nine-month period ended Dec. 22, 2022, from 1.9 million units in the previous-year period. Software sales dipped 4% to 17.2 million units from 17.9 million during the previous-year period.

Notably, Ampere Analysis said Sony ended 2022 with 45% market share in video games, followed by 27.7% for Nintendo and 27.3% for Microsoft. The percentages were all down by 1.6% and 0.5% for Sony and Nintendo, respectively, while Microsoft saw a 1.8% market share increase.

Sony continues to object to Microsoft’s planned $69 billion acquisition of game publisher Activision Blizzard, claiming the merger would limit Activision’s popular Call of Duty franchise to Xbox platforms, among other concerns. The British Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) regulatory agency last week blocked the proposed sale, citing cloud gaming concerns, a decision both Microsoft and Activision are appealing.

Wedbush Securities media analyst Michael Pachter disagrees with the CMA decision, believing it will be overturned.

“The CMA’s ruling disregards the fact that several cloud-based services have closed over the last two decades, including those offered by Google (Stadia), Time Warner (GameTap) and startups OnLive and Gaikai,” Pachter wrote in a note. “We agree that Activision content is highly unlikely to ever be licensed to cloud gaming services, but disagree that Microsoft’s ownership of Activision would change the outcome for third parties such as Sony.”

Disney+, Star+ Relaunch on Sony PlayStation 5 Video Game Consoles

Disney Oct. 4 announced that it has relaunched its branded Disney+ subscription streaming video platform, and general entertainment Star+ platform on the Sony PlayStation 5 video game consoles.

With the relaunch, PS5 users can now stream movies, TV shows and original content in 4K High-Dynamic Range video quality when viewed on 4K UHD television.

“A key part of our global expansion strategy is to meet consumers wherever they are, which is why we’re excited to enhance both Disney+ and Star+ for PlayStation 5 users,” Jerrell Jimerson, EVP of product and design for Disney Streaming, said in a statement. “The ability to support 4K HDR video streaming on the platform will also improve the viewing experience for fans.”

Both Disney+ and Star+ (which launched in Latin America last year offering general entertainment) require a paid subscription and high-speed Internet connection. They are available to download in the media section of the PS5 console.

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Sony PlayStation Q1 Hardware Sales Increased 12%, Software Revenue Fell 13%

Consumer demand for the Sony PlayStation 4 and 5 video game consoles remains strong, with first-quarter FY 2023 (ended June 30) hardware revenue topping $134.6 million, up almost 13% from $120.6 million in the previous-year period.

At the same time, demand for Sony-branded video game software dropped 13% at $303.4 million, from revenue of $346 million during the previous-year period. The software sales decline included a 35% drop in packaged-media sales to $16.5 million, from $25.6 million. Digital sales of games dipped almost 12% to $101 million, from $114.4 million.

Digital sales represented 79% of quarterly software sales, up from 71% in the previous-year period. PlayStation Plus subscription membership increased by 1 million to 47.3 million, while monthly average users of the platform dipped less than 3% to 102 million, from 105 million.

Sony sold 2.4 million PlayStation 5 consoles in the quarter, up 4.3% from 2.3-million-unit sales a year ago.

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Sony PlayStation Joins Video Game Industry Boycott, Stops Selling Hardware, Software in Russia

Sony Internactive Entertainment, corporate parent behind the PlayStation franchise, joined a growing boycott by video game companies to stop selling hardware and software in Russia due to President Vladimir Putin’s unprovoked invasion of neighboring Ukraine.

“Sony Interactive Entertainment is participating in the global community to call for peace in Ukraine,” the company said in statement. “We have stopped shipping software, hardware, launching Gran Turismo 7, and operating the PlayStation Store in Russia.”

The Gran Turismo franchise has generated more than $4 billion in sales since launching in 1997.

Sony Corporation said it has sent $2 million to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and Save the Children, an international non-profit to help victims of the tragedy.

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Microsoft on March 4 stopped selling its branded Xbox Series X/S gaming consoles and related software in Russia, a move mirrored by other publishers. Sony joining Microsoft in halting business in Russia has been an objective for Ukraine officials since the hostilities began.

Ukraine’s Deputy Prime Minister Mykhailo Fedorov last month called Microsoft, Sony and the e-sports market to cease operations in Russia.

“In 2022, modern technology is perhaps the best answer to the tanks, multiple rocket launchers and missiles,” Fedorov wrote in a March 2 tweet.

IMDb TV Expands Distribution With App Bow on PlayStation 5

IMDb TV, Amazon’s free streaming service, Dec. 14 announced that its app is now available on Sony PlayStation 5 consoles in the U.S.

IMDb TV features originals from Amazon Studios, including the recently launched second season of the spy series “Alex Rider,” and the upcoming second season premiere of the sports docuseries “Uninterrupted’s Top Class: The Life and Times of the Sierra Canyon Trailblazers,” premiering Dec. 17. The streaming service also features an extensive library of movies and television shows, including “Chicago Fire,” “All in the Family,” Die Hard and Angel Falls Christmas.

