Sony PlayStation 5 sales cross 50 million units

A customer walks away after purchasing the new Sony Playstation 5 in Seoul. File photo: AFP

A customer walks away after purchasing the new Sony Playstation 5 in Seoul. File photo: AFP

Published Dec 26, 2023


Sales of Sony’s PlayStation 5 have crossed 50 million units, the Japanese electronics giant said, pointing to “strong momentum“ this year for its flagship gaming console.

The PS5 was launched in November 2020, with the world in the grip of the Covid pandemic, and its sales initially suffered because of widespread supply chain problems and a global chip shortage.

The PS5 reached the 50-million-unit milestone in almost the same period as its predecessor, the PS4, with Sony saying its flagship console enjoyed “strong momentum” in 2023.

“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,” Jim Ryan, president and CEO of Sony Interactive Entertainment, said in a statement on Wednesday.

Since releasing the first PlayStation in 1994, Sony has grown into a titan of console gaming, a market whose revenues this year have been estimated at more than $53 billion (R970bn) by industry consultancy Newzoo.

The PS2 remained Sony’s best-selling console, with more than 155 million units sold, while the PS4 exceeded 117 million, the company said.

The PS5 sales milestone caps a strong year in gaming for Sony.

In October, “Marvel’s Spider-Man 2”, developed by Sony-owned Insomniac Games, became the fastest-selling PlayStation Studios game in the first 24 hours after release.

Sony said the PS5 also enjoyed a boost in 2023 from the success of games including “Baldur’s Gate 3” and “Alan Wake 2”.

Since 2001, Microsoft’s Xbox consoles have emerged as the PlayStation’s main challengers.

While the PS5 is outselling the latest Xbox consoles, according to estimates by industry analysts, Microsoft has made a strong push in recent years to boost its position in the market.

That has included mega acquisitions of developers including the $69bn takeover of Activision Blizzard, the maker of the blockbuster “Call of Duty” games.

Sony had previously tried to block the Activision deal, but agreed with Microsoft in July to keep releasing “Call of Duty” on the PlayStation.