Even though a lot of the market news these days is centered around how much product Nintendo has been moving with the Switch, it doesn’t mean that Sony has magically stopped shifting massive amounts of PlayStation 4 units over that same period of time. In fact, Sony has sold a ridiculous number of PS4s.
According to Polygon, Sony has sold 91.6 million PlayStation 4 SKUs around the globe. This includes the vanilla PlayStation 4, the PlayStation 4 Slim, and the PlayStation 4 Pro. The company has also managed to accrue more than 90 million active PlayStation Network users as of the end of November 2018, which was revealed by the president and CEO of Sony Interactive Entertainment, John Kodera.
Sony has thoroughly beaten Microsoft this generation, especially since Microsoft stopped revealing hardware numbers back in 2015, following an abysmal start at the beginning of the console generation when the former executive, Don Mattrick, had spearheaded various anti-consumer policies such as the 24-hour check-in and the ban on used games that caused a lot of gamers to favor Sony instead of Microsoft. The sales from 2013 up to 2015 were quite resoundingly in Sony’s favor.
Microsoft has sold just a fraction of the PS4’s cumulative figures, making it rather clear that the Xbox One is trailing behind its competitor in a big way. This has also affected exclusivity deals between the two consoles, with Activision now favoring the PS4 as the lead platform for DLC, or more indies and niche developers opting to get their games on the PS4 or Nintendo Switch before eyeing the Xbox One.
And yes, the Nintendo Switch has managed to catch up to the Xbox One, with 22.86 million units having been shifted. This has courted quite a few indie devs to the platform, but not enough to completely shift the market share that Sony holds with the PlayStation 4.
Polygon estimates that if it keeps on its current pace, the PS4 could match or surpass the Wii’s lifetime unit sales of 101.63 million, especially if Sony doesn’t abandon it during the 2019 holiday season. Of course, software moves hardware, and ultimately the PS4’s ability to break the Wii’s record will be based on what sort of software Sony has lined up for the 2019 holiday season. Many suspect that will be on the docket, but there’s no confirmation of that yet. Others suspect that might be released as well, but there’s also no confirmation of that either.
However, if either game is pushed into 2020, there’s no doubt in my mind that Sony will continue to support the PS4 up and through that time to make the most out of its software exclusives. Heck, I could even see the company using those two high-profile games as cross-generational releases to get people interested in the PlayStation 5.
For now, though, Sony doesn’t have to worry about the PS5 or any of the console war tension that usually kicks up at the start of the generation. The company has a firm grasp on a comfortable lead ahead of its nearest competitors with a massive amount of sales for the PS4, and that’s not changing anytime soon.