PlayStation 4 Sales Hit 50 Million Units

Posted on December 7, 2016 by Paul Thurrott in Xbox with 25 Comments

PlayStation 4 Sales Hit 50 Million Units

Sony announced today that it has now sold over 50 million PlayStation 4 video game consoles worldwide. That is roughly double the number of Xbox One consoles sold in the same time period.

“We’re truly delighted that the PS4 community continues to flourish since launch three years ago.” Sony Interactive Entertainment president and CEO Andrew House said in [a prepared statement](Andrew House). “With tremendous support from our fans and partners across the globe, this year we were able to deliver an unprecedented lineup of hardware such as the new slimmer PS4, PS4 Pro and PlayStation VR. We will continue to provide the best gaming experiences available through our ground-breaking software lineup and network services, as we focus on accelerating our business and expanding the PS4 ecosystem.”

A few key take-aways from this announcement:

  • Sony last revealed sales figures for the PlayStation 4 in May, when it announced total unit sales of 40 million. So Sony has sold 10 million PS4 consoles in the intervening 6 months, or about 1.67 million units per month on average.
  • These are sales to consumers, not into the channel. That is, this is a “real” number in the sense that there are 50 million actual PlayStation 4 users out in the world. Many companies note sales into the channel, which are no less real but do not necessarily represent the user base because many units could be on store shelves or elsewhere in the channel.
  • Sony says that last week was “the best ever Black Friday week in the history of PlayStation,” while not providing specific sales figures for the time period.Microsoft, you may recall, had previously stated that it experienced “strong demand” for Xbox One on Black Friday (the day, not the week). And I’ve seen reports that Xbox One outsold the PS4, in the United States, on that day. But it appears that PS4 has won the holidays, which was expected.
  • PlayStation 4 sales include the original PS4, the “slim” PS4, and the PS4 Pro. Which is both expected and acceptable. (Total Xbox One sales will likewise include the original console, the S console, and, when released, “Project Scorpio” too. These aren’t separate products, just separate models.)
  • Total PS4 software sales hit 369.6 million units sold in retail and digitally, Sony says. That’s another great measure of growth and strength, and I’d love to be able to compare that to game title sales on Xbox One. Basically, the average PS4 owner has purchased 7 games.

So. What about Microsoft?

Back in March, we theorized that Microsoft had sold between 18 and 24 million Xbox One consoles, or roughly 20 million units. (The company long ago gave up revealing the real figure, given how badly it was being beaten by Sony.) Assuming that’s true, we know that Xbox One outsold PS4 in July, August, September, and October in the United States, and that Xbox One S sales have been solid since that device’s introduction in August. Therefore, I will calculate/invent that Microsoft has sold approximately 25 million units. It could be lower, it could be higher.

Regardless, what hasn’t changed is that PS4 has outsold Xbox One by roughly 2-to-1. That has apparently been consistent for a while now, and I had hoped—even expected, frankly—that the success of the Xbox One S would narrow the gap.

This would be a wonderful time for Microsoft to chime in.

 

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