PlayStation 5 off to unexpectedly strong start despite stock woes

Sony's financial results for the 2020 fiscal year are in, and it seems that the PlayStation 5 is hitting some big milestones in terms of sales. Obviously, we'd expect Sony to report that the console is selling well since it's impossible to find available stock anywhere, but today, Sony revealed how many consoles it has sold despite the stock shortages. These financial results make it clear that the PlayStation 5 is off to a strong start.

With the sales from the third and four quarters of the fiscal year – the two quarters in which the PlayStation 5 was available – all added up, Sony has managed to sell 7.8 million PlayStation 5 units so far. 4.5 million of these were sold in third quarter (which contained the ever-important holiday shopping season), while a further 3.3 million were sold in the fourth quarter.

The PlayStation 4 was no slouch during the fiscal year either, managing to pull in 5.7 million sales even though the PlayStation 5 arrived on the scene during the year. The PlayStation 4 saw somewhat steady sales throughout the year, selling between 1 million and 2 million units each quarter, though it is worth noting that sales dropped to an even 1 million in the final quarter of the year. Total PlayStation 4 sales now sit at 115.9 million lifetime.

Sony said today that 79% of game sales were digital in Q4, while 65% of game sales were digital for the year as a whole. The total number of PlayStation Plus subscribers remained more or less steady from Q3 to Q4, climbing from 47.4 million at the end of Q3 to 47.6 million at the end of Q4.

From here, Sony says that it's looking for PS5 sales to exceed the 14.8 million units the PlayStation 4 sold in its second year after launch, which may not be an easy task given that the current silicon shortage isn't likely to get better anytime soon. We'll see if Sony manages to hit that goal, but for now, it's safe to say that the PlayStation 5 is off to a strong start.