PS5 Has Outsold PS4 In Its First Fiscal Year on Sale
PlayStation 5 has sold 7.8 million units in its first fiscal year on sale, ending March 31, 2021 – outstripping PS4’s 7.6 million units sold in the same period.
Revealed in Sony’s full year earnings release today, the number means that Sony has managed to hit its target of outselling PS4 at launch, despite the global pandemic, and the current semiconductor shortage slowing production.
It’s a major success, and contributes to Sony’s Game & Network Services Division having its biggest ever year, bringing in approximately $25 billion in revenue. As analyst Daniel Ahmad points out, that hardware sales made up 20% of that revenue, while digital software reached 21%, and add-on content (which includes microtransactions and DLC) made up a huge 34% of revenue – presumably due to the increased popularity of free-to-play games. As you might expect, physical games were a less successful story in the last financial year, only accounting for 5% of revenue, even beaten by sales of PlayStation peripherals at 6%.
Sony expects that success to continue, forecasting even higher revenue for the next fiscal year (although it expects profit to drop due to increased game development costs, among other things). Part of that success will come down to its already-announced target of 14.8 million units sold in PS5’s second year. While parts shortages could well continue to be a problem for that, SIE boss Jim Ryan has said the company is actively working to increase supply. Despite the shortages, PS5’s launch has been a successful one for Sony, including seeing the console become the fastest-selling console (for both unit and dollar sales) in US history.
As you’d expect, PS4 saw a major slowdown in sales during the last fiscal year, selling 5.7 million units – down from 2019’s 13.5 million. Despite the major shift towards PS5, Jim Ryan has previously said he expects Sony to continue making PS4 games until at least 2022, given the enormous size of the install base.