The PS5 has sold 7.8 million units as of 31 March 2021. According to Sony, 3.3 million of those consoles were sold in the first quarter of 2021 while the remainder makes up the launch units sold in November and December. To put this into comparison, the PS4 managed to ship 7.6 million units across the same time frame but keep in mind that Sony’s PlayStation 5 is almost impossible to get hold of compared to last gen’s console.
Sony is also boasting some impressive software sales across both PS5 and PS4 games. According to the company, 338 million games were sold between March 2020 and 2021. This number covers both digital and physical games. 65% of these games, which is roughly 220 million, were sold through the PlayStation Store. This is a 12% increase in digital sales compared to 2019. Sony says that 17% (58.4 million) of these sales were first-party games.
PlayStation Plus numbers are also on the rise but monthly active PlayStation Network users are down. Sony says that PlayStation Plus subscribers are now sitting at 47.6 million compared to 41.5 million in 2019. However, PlayStation Network activity is down from 114 million to 109 million. This is most likely a result of the pandemic and the loosening of lockdowns in certain countries.
2020 was the biggest year for Sony when it comes to the Game and Network service. The division reported a revenue of $24.4 billion. Of which, $3.15 billion is operating profit. This number was generated through digital services and sales including software and PlayStation Plus subscriptions. It has helped Sony offset the impact from the expensive launch of the PS5 and the drop in revenue caused by selling the console at a loss. Sony’s price hike across its first-party lineup could have also played a big role.
As for the year ahead, Sony is predicting a 9% rise in sales across hardware and software. This is driven by the PS5 launch and the sheer demand for the console. However, the company does expect profits to drop due to the increased costs surrounding game development and factors driven by the ongoing pandemic.