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How many PS5 consoles have been sold?

Let's take a look at the achievements and challenges of the PlayStation 5.
By

Published onDecember 14, 2023

PS5 Logo angle

Sony has experienced unprecedented demand with the launch of the PlayStation 5 console, and supply chain issues haven’t exactly helped get them into the hands of everyone who wants one. Still, the PS5 sells like hotcakes, delivering over 46 million units to households worldwide in its first three years. With some of the best exclusive games still on the way and supply finally catching up with demand, PS5 sales are on track to keep rising. Here’s everything you need to know about the sales history and future of PS5 consoles.

THE SHORT ANSWER 

Three years after launching, Sony sold over 46 million PlayStation 5 consoles globally, achieving record-breaking earnings. Supply constraints are expected to resolve by 2024, meaning PS5s are starting to stay in stock.


KEY SECTIONS

PS5 sales numbers: Here’s how many have sold and why

As of October 2023, the PlayStation 5 has sold 46.6 million units worldwide, which is a lot more than its 2022 forecast of 18 million.

If you have tried to purchase a PS5, you’ll know that they can sell out quickly. Since launching in November 2020, retailers in the United States have sold PS5s at a rate of nearly 1,000 units per minute. For comparison, PS4 units in the US were selling at six per minute at the same stage in the product lifecycle.

PS5 sales unprecedented demand

Higher demand was making it harder to acquire a PS5 until recently, and a constrained supply was making it nearly impossible in the beginning. PS4s, on the other hand, are still freely available in abundant supply. To Sony’s credit, many new games have had a dual-release on both PS4 and PS5 consoles, offering players a free upgrade to the PS5 version once they get the console, so they don’t have to wait to play the latest titles.

How has the pandemic supply chain disruption affected sales?

The PS5 outsold the PS4 in its first year on store shelves. But due to supply constraints, the PS5 undersold the PS4 in its second year. The two biggest obstacles to getting more PS5s manufactured have been the COVID-19 pandemic, causing staff shortages and factory shutdowns, and Russia’s impact on logistics, slowing down the parts inventory.

PS5 supply issues graph

The good news is that the PS5 almost closed the gap with PS4 sales for its third year. Sony sourced multiple suppliers for greater agility in unstable market conditions and working on negotiating new logistical partnerships to maintain delivery routes for their consoles. That strategy seemed to pay off in reaching the 30 million mark. For comparison, the PlayStation 4 hit 30.2 million units sold on November 22, 2015, a little over two years after the console’s North American launch in November 2013.

Sony Interactive Entertainment President and CEO Jim Ryan announced at CES 2023 that December 2022 was the biggest sales month to date for the console and that in the future, “everyone who wants a PS5 should have a much easier time finding one at retailers globally, starting from this point forward.”

The PS5 did overtake the PS4 in terms of sales again by its fourth year. Sony’s latest financial earnings report revealed that the PlayStation 5 sold 6.3 million units in the fourth quarter of the financial year 2022-23. This was more than three times its sales in Q4 the previous year when it sold just two million units.

How do PS5 sales compare to the first two years of PS4 sales?

The PlayStation 4 was an incredibly popular console for Sony, having sold over 100 million consoles to date, more than twice as many units as the Xbox One during its lifetime. The PS4 managed to reach the 20 million-units-sold milestone earlier than the PS5, in 15 months compared to 18 months, but to be fair, if it were not for the global chip shortage, the PS5 would have hit that milestone far sooner.

PS5 record earnings

In terms of revenue, the PS5 has been a massive success for Sony, surpassing two billion dollars in net sales in 2020. Granted, the PS5 console costs more than the PS4, but a significant digital shift has also occurred. With more people staying home during the pandemic, more players bought games directly from the PlayStation store rather than physical discs from traditional brick-and-mortar stores. In 2017 sales were split nearly 50/50 between digital and disc games, but by 2021, they were split 80/20.

Is the PS5 outselling the Xbox Series X?

ps5 vs xbox series x logo 2

How does the PS5 compare to its rival Xbox Series X console? Like the last generation of gaming, Sony is leaving Microsoft in the dust. The PlayStation 5 currently has lifetime sales of over 46 million. The last reported number of Xbox Series X/S lifetime sales was just over 20 million in 2022. Since then, Microsoft has said they would not release exact sales figures for Xbox units anymore, which implies they might be trying to hide the discrepancy.

However, the number-one-selling console is neither the PS5 nor the Xbox Series X. At the top of the charts is the Nintendo Switch, having sold an impressive 118 million units to date. Part of the reason is that the Switch is less powerful than the PS5 and Xbox Series X/S, using weaker components and thus is less affected by the chip shortage. More Switches on the shelves at a more affordable price have made for a tempting option for gamers.


FAQs

To date, roughly 46 million PlayStation 5 consoles have been sold worldwide.

Demand for the PlayStation 5 is higher than for any other console in Sony’s history. Additionally, supply chain constraints and chip shortages due to the COVID-19 pandemic have slowed down manufacturing. But 2023 has seen supply increasingly able to meet demand.

While Sony has yet to announce a PS5 Pro officially, there have been rumors that the company is working on a Pro model of the console. As with the PS4 Pro, the PS5 Pro is expected to offer more internal storage and a more powerful SSD and also come with a higher price tag.

Sony’s PlayStation 2 is still the best-selling video game console of all time, totaling 159 million consoles sold.