Playstation 5 statistics and facts (2021)

Sony began its Playstation saga in 1994 as Sony’s response to Sega and Nintendo monopolizing a big chunk of the video game industry and it was a whole wrecking ball smashing the stage. The success was dazzling. The white and red Nintendo and the black Sega now had to deal with the grey and overly creative Playstation.

This success was not a coincidence or just sheer luck as subsequent years and releases would prove the world. For every new model of the Playstation, Sony would go on to show that they indeed know what they are doing and where they are going. It all started with an innocent enough demand and partnership: Nintendo wanted Sony to help build a console that could use Sony’s CD-reading technology (the one used for its walkman). But things went south for the two companies as they could not get along at all and Sony made a run with its technology and decided to use it for their own good.

Revolutionizing principles and concepts in the industry at every turn, Sony’s Playstation brought many novelties to the crowds of gamers: being able to read CDs and Blu-rays, more space allowing games to have more content (Final Fantasy 7-9 came with 3 to 4 CDs), 3D graphics, backward compatibility with games from a previous generation, etc.

Today, the world has seen 5 generations of Playstation living and dying in our living room (not including handheld devices). And every time, Sony manages to reinvent itself and delivers a new wonder that pushes the limits even further. For all the noise about the Playstation 5 and its price, the console reached astounding numbers of units sold in quite a short time, showing that it is just that indispensable.

Time to take a look at what the PS5 has achieved since its release in 2020 and try to round up its achievements and what the console is all about.

Playstation 5 key stats

What is hidden inside the beast or is it doing well worldwide? Questions like these are directly related to how the PS5 is doing since its release and will be answered here.

1. The PS5 is eight times more powerful than the PS4.

(Source: Digital Trends)

  • Despite both being bulky, the PS5 towers over the Xbox Series X and most, if not all, gaming systems.
  • In terms of connectivity, the console has 5 different ports amongst which the rare USB-Type C port.
  • The console has a built-in storage of 825GB that can be customized using a specific SSD.
  • It comes with a game called Astro’s Playroom, built specifically to demonstrate how the new Dualsense controller is a fine piece of technology.
  • It can display 4K at up to 120 frames per second.
  • Its huge internal fan and large vents make it easier for the PS5 to stay cool and avoid making a lot of noise.

The PS5 is the Queen of all Performances on the modern gaming stage. Its specs have been thoroughly worked on and polished and the final product is an extraordinary piece of technology worth its price. And it is a feat in this ever-competitive society where companies try to always take it farther when it comes to innovative technology. Even its controller changed the whole gaming experience by enhancing how immersive and tactile it can be. Its fluidity graphically and fast loading times (amongst others) are above the rest too. 

2. The console sold 2.1 million to 2.5 million units on both launch days combined worldwide.

(Source: VG Chartz)

  • It was launched on November 12, 2020 in North America, Australia, Japan, South Korea, Singapore and New Zealand. On November 19, Europe and the rest of the world followed.
  • The $499 model represented 75% of the sales, while the Digital Edition represented 25%.
  • On November 12, between 1.3 to 1.6 million units were sold.
  • The console sold 1 million – 1.2 million units in the US, 95.000 – 110.000 units in Canada, 65.000 – 75.000 in Mexico, 45.000 – 65.000 units in New Zealand and Australia combined and 115.000 – 120.000 units in Japan.
  • On November 19, 800.000 to 900.000 units were sold and between 660.000 and 800.000 of those were from Europe.
  • The PS5 sold 230.000 – 280.000 units in the UK, 105.000 – 125.000 in France and 115.000 – 140.000 units in Germany.
  • The console was launched on March 15, 2021 in China with a good headstart: over 35 million direct views during the press conference, 5000+ media reports reporting the announcement, over 500 million local impressions expressed, 98% positive sentiment and pre-order units sold in less than 3 minutes.

The console was breaking records left and right at launch. And it was a huge surprise as it happened when the pandemic was going strong everywhere. With people losing their jobs, making less money because of pay cuts, most shops being closed, it was really uncertain whether or not the console would do well.

