Sony has shipped 7.8 million PS5s, outpacing PS4 launch in best ever year for PlayStation

Sony has reported that 7.8 million PlayStation 5s had been shipped by 31st March 2021, in what is “PlayStation’s best year ever” following the launch of the new generation of games consoles. While they’re struggling to meet demand for the PS5, being able to sell practically every console they can produce means that the PS5 is tracking just slightly ahead of the PS4’s own launch records.

Having managed to produce and sell 4.5 million PS5s before the end of 2020, Sony has followed that up with 3.3 million consoles in the first three months of 2021, up to 31st March. The 7.8 million total is inching ahead of the 7.6 million that the PS4 was able to achieve during its own first two quarters on sale.


It’s helped to propel Sony’s Game & Network Services division to their best ever year, per Niko Partners analyst Daniel Ahmad, with a reported revenue of $25.03 billion (corrected following the embedded tweet) for the last fiscal year.

Sony expects the new fiscal year to be just as strong, with sales continuing to grow by around 9%. However, the start of a new generation is always a transitional period. Operating Income jumped by 44% from 2019-20 to 2020-21, but it is now expected to slide despite growing revenue off the back of new console sales and increased engagement with services like PlayStation Plus.

Sony put this down to several factors: the PlayStation 5 is currently being sold at a loss, as is typical of the start of a generation, their first party game development is getting more expensive, and they anticipate lower third party game and DLC sales. 2020’s financials were also coloured by the dramatic boost in engagement that entertainment companies saw from the pandemic and people spending more time at home. There likely won’t be a similar boost for 2021, as world governments aim to loosen lockdowns and restrictions.

Still, all of this is very encouraging for the PlayStation 5. Sony are off to a flier with the new console, and we expect they already have a clear lead over the rival consoles from Microsoft. The only thing that can really hold the PS5 back, it seems, is the global chip shortage and supply constraints…

Source: Daniel Ahmad

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  1. Great news for Sony.
    Hopefully only a very small amount of the sales were from scalpers.

    • A few people managed to buy lots to start with, but it looks like the shortages now aren’t down to scalpers. It’s just a lack of stock and silly demand. If you managed to get one now and tried to sell it at CeX, for example, you’d only make a £100 profit. (They’d then sell it for £230 on top of what they pay you). You’d even lose money trying to sell the digital edition to them.

      And it looks like there was a complete lack of new stock this month. Maybe down to general lack of parts to make them, along with shipping delays (did they get stuck in a canal?). All the rumours suggest May will have a huge shipment. Maybe 2 months worth arriving all at once.

      So that should hopefully put an end to any profit scalpers might make. And make it easier to compete with the millions of others trying to buy them because they want one, not just to sell for a profit.

      Now, where’s the numbers from MS? Must be lower, otherwise they’d be shouting about it. And given how long the Series S is available when it’s in stock, that’s clearly not selling well. That’s been available for days at a time to just walk into an Argos, of all places, and collect one, while the PS5 sells out in minutes. (They’ve still got one available now. Almost 500 miles away, so wouldn’t be a great option if I wanted one)

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