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PlayStation 5 statistics

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Fact-checked
Introduced
November 12, 2020
Markets
Worldwide
Generation
Ninth
Developer
Sony

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..

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 PS5 statistics to see what has been achieved since its release in 2020 and try to round up its achievements and what the console is all about. Also, if facts and figures interest you then we have a great piece about video games industry statistics!

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.

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 among which are two USB-Type C ports.
  • 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. 

The PS5 sold 2.1 million to 2.5 million units on both launch days combined worldwide.

(Source: VG Chartz)

  • The Disc Edition 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, and most shops being closed, it was really uncertain whether or not the console would do well.

As of June 2022, the number of PS5 consoles sold is over 20 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 was 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.

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

(Source: Games Industry)

  • Sony says that it is mostly due to the PS5 and its 13.4 million units sold, at the time of the reveal.
  • The console sees a total of 5.42 million units sold in Europe.
  • As of October 2021, it has sold 1 million units in the UK after 39 weeks.
  • The sales have reached 1.17 million units in Japan.
  • They have reached 5.50 million units in North America.
  • In the rest of the world, 2.10 million units have been sold.

The console was sold like hotcakes and it is still really difficult to find it in stores nowadays. 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.

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 the 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.

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 about 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.

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

(Source: ComeToPlay)

  • In April 2021, it went down to 109 million monthly active users.
  • The monthly number of active users declined to 104 million during Q3.
  • Players have accumulated 61 billion hours of gaming or 7 million years.
  • On average, players on PS5 spend 51.5 hours playing.
  • When comparing the engagement of players from November to March after their respective release, users on PS5 are more active than the one on PS4, peaking at 7.1 million against 8.6 million in December in favor of the PS5.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

With its 7.8 million units sold for 2020, 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 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 its sleeves for players and we simply cannot wait to see the direction they will take!

