Sony’s PlayStation 4 console has been outselling its biggest rival Xbox One since the two consoles debuted more than five years ago. The Japanese company revealed at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) that the PlayStation 4 sales continue to be strong. The console has sold 91.6 million units since its launch in November 2013. It is expected to hit the 100 million milestone later this year.
PlayStation 4 sales remain rock solid
The PlayStation 4 sales were particularly impressive during the 2018 holiday shopping season. Sony Interactive Entertainment sold 5.6 million PS4 units between November 19 and December 31. In 2018, Sony sold 18 million units, which is slightly lower than 20.2 million units shipped in 2017. That’s still impressive considering the console has been around for more than five years.
Back in October last year, Sony said it had sold 86.1 million PS4 units since launch. The console got a big boost from the launch of God of War, which came out in April 2018 and sold 5 million copies within the first month of launch. The PlayStation 4 sales will soon reach 100 million. But it’s still far behind PlayStation 2, which sold more than 150 million units during its lifecycle.
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Last year, Sony Interactive Entertainment chief John Kodera told fans that the PS4 was nearing the end of its lifecycle, so its sales are expected to slow down. It means the next-generation PlayStation 5 console could be just a year or two away. The Japanese company has confirmed that it was working on the next-gen console, and recently teased the PS5 in the PS4 holiday theme.
John Kodera thanked fans for the overwhelming response to the PS4. He also revealed that the monthly active users of the PlayStation Network (PSN) surpassed 90 million in November 2018. The PlayStation Network is a subscription service that allows gamers to play online games and purchase digital items. The PSN was helped by blockbuster games such as Fortnite.
Spider-Man sells more than 9 million copies
Sony also highlighted that it sold more than 9 million copies (physical and digital) of Marvel’s Spider-Man as of November 25. Marvel’s Spider-Man, a PS4 exclusive developed by Insomniac, has become the fastest selling PS4 exclusive title of all time. It had sold 3.3 million copies in the first three days of launch. The previous record holder was Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End.
In total, customers purchased 50.7 million PS4 titles between November 19 and December 31. It takes the total number of PS4 games sold worldwide since the console’s launch to 876 million copies.
Even though the PS4 is nearing the end of its lifecycle, the console has plenty of steam left. Sony has a number of titles for the console this year. The company is improving features such as crossplay to let Fortnite gamers to play with their friends on Nintendo Switch or Xbox One. Sony also has interesting titles such as Days Gone, Death Stranding, MediEvil, Dreams, Ghost of Tsushima, and The Last of Us: Part II in the pipeline.
When is the PS5 coming out?
Sony has announced that it is going to skip the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) trade show for the first time in more than two decades. It means the company doesn’t have much new to talk about. It has either revealed the titles coming out later this year or wants to keep them a secret.
Since it won’t be attending the E3, it could unveil the PS5 towards the end of this year. The company acknowledged in October last year that it was working on the next-gen PlayStation console, though it didn’t confirm the name.
According to the rumor mill, Sony has been developing the PlayStation 5 under the code-name “Erebus.” The company has traditionally code-named its consoles after Greek deities. The name ‘Erebus’ was spotted in the Unreal Engine 4 code alongside the PS4 and Xbox One. The PlayStation VR was internally known as ‘Morpheus’ while the PS4 was code-named ‘Orbis.’ Erebus is the God of darkness.
There is little information about what the PS5 would look like. Sony’s recent patent filings suggest its controller could have a touchscreen. Sources familiar with the matter told Digital Foundry that the PS5 would run AMD’s Ryzen processor. The console is said to be backward compatible with the PS4, PS3, and PS2. It is also expected to offer improved AI capabilities and online streaming of games.
The PlayStation Network will also likely get a major overhaul with the PS5. It was recently updated to allow for faster download speeds and name changes, but it still lacks many user-requested features. According to one of Sony’s patents, the upcoming console could offer V-Sync support to run games more smoothly than ever before.
There is no guarantee that the PS5 would launch later this year, though some people remain hopeful. The PlayStation 4 sales are still rock solid and Sony would want to keep making money off of it as long as possible. Wedbush Securities analyst Michael Pachter predicts the PS5 would come out in 2020 or 2021. But Sony could speed up its launch if Microsoft launches the Xbox Scarlett earlier than expected.