PlayStation 5 Crushes Xbox in 5:1 Shipments

Why Trust Techopedia

  • The PS5 shipped nearly five times more units than the Xbox Series X|S in Q4 2023.
  • Sony's enhanced subscription services, in-game purchases, and digital content boosted ARPU and revenue in FY23.
  • Sony is expanding its game portfolio to PC platforms and other devices.
  • Diversifying revenue streams is positioning Sony for continued success in the gaming market.
  • Sony's strategic focus is driving significant growth and competitive advantage.

PlayStation is dominating Xbox in the console market wars, according to the most current figures available.

The PS5 is shipping at nearly five times the rate of the Xbox Series X|S, according to Daniel Ahmad, Director of Research & Insights at Niko Partners, exploring both company’s 2023-2024 reports.

In Q4 2023, Sony reported shipping 4.5 million PS5 units, putting the Xbox Series X|S shipments at around 900,000 units based on Ahmad’s estimate.

Sony’s FY 2023 earnings report reveals that by December 9, 2023, 50 million PS5 units were sold.

Ahmad further noted that by March 31, 2024, PS5 sales reached 59.2 million units.

Despite these impressive figures, the PS5 still trails slightly behind the PS4, which sold 60 million units within the same time frame. According to Ahmad, Sony does not anticipate the PS5 surpassing the PS4’s sales numbers in the coming year.

Sony’s Strategy

Ahmad pointed out that Sony’s strategy has shifted significantly towards increasing the Average Revenue Per User (ARPU) for console users.

This is clear in Sony’s efforts to improve its subscription services, in-game purchases, and digital content, which we saw during Sony’s 2024’s State of Play live event.

In fact, in FY23, Sony reported revenues of approx. $5.5 billion (+29% compared with FY22) from digital software and approx. $6.9 billion (+26%) from add-on content, showing Sony’s commitment to maximizing ARPU.

Furthermore, Sony is adopting a “beyond console” strategy, which includes expanding its game portfolio to PC platforms and other devices. As a result, sales of first-party titles on platforms other than PlayStation consoles (called “Other Software”) reached about $672 million (+56% compared to FY22).

Of particular note was the success of Helldivers 2, which as Admad noted, drove huge sales across PC, shipping more than 54,000 units in Q3 alone.

The Bottom Line

Sony’s PlayStation 5 has greatly outperformed the Xbox Series X|S in Q4 2023, with strong shipping figures.

Even though it is slightly behind the PS4 in total sales, the PS5’s performance and Sony’s focus on increasing ARPU through digital content and services suggest a bright future.

Sony’s “beyond console” strategy, which includes expanding to PC platforms and other devices, helps diversify its revenue, giving the company more avenues in a severely competitive market.

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