Sony Interactive Entertainment announced today that it has sold 40 million PlayStation 5 consoles by July 16, 2023 - 31 months since the console's launch in November, 2020. The impressive figure represents units sold to customers, meaning the actual number of units shipped is likely much higher.
It's all the result of Sony finally solving the PS5's supply problem, which impacted the availability of the console for many, many months. PS5 consoles are on store shelves everywhere, and have been in stock for around six months, which greatly contributed to the console's strong sales of late.
Sony Interactive Entertainment CEO, Jim Ryan, acknowledged how supply-constrained the PS5 has been for much of its life.
"We launched PlayStation 5 in November 2020 and the world was in a strange and different place than when we announced the console in 2019. Despite the unprecedented challenges of COVID, our teams and our partners worked diligently to deliver PS5 on time," said Ryan.
"We continued to face headwinds with the pandemic, and it took months for supply chains to normalize so we could have the inventory to keep up with demand. For more months than I care to remember, we kept thanking our community for their patience while working through these issues. But now PS5 supply is well-stocked and we are seeing that pent up demand finally being met."
The demand for PlayStation 5 has been so strong, in fact, that 6.3 million units were sold between January and March of this year. That said, PS4 remains Sony's fastest-selling console ever, having reached the same 40 million milestone two months earlier.
Had the PS5 not suffered from poor availability for as long as it has, perhaps it would have overtaken the PS4 there. Considering this momentum, it would be entirely believable for the PS5 to end up beating the PS4's lifetime sales.
Unlike Sony, of course, Microsoft hasn't been sharing hardware sales figures for any of its consoles for a long while now. Reports indicate that there are around 21 million Xbox Series consoles in the wild. If true, that would mean a nearly two-to-one lead for PS5, which is not unusual, particularly given the PS4's reign over the last generation.