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The expanded distribution follows IMDb TV app launches this year on Roku, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, LG Smart TVs (2018-21 models), Comcast’s Xfinity Flex, Xfinity X1 and PlayStation 4 consoles, as well as Chromecast with Google TV, Nvidia Shield, and other Android TV devices. The app is also available on iPhone, iPad and Android mobile devices in the U.S.

IMDb TV is also available as an app on Fire TV, Fire Tablets, and a free Channel within the Prime Video app across hundreds of devices.

NPD: Nintendo Switch Top-Selling Video Game Console in November

While the Sony PlayStation 5 and Microsoft’s Xbox Series X game systems make headlines for in-store shortages and supply issues, the Nintendo Switch has quietly dominated sales.

New data from The NPD Group found the Japanese-based Switch console was the best-selling device in November, with combined sales of Nintendo SwitchNintendo Switch Lite and Nintendo Switch — OLED Model systems topping 1.13 million units.

For the holiday-shopping week of Thanksgiving, which includes Black Friday, Switch was also the top-selling console, with nearly 550,000 systems sold. Switch has now been the top-selling console for 35 out of the last 36 months, according to NPD.

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“As we head into 2022, and the sixth year of Nintendo Switch, the system continues to see strong demand,” Doug Bowser, president of Nintendo of America, said in a statement.

Last month on the fiscal call, Nintendo executives said the Switch was in the ‘middle phase’ of its lifecycle, which promptly ignited scuttlebutt about a possible Switch 2 device on the distant horizon. Nintendo has made no official comment about a second-edition Switch.

In July, Nintendo bowed the Switch OLED console featuring a brighter and more-colorful screen.

NPD: Record October Video Game Revenue Tops $4.39 Billion

Consumer demand for video game hardware, software and accessories continues unabated. The games market saw a 16% revenue uptick in October to a record $4.39 billion, from revenue of $3.78 billion in the previous-year period, according to new data from The NPD Group. That’s the sixth-consecutive month of revenue increases across all market segments.

Through 10 months of the year, consumer spending exceeds $46.7 billion, up 12% from $41.7 billion during the same period last year.

Despite ongoing product shortages, game console sales skyrocketed 82% to $472 million, from $259 million last year. Accessories increased 5% to $158 million, from $150 million. Video game revenue increased 11% to $3.75  billion, from $3.38 billion. Mobile gaming revenue jumped 12% to more than $2 billion, from $1.78 billion last year.

Nintendo Switch regained the monthly hardware sales No. 1 ranking after months of Sony PlayStation 5 domination. Through 10 months, the PS5 leads in revenue while the Switch leads in unit sales. Nintendo recently announced it was considering a next-generation Switch, which was last launched in 2017.

Vudu Service Launches on PlayStation 5

Vudu, the transactional video-on-demand service owned by Fandango, is available on Sony Interactive Entertainment’s next-generation PlayStation 5 game console at launch Nov. 12, the company announced.

Vudu, which was already available on the PS4, offers more than 150,000 movies and TV shows, including thousands of titles in 4K.

“As longtime fans know, PlayStation consoles are not just for playing games; they’re one of the most widely-used media hubs and a popular way to stream entertainment content at home,” read a Fandango press release. “With Vudu on PS5, fans can watch more movies and TV shows from the comfort of their home with no subscription required.”

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“Vudu is focused on delivering fans the latest new-elease and premium event titles, as well as our comprehensive catalog of movies and TV shows, and we’re thrilled to offer all of that content on PS5 at launch,” says Kevin Shepela, EVP, chief commercial officer, Fandango. “It’s a great time for fans to find their favorites to stream on their consoles, as we head toward the holidays and our Thanksgiving week sales.”

New movies coming to Vudu this month include Come Away (Angelina Jolie, David Oyelowo), The New Mutants (Maisie Williams, Anya Taylor-Joy), The Personal History of David Copperfield (Dev Patel), Dreamland (Margot Robbie), along with thousands of films and TV shows on sale during Thanksgiving week and that are not yet available on subscription services.

Sony Denies PlayStation 5 Production Issues

On the day it is scheduled to reveal pricing and related details on the new PlayStation 5 video game console, Sony Interactive Entertainment is pushing back against media reports suggesting the company scaled back production numbers due to software chip issues.

“While we do not release details related to manufacturing, the information provided by Bloomberg is false,” Sony said in a statement to “We have not changed the production number for PlayStation 5 since the start of mass production.”

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Bloomberg, citing sources, had reported that due to a 50% drop in system-on-chip production, Sony had dropped PS5 unit production at launch to 11 million from 15 million. Analysts say that even with the unit decline, the PS5 would feature the most product available at launch for any PS gaming system.