3. As of November 2021, the number of PS5 consoles sold is over 14 million.

(Source: VG Chartz)

  • In comparison, the Nintendo Switch that was released in March 2017 has reached a total of 94 million units sold.
  • The Xbox Series X/S, which was released at the same time as the PS5, has reached 8 million units sold.
  • Through the first 51 weeks after launch, the PS5 has outperformed the Xbox Series X/S on every chart: worldwide, Europe, US and Japan (where the latter is flirting with 0). However, the Switch keeps its lead, going even stronger in Japan.
  • It is forecast that by the end of 2024, 67.3 million PS5 will have been sold. The 5 million forecast for 2020 were reached, but 17.9 million for 2021 does not seem to be achievable this year (except if they sell 3 million units in December).

The Switch has an advantage of 3 years, but the console is actually still popular. It can be considered to be the direct rival of the PS5 and not the Xbox Series despite being as new as Sony’s console. Why? Simply because Sony has been crushing Microsoft in terms of sales since day 1, especially in Japan where it does not seem to be loved at all. In addition, the numbers forecast are actually attainable, but the continuous shortage in chips is still making it really difficult to supply enough consoles based on the demand.

4. 37 million units were shipped 4 weeks after release.

(Source: VG Chartz)

Even if Playstation cannot follow the demand, we can still see that they are doing their best. The chip shortage can only make us wonder what the numbers would really be if the company could actually deliver as many consoles as needed worldwide.

5. As of Q3 2021, Sony’s Game & Network Services saw an increase of 27% in its sales.

(Source: Games Industry)

The console was sold like hotcakes and it is still really difficult to find it in stores nowaday. This situation is an opportunity for scalpers who do not hesitate to resell it for an astronomical sum to naive and desperate gamers, something Playstation is trying to counter by changing the way they are shipping the product to stores directly.

6. In 2019, the Guinness World Records certified Playstation as “the best-selling video game home console brand ever”.

(Source:IGN)

  • At the time, the brand had accumulated 450,190,000 units sold in total through four generations of consoles.
  • Playstation was ranked #9 on Top 50 Prophet Brand Relevance Index US 2021.
  • In October 2021, the PS5 won the Good Design Gold Award in Japan, making it one of the most desirable pieces of technology in 2021.
  • In September 2020, strangely enough and puzzling for a lot of people, the console was not nominated for Gamescom “Most Wanted Tech” Award.

The PS5 is only one year old, but has already done so much that the next awards ceremonies might be really interesting for the hardware.

Playstation 5 user stats

With services such as the Playstation Store, Playstation Network and multiple multiplayer games that can be played online, the PS5 is capable of gathering players together for even more fun. Whether you are a lone wolf or a sucker for riding in the wild with your posse, the console has something for all its users.

7. Women represent 41% of gamers on PS4/PS5.

(Source: Sony)

  • This number was only 18% back with the Playstation in the 90s.
  • The PS5 is most popular with players aged 31-36.
  • When looking at the demographics for the Playstation, we can see that it was the most popular with 13-18, meaning that Sony’s fanbase of the first hour stayed loyal to their favorite console until later in their adulthood.
  • At least 5% of PS4/PS5 owners are aged between 49-54.
  • The age group 43-48 accounts for another 5% and a little over 10% are aged between 37-42.

The number of female gamers has always been slowly rising and the fact that they represent almost half of the PS4/PS5 population says a lot on the way mentalities started changing. It is also interesting to note that they do not always play “games made for girls like the Sims” and that phrase is just a big cliché. In addition to that, it is heartwarming to see a whole generation of 90s kids staying loyal to their favorite brand and growing up with it. Playstation is really showing its timelessness.

8. The Playstation Network (PSN) had 114 million active users in December 2020.

(Source: ComeToPlay)

The central nerve of the Playstation consoles since its advent. It is pretty rare, if not downright impossible, to find someone not actively using the service.

9. In fiscal year 2020, the Playstation Plus Service now boasts a fine 48 million subscribers.

(Source: Sony)

  • This service shows an increase of 6.1 million subscribers during the fiscal year 2020/21.
  • In 2014, it only had 8 million subscribers.
  • 40% subscribed because of the online multiplayer services.
  • 30% did because of the monthly free games.
  • 18% did for the game discounts and offers.
  • And 12% subscribed for the Cloud storage for game saves.
  • 75% of the Playstation Plus Service users range from 8 to 10 in terms of satisfaction.

