PS5 restocks are such a disaster, it's astonishing Sony sold this many

Sony published its financial report for the third quarter of its 2020 fiscal year today, and in that report, we're getting the first data on PlayStation 5 sales so far. The PlayStation 5 has been selling out nearly immediately whenever new stock is listed anywhere, so with available stock acting as the only real bottleneck to sales, it shouldn't come as a shock to learn that Sony shipped a ton of units in the PS5's first quarter of availability.

Specifically, in Q3 2020 (which ended on December 31st, 2020), Sony sold a whopping 4.5 million PS5 units [PDF]. Keep in mind that this isn't sell-through data – meaning these aren't consoles that retailers sold to consumers – but rather consoles that Sony shipped to retailers. Regardless, that's a huge number of consoles, and it's certainly surprising that Sony sold that many when it seems like there aren't any to buy.

In any case, the PlayStation 4 managed 1.4 million sales in Q3 2020, and while that isn't bad considering that it had to contend with the freshly-released PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X|S, it's still a rather large drop off from the same quarter in 2019, where the PlayStation 4 saw 6 million sales. Though PlayStation 4 sales are clearly slowing, its performance in Q3 2020 should be enough to put total lifetime sales around 115 million consoles.

Sony reports that PlayStation Plus had 47.4 million subscribers as of the end of Q3 2020, and that it sold 103.7 million software units between the PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5 during the quarter. Of those, 53% were digital sales, which is actually a drop off from previous quarters (likely because of an uptick in physical sales as many retailers were selling PS5 units in bundles), and 18.4 million were first-party titles.

So, the PlayStation 5 is off to a good start, but it isn't hard to wonder how much better the PlayStation 5 could have done last quarter if there was more available stock. Hopefully those stock problems get sorted out soon, because if Sony's latest financials make one thing clear, it's that people want to buy the PlayStation 5.