For the gamer without one, the PS5 is the holy grail. And one with not only value to the customer, but a big moneymaker for the manufacturer Sony. Just-released research revealed that the PlayStation 5 raked in $2.6 billion in sales and, as of this week, has sold 5.21 million units (which retail for $500). Trading Platforms UK’s report also showed that 3.51 million units of the Microsoft Xbox series X/S have been sold globally, with a preliminary revenue of $1.75 billion.
The holiday was a whirlwind of activity and networking among gamers as well as those who might gift them the hotly anticipated, very difficult to find and buy PlayStation 5 from the start of its release in the U.S. in November 2020. Despite the online frustrations of devices selling out literally 20 seconds after a release and the endlessly long lineups for little reward at Walmarts, clearly, enough consumers got the coveted PS5 to merit the big money revenue.
In the rush to meet that Dec. 25 deadline, some parents and partners opted to purchase from third-party/non-licensed sellers for as much as three times the retail price.
PS5: High demand, low supply
And before you assume this was only in the PS5’s early days, the demand is still high and the supply is still low.
“I’ve been looking for three months,” said gamer Dan Lee, 25, a New York City-based ops tech associate who continues to check sites daily. “I’ve never once seen it in stock. I occasionally feel compelled to go third party, but then see how much they are.” Of his many gamer friends, Lee said, “I only know one person who got one, and it was sheer luck.”
Lee is one of the many in North America who still longingly covet a PS5, yet the region leads in worldwide sales: 2.47 million of the 5.21 million total global sales units were sold in Canada, the United States and Mexico–where Xbox Series X/S sold 1.98 million units.
“The sales could have been higher, as most retailers resorted to selling the consoles online,” because the pandemic impacted production and supply, the report found. But demand for the PS5 and Xbox “consoles remains high, and consumers have struggled to find either console in stock, with supply continuing to be constrained.”
The PS5 was first released in North America, followed by Japan, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore and South Korea.
Around the world
In Europe, 1.73 million PS5 consoles have been sold while Xbox Series X/S units stand at 1.05 million.
Sales in Japan are at 0.34 million for the PS5 while 0.03 million Xbox Series X/S have been sold. For the rest of the world, 0.67 million and 0.45 million PS5 and Xbox Series X/S have been sold, respectively.
Success for Sony, despite supply demands
For Sony, said Trading Platform UK’s report, “although it faced a series of delays in some regions, the company managed to circumvent all the pressure and achieve this sales milestone in its history.”
It added: “At this point, the two consoles’ overall sales will be defined by the supply factor that will play out across 2021. However, despite the supply constraints, the new consoles are expected to outperform their predecessors.”
Gaming’s popularity only grew when the population was forced indoors. “With authorities enforcing social distancing and lockdown measures, gaming offered an engaging distraction for people at home looking for social interaction,” said Justinas Baltrusaitis, an analyst at Trading Platforms UK. “This translated into growth for the sector while elevating competition among key players like Sony and Microsoft to meet the new spike in demand. Moving into 2021, it will be vital to see how the industry evolves to retain new users.”