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PS5 Sells 4.5 Million Units At Launch Despite Shortages, Spider-Man: Miles Morales Hits 4 Million Sold

All of the PS5 consoles were sold at a loss, Sony confirms; company also responds to stock shortages and promises more units.


Sony reported earnings this week, announcing new sales numbers for the PlayStation 5 and shedding more light on the general health of the PlayStation brand. In short, times are good.

Sony confirmed that it shipped a total of 5.9 million PlayStation consoles during the October-December quarter. 1.4 million were PS4 consoles and 4.5 million were PS5 units. Sony also confirmed that every PS5 was sold at a loss, but that's nothing out of the ordinary.

Sony confirms the PS5 has been sold at a loss since launch
Sony confirms the PS5 has been sold at a loss since launch

All major consoles are believed to be sold for a loss at first before a company is able to make a small profit on them as the price of components comes down over the years. However, the hardware game is not where money is made in the gaming business--that comes from software and services.

Looking ahead, Sony said it is on track to reach its guidance of 7.6 million PS5 units sold during the first fiscal year. The company acknowledged the shortages, saying it has not been able to fully meet demand. The company promised to "do everything in our power" to get more units available.

Sony sold 103.7 million PS4 and PS5 games during the period, and 18.4 million of them were first-party titles. The company said 63% of games sold during 2020 were digital, while 53% were digital for the holiday quarter. This lower percentage reflects how people tend to buy physical games during the holidays for the purposes of gifts.

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Spider-Man: Miles Morales was a top-seller during the October-December quarter, shifting 4.1 million units. The previous game, Spider-Man, sold more than 13 million copies, so the entire franchise is now sitting at more than 17 million units sold.

Overall, Sony's gaming division posted revenue of 883.2 billion yen, which was up 40 percent. The gaming unit made a profit of 80.2 billion yen, up 50%, due to the launch of the PS5 and game sales.

Sony also shared that it now has 47.4 million PlayStation Plus subscribers, while subscription/network revenue (PS Plus, PS Now, PSN advertising, etc.) reached $3.5 billion in 2020.

Thanks to Niko Partners Daniel Ahmad for collating supplemental details incorporated in this report and sharing his insights on Twitter.

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