Around half a decade ago, I was standing in a line at my local CNA and preparing to pick up my shiny new PlayStation 4. Excitement was in the air, the thrill of then being able to own “the next-gen” on launch day was dizzying stuff and the actual hardware was sexy stuff. It’s now 2020 and even with a few revisions along the way I still have my original PS4 in all of its sexy sleek glory that is just begging to be used to put someone’s eye out.
2020 will most likely be the year that I pack my PS4 up and leave it in its box as I look towards the future, a feeling that many a consumer is experiencing right now as Sony’s current generation of console gaming begins to wind down ahead of the launch of the PlayStation 5 later this year. The latest financial quarterly results are in for the October to December spending spree period, and they make for some interesting reading overall.
The PlayStation 4 is currently on a downward trend as consumers shore up funds for the PS5, with sales having peaked in previous years compared to 2019’s still impressive results:
- The PlayStation 4 has now sold 108.9 million units as of December 31 2019
- 6.1 million consoles were shipped in 2019’s final quarter, down from last year’s 8.1 million
- 14.7 million PS4 units were shipped in 2019, which is down from 2018’s 17.7 million
- PS Plus subscribers now sit at 38.8 million, accounting for 37% of PS4 owners
- PS4 software sold during the holiday season quarter was 81.1 million sales, down from last year’s 87.2 million
- 49% of those software sales were digital downloads, up from last year’s 37%
- Total software sales in 2019 was 240 million, with 110 million being digital downloads
- That makes for 46% of total sales being digital
There’s a great selection of graphs over on ResetEra if such accounting content tickles your numerical fancy, but the gist of all this is that the PlayStation 4 era is beginning to wind down. Even with the likes of Ghost of Tsushima and The Last of Us Part II on the way, this is the twilight of the current generation of consoles. There’ll likely still be some sales to be had, but people are ready for the future.
Just for the sake of comparison, the original PlayStation had 102.49 million lifetime sales, the PlayStation 2 reigns supreme with 155 million units sold and the PlayStation 3 clocked in at 87.4 million console sales. With the numbers above, that puts the PS4 in a solid second place overall in the Sony rankings, and the fourth best-selling console of all time.
The PS4 has had a hell of a run over the last couple of years, and here’s hoping that the PS5 can surpass that benchmark.
Last Updated: February 4, 2020