Both Microsoft and Sony pulled off quite an achievement in 2020 by launching new hardware in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic. Releasing the PS5 to the world came with massive setbacks. For starters, Sony warned users about a limited supply run due to hardware shortages surrounding the custom AMD chipset. In addition, its online-only sales restricted most users from purchasing the console in-store. However, even with those challenges, Sony has announced some impressive PS5 sales hitting 4.5 million units by 31 December 2020.
Sony says that the number of PS5 consoles sold by 31 December 2020 are now in line with PS4 which also sold around the same amount back in 2013. However, PS4 sales have dipped drastically in the last quarter of 2020 with only 1.4 million units sold. This is down from the 6 million consoles sold in the last quarter of 2019.
This drop in PS4 hardware sales is not surprising. Sony is now focusing all of its efforts on the PS5 and has even stopped manufacturing the PS4 in some parts of the world. The demand for the hardware has also dipped given the release of the PlayStation 5.
The company has also revealed some impressive software sales claiming that 18.4 million first-party games were sold across PS4 and PS5 in the last quarter of 2020.
The PlayStation console make is also moving some massive numbers when it comes to the PlayStation Network. According to the latest figures, active PlayStation Network users across all current hardware has reached 114 million. PlayStation Plus subscribers are also up from 45.9 million to 47.4 million.
While these numbers are great, there are still some challenges Sony faces when it comes to the PlayStation 5. The company is struggling to keep up with the demand and in addition, scalpers keep grabbing most of the newly-allocated stock before the public get their hands on it. In the US, reports claim that scalpers managed to purchase most new stock before anyone else. Some retailers have lost tens of thousands of units to bots due to this.
We then have a lack of stock. Here in SA, we are almost three weeks without any new stock drops landing in the country. Usually, we have one or two retailers selling a handful every week. However, it has been the worst case to date.
There is some good news to come out of all of this. Sony claims that the company plans on shipping a minimum of 3 million additional consoles by the end of March 2021. This is to align the PS5 sales with that of the PS4.