June 14, 2024

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Sony says the PlayStation 5 generation is the console’s most profitable generation yet

Sony says the PlayStation 5 generation is the console’s most profitable generation yet

The PlayStation 5 generation is officially Sony’s most profitable generation of hardware yet, according to new data shared by the company.

This comes from the company’s Gaming and Networking Services business segment Meeting and presentation slidesWhich was shared today following the company’s earnings report two weeks ago. In its presentation, Sony revealed that the PS5 generation has generated $106 billion in sales since its launch, surpassing every previous console at the same point in its generation.

PlayStation says the current generation is its most profitable yet.

Let’s stick some asterisks on this number real quick. First, Sony reported that the PS4 generation generated total sales of $107 billion, which is clearly over $106 billion. But the PS4 generation is taken as a whole, from fiscal year 2013 to fiscal year 2019, and includes three more years than the PS5 generation (which runs from fiscal year 2020 to fiscal year 2023). Four years into the PS4’s life cycle, it was still far behind the PS5 now, and the PS5 is on pace to easily surpass the total sales of the PS4 generation at some point this year.

It’s also worth noting that these dollar amounts are total sales over the console generation, and are not a reflection of sales of specific hardware or games. “PS5 generation” includes not only the PS5 itself, but everything the company does during this generation, including PS4 sales and game releases during this period. So, take it all with a grain of salt.

PlayStation is demanding a stronger lifetime spend on the PS5.
PlayStation is demanding a stronger lifetime spend on the PS5.

But it’s no surprise that the PS5 generation has been very profitable for Sony. Even with all the asterisks above, the PS5 has sold 56 million units so far. Although the PS4 has outsold significantly (117 million at last count), the PS5 was more expensive at launch than the PS4. Consistent spending on software throughout the combined lifecycle of both has helped Sony’s current console generation only grow in dollar sales even if console adoption has been a bit slow; Sony reports that both the PS4 and PS5 currently have 49 million monthly active consoles.

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The presentation also notes that even with half the unit sales, YTD spending on PS5 is significantly higher than YTD spending on PS4. DLC, services, and peripheral spending were up, but spending on full game content was down slightly on PS5 compared to PS4.

All of this means that if there was any doubt at all, the PlayStation 5 performs well. Unit sales are a useful way to gauge player interest, but they don’t tell the full story of how a company measures a console’s success. Amid persistent rumors that a PS5 Pro could be on the horizon, we may not be far from seeing Sony trying to capitalize on its current generation in another new, more expensive way.

Rebecca Valentine is a senior reporter at IGN. Got a story tip? Send it to [email protected].