Sources

  • “PS5 Vs. Xbox Series X: The Next-Gen Consoles In Photos”. The Verge, 2020, https://www.theverge.com/2020/10/27/21535180/sony-ps5-playstation-5-photos-hands-on-xbox-series-x-comparison
  • “PS5 Review: The Future Of Console Gaming Is Here”. Tom’s Guide, 2021, https://www.tomsguide.com/reviews/ps5
  • “Astro’S Playroom Is The Perfect Showcase For The PS5’s Wild Dualsense Controller”. The Verge, 2020, https://www.theverge.com/21537067/astros-playroom-ps5-dualsense-hands-on-preview
  • “PS5 Sold An Estimated 2.1 To 2.5 Million Units Worldwide On Launch Days”. VGChartz, 2020, https://www.vgchartz.com/article/446429/ps5-sold-an-estimated-21-to-25-million-units-worldwide-on-launch-day/
  • Sony.Com, 2021, https://www.sony.com/en/SonyInfo/IR/library/presen/irday/pdf/2021/GNS_E.pdf
  • “PS5 Sales Top 14 Million, Switch Tops 94 Million – Worldwide Hardware Estimates For Oct 31-Nov 6”. VGChartz, 2021, https://www.vgchartz.com/article/451503/ps5-sales-top-14-million-switch-tops-94-million-worldwide-hardware-estimates-for-oct-31-nov-6
  • “PS5 Vs Xbox Series X|S Vs Switch Launch Sales Comparison Through Week 51”. VGChartz, 2021, https://www.vgchartz.com/article/451400/ps5-vs-xbox-series-xs-vs-switch-launch-sales-comparison-through-week-51
  • “Global PS5 Unit Sales 2020”. Statista, 2021, https://www.statista.com/statistics/1124784/unit-sales-ps5-worldwide
  • “7.8 Million PS5 Consoles Shipped, Outselling PS4 In The Same Period”. VG247, 2021, https://www.vg247.com/ps5-7-8-million-shipments-2021
  • “PS5 Shipped 10.1 Million Units As Of June 30 & PS4 Is At 116.5 Million; PlayStation Profit Down Yoy”. Twinfinite, 2021, https://twinfinite.net/2021/08/sony-playstation-financials-q1-2020
  • “Sony Raises Outlook Behind Strong PS5 Sales”. Front Office Sports, 2021, https://frontofficesports.com/sony-raises-outlook-behind-strong-ps5-sales
  • “Platform Totals – Vgchartz”. Vgchartz, 2021, https://www.vgchartz.com/analysis/platform_totals/Hardware/NA/
  • “PS5 Sales Top 1 Million Units In UK, Fastest-Selling PS Console In UK History”. VGChartz, 2021, https://www.vgchartz.com/article/450827/ps5-sales-top-1-million-units-in-uk-fastest-selling-ps-console-in-uk-history/
  • “PlayStation Awarded Guinness World Record For Best-Selling Home Console Brand”. IGN, 2019, https://za.ign.com/playstation-5/139657/news/playstation-awarded-guinness-world-record-for-best-selling-home-console-brand
  • “Top 50 Prophet Brand Relevance Index U.S.”. Ranking The Brands, 2021, https://www.rankingthebrands.com/The-Brand-Rankings.aspx?rankingID=408&year=1360
  • “PS5 wins the Good Design Gold Award – it has a unique design and is easy to clean”, Aroged, https://www.aroged.com/2021/10/20/ps5-wins-the-good-design-gold-award-it-has-a-unique-design-and-is-easy-to-clean/
  • “PS5 Not Nominated For Gamescom “Most Wanted Tech” Award Shows It’S A Sham”. GLITCHED, 2020, https://www.glitched.online/ps5-not-nominated-for-gamescom-most-wanted-tech-award-shows-its-a-sham
  • “41 Percent of PS4 PS5 Owners Are Female, Sony Reveals” PlayStation LifeStyle, https://www.playstationlifestyle.net/2021/05/27/ps4-ps5-owners-female-precentage
  • “PlayStation Plus May 2021 Free PS4 And PS5 Games Leak As Sony Makes Surprise Claim”. Express, 2021, https://www.express.co.uk/entertainment/gaming/1429123/PS-Plus-May-2021-PS4-PS5-games-leak-Sony-subscribers-Disco-Elysium-Godfall-Battlefield-5
  • “Sony Raises Outlook Behind Strong PS5 Sales”. Front Office Sports, 2021, https://frontofficesports.com/sony-raises-outlook-behind-strong-ps5-sales
  • “Infographic: PS5 Sales And Engagement Top Predecessor”. Statista, 2021, https://www.statista.com/chart/24957/ps5-ps4-sales-per-month-engagement
  • “PlayStation Plus Subscribers 2021”. Statista, 2021, https://www.statista.com/statistics/532431/playstation-plus-subscribers-global
  • “Fortnite And Black Ops Cold War Are The Most Played PS5 Games”. VGChartz, 2021, https://www.vgchartz.com/article/451470/fortnite-and-black-ops-cold-war-are-the-most-played-ps5-games
  • “As PS5 Turns A Year Old, More Than 25 Exclusives Are Currently In Development”. IGN, 2021, https://za.ign.com/playstation-5-1/159092/news/as-ps5-turns-a-year-old-more-than-25-exclusives-are-currently-in-development
  • “PS5 Backwards Compatibility: Here’s How It Works”. Gamesradar, 2021, https://www.gamesradar.com/ps5-backwards-compatibility
  • “Platform Totals”. VGChartz, 2021, https://www.vgchartz.com/analysis/platform_totals
  • “10 Best-Selling PlayStation 4 Games Of All-Time”. The Gamer, 2020, https://www.thegamer.com/playstation-4-best-selling-all-time
  • “PlayStation 5 Surpasses 10 Million Units Sold, Remains the Fastest Selling Console in Sony Interactive Entertainment History”. Sony Interactive Entertainment, 2021, https://www.sie.com/en/corporate/release/2021/210728.html

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Senior Editor