The rise of free to play multiplayer games gave a huge boost to the service. The fact that you could get games for free each month was already really appealing, but being able to play for hours with your friends on your favorite gaming system is sealing the deal for a lot of people.

10. The PS5 library includes more than 360 games.

(Source: VG Chartz)

  • More than 25 exclusive games are currently being developed at Playstation Studios.
  • The two most played games on PS5 are Fortnite and Call of Duty:Black Ops Cold War.
  • The Top 5 also includes FIFA 2021, NBA 2K21 and Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla (in this order).
  • It is also possible to play more than 4,000 old-gen games since players can transfer their whole PS4 library on their PS5, thanks to backward compatibility. 

The console is slowly getting comfortable with its catalog and the first-party studios working directly under Playstation are more than eager to deliver even more exclusive games to the users. Plus, most of those games received really good reviews enforcing the idea that through its powerful performances, the PS5 helps developers to bring their vision to full fruition. 

Playstation 5 vs Playstation Gen 1-4

As the youngest in the family, but also the more powerful and the one breaking a few records right on launch day, the PS5 cannot avoid the comparison with the older generations of consoles. It will also show how well Sony has been doing with the Playstation series.

11. The PS5 has a long way to go to catch up to the PS2, the most sold console worldwide, with its 157.68 million units.

(Source: VG Chartz)

  • Released in December 1994, the Playstation has sold 102.50 units in total.
  • Released in November 2006, the PS3 has sold a total of 87.41 million units.
  • As of November 2021, the PS4 has sold over 116.64 million units worldwide. It was first released on November 15, 2013 and continues to sell units and games up to this day.

All the past generations of Playstation appear in the Top 10, with three of them in the Top 5. Of course, the PS5 is way lower in the ranking (#22, to be precise), but it only debuted. Let’s give it some more 5 years and see where it is going to be then.

12. The best-selling game on PS5 so far is Spiderman: Miles Morales with 6.5 million copies sold.

(Source: Sony)

  • It is followed by the PS4 with the same game and a total of 20+ million copies.
  • Rockstar continues its reign with GTA: San Andreas being the best-selling game for the PS2 with 17.33 million copies sold.
  • Gran Turismo is the #1 on Playstation with 10,850,000 copies sold.
  • As of November 2021, Far Cry 6 is one of the best-selling games on PS5. However, Spider-Man: Miles Morales is said to be the best-selling one with 6.5 million copies sold for now (no numbers found for Far Cry 6).

A regular on Playstation, Rockstar’s own GTA has made sure to steal all the attention with their fantastic series of games. 

13. With its 7.8 million units sold for FY2020, the PS5 is Playstation’s highest ever launch year sales.

(Source: Sony)

  • It was 7.6 million for the PS4. A huge jump as the PS3 scored 3.6 million in its time.
  • In 1994, the Playstation sold 0.7 million units at launch and in 1999, it was 1.4 million for the PS2.

The graph actually shows that numbers just kept rising with each new generation, showing that the interest was also growing. The interest in 3D games, in a bigger diversity of games, in the fact that video games were not just for kids, etc.

To Sum Up

So many of us have fantastic memories of the Playstation, whatever generation it might have been we started with. I did it with the original in the 90s, having fun voicing the characters in JRPG because not all of them had voice acting (or just a few lines) and like millions of us, until now, I stayed faithful to every generation. 

It is not difficult to see why and how Sony’s Playstation maintained its status as an institution. There is always something new with them, for the players and the studios developing the games. We saw throughout the years how graphics were looking sharper and sharper, more details that we could zoom in, more realistic faces, fluidity in the movements, rich environments, etc. Today, I can zoom on all those flyers/posters/signs in Yakuza 7 and actually read and see the pictures for an even better immersion in the game.

It is not just on our screens that the magic is working its wonders: the Dualsense is giving a good rest to our fingers and letting us play in extreme comfort. Its buttons and Dpad are well defined and smooth and the triggers feel different based on the situation, with the resistance changing. And let me not start on the fact that the console is silent and does not sound like a smoker wheezing its life away when the time comes to push it a bit more. That and her sexy curves when standing horizontally, and the PS5 is a serious winner.

Playstation has still a lot in their sleeves for players and we simply cannot wait to see the direction they will take!

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