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PS5 Ships 7.8 Million Systems, Outpacing PS4 Despite Shortages

Plus, it's reported that the PS5 is outselling the Xbox Series X|S by a 2:1 margin.


The PlayStation 5 is a massive success, outpacing the PlayStation 4 launch despite continued shortages at retail. Sony revealed sales figures in its latest quarterly report, detailing the period from January-March. Sony shipped 3.3 million more PS5s during the period, bringing the grand total to 7.8 million.

Given that PS5 systems are selling out nearly instantly whenever they become available, the sold-through figure may be close to the shipment number. For comparison, the PS4 shipped 7.6 million units over the same period of time, according to Niko Partners analyst Daniel Ahmad.

Microsoft has not disclosed a sales number for the Xbox Series X|S, but Bloomberg's Matthew Kanterman believes the PS5 is outselling the Series X|S by about 2:1. For its part, Microsoft just announced its own sales report that showed massive gains across the board.

Sony also disclosed that it sold 61.4 million PS4 and PS5 games during the period, of which 7.9 million were first-party exclusives. Additionally, 79% of games sold during the period were sold digitally, a figure that might be inflated due in part to the pandemic.

Another important statistic that was revealed was that PlayStation Plus now has 47.6 million subscribers and 109 million monthly active users. The number of PS Plus subscribers is up from 41.5 million during the same quarter last year, but monthly active users dropped from 114 million.

Sony's Game & Network Services division, which houses the PlayStation business, was Sony's overall biggest division when it came to sales for the latest period. Sales jumped by 34% during the fiscal year thanks to an increase in game and DLC sales and the launch of the PS5. Sony said its results were impacted by the "strategic price points" for the PS5, while there was also an increase in selling, general, and administrative expenses related to launching the PS5, which was sold at a loss. However, Sony's gains elsewhere for the PlayStation division helped the business unit post significant gains for revenue and profit.

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Daniel Ahmad of Niko Partners broke out some other useful statistics from Sony's earnings report, like how this was the most successful year ever for Sony's Game & Network services division.

Both the PS5 and Xbox Series X|S still trail the Nintendo Switch, which is the top-selling console platform in the US every month. It has sold about 80 million units as of December 31, but this figure is likely to grow substantially when Nintendo reports earnings next on May 6.

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