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The PS5 isn’t selling as fast as the PS4 did

Sony PlayStation 5
(Image credit: Future)

Sony has revealed that despite the high praise heaped upon it and its expanding library of impressive games, the PS5 has only sold 19.3 million units in total since its release in November of 2020. That might sound like a whole load of PS5s, but it’s a long way short of the 22.4 million PS4s that were sold during the equivalent early part if its life.

Looking at the sales figures in more detail provides more concerning trends, with Sony shipping just 2 million PS5s in the first quarter of 2022. This is down from 3.3 million consoles shipped in the first quarter of 2021.

Sony will likely take heart from the fact that these relatively low sales figures are apparently not a result of disinterest from gamers, but instead down to the supply of consoles being limited by a variety of factors, including the much-publicised chip shortage and general Covid-19 manufacturing and distribution issues. Supply problems have plagued the PS5 since day one, with limited stocks often selling out instantly due to resellers using bots to snatch all the available stock to then re-list for eye-watering price mark-ups.

Sony seems to be tempering expectations for future PS5 sales to reflect this shipping slump with estimates sitting at 18 million sales for the next fiscal year, which started on 1st April 2022. Sony initially anticipated selling 22.6 million units in this fiscal year, but with the chip shortage expected to last well into 2023, it looks as though it will be a while before PS5 production picks up properly.

Despite the lack of availability, Sony is still rolling out new PS5 features such as VRR, big budget first party games and even a revised premium subscription service in the form of an upgraded PlayStation Plus. There’s even a new PSVR on the horizon, but with lacklustre PS5 sales and with many gamers clinging onto their PS4s with little options to upgrade, it's up to Sony to overcome these issues and start delivering its vision of the next generation of gaming over a year on.

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Staff Writer Lewis is the newest addition to the What Hi-Fi? editorial team. Previously Gaming and Digital editor for Cardiff University's 'Quench Magazine', Lewis graduated in 2021 and has since worked on a selection of lifestyle magazines and regional newspapers. In his down time he enjoys gaming and regular cinema trips.