Sony has now sold over 40 million PlayStation 5 consoles since launch
Despite long-running supply issues, Sony’s latest-gen hardware is off to a strong start
PlayStation 5 sales have just topped 40m worldwide since launch.
“Thank you so much to our community of gamers,” said Sony Interactive Entertainment boss Jim Ryan. “Without you this would have been an impossible task.”
And he’s right. It’s true that gamers buying stuff is... somewhat central to success in the games industry, but PS5 faced a real challenge in that regard when it launched in November 2020 amidst widespread disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Global lockdown measures, you’ll remember, created a semiconductor shortage that affected the manufacture of absolutely everything, and it meant that buying a PS5 at launch was like trying to secure a bottle of Prime in the corner shop after the school run.
Some ‘entrepreneurs’ saw an opportunity in this situation and bought up PS5 stock as soon as it dropped with retailers, immediately reselling the units online with a huge mark-up.
Ryan puts it more diplomatically: “We continued to face headwinds with the pandemic, and it took months for supply chains to normalise so we could have the inventory to keep up with demand.
“For more months than I care to remember, we kept thanking our community for their patience while working through these issues. But now PS5 supply is well-stocked and we are seeing that pent up demand finally being met.”
Incredibly enough, the PS5’s actually keeping pace with its predecessors global sales in the first two-and-a-half years since launch. PS4 also sold 40m units between launch day on November 29 2013 and the end of 2015, with no such supply chain issues to contend with.
How many of these new machines might Sony have shifted under normal circumstances? We’ll never know., but as long as it continues to outsell the Xbox Series X by a reported estimate of roughly two to one, Ryan and his team probably won’t lose much sleep over that hypothetical.
Microsoft’s console faced the same supply chain challenges too when it launched two days before PS5 on November 10 2020. But its features and first-party exclusives have been tepidly received - Redfall was supposed to be a big system seller for the Series X, for example - and the trend which began in the previous generation has continued through this one. Sony’s getting it right with its marketing and titles, and the results are evident in these sales figures.
Thank you for subscribing to our newsletter. Look out for your regular round-up of news, reviews and offers in your inbox.
Get all the latest news, reviews and exclusives, direct to your inbox.