To call this generation a win for Sony is an understatement. The PlayStation 4 is still on track to be the best selling console for the electronics maker that they’ve ever made, and in the process they’ve up-ended their competition in Microsoft’s Xbox One and Nintendo’s Wii U and Switch consoles. It’s been a complete about face for the company if you think of where they were just a short while ago during the PlayStation 3 generation. Microsoft had managed to grab market share from Sony with the Xbox 360 and Nintendo’s Wii was a pop-culture phenomenon. The times they have changed though.
In the last year alone, Sony shipped 20 million PlayStation 4 units, a year over year increase from the 17 million it did in the year prior and one that’s got the console knocking on the door of the 60 million sold. That said, the PlayStation 4 is firing on all cylinders. With a huge installed base comes a lot of game sales, and those are on the rise as well. In the process, Sony is capturing a huge market share for digital content, third party releases, and seeing the fruits of releasing their big first party titles to this huge number of consoles. PlayStation exclusives like Horizon Zero Dawn, Uncharted 4, and other in-house developments are selling in the millions upon release boosting revenues for the PlayStation Division within the company.
With 40 million units sold as of last May, the 20 million units shipped to retailers surely puts the PlayStation 4 near 60 million units sold to date. While numbers have been hard to track this generation from Microsoft. The most recent projections suggest that the Xbox One has sold around 33 million units to date. To put it simply, the PlayStation 4 continues to outsell the Xbox One by a margin of 2 to 1, despite Microsoft’s attempts to play catch-up.
The 20 million units that were shipped in the latest fiscal year could be a top for the console, with Sony beating the previous year and guiding for lower shipments in the coming one, but its still on track to surpass the PlayStation 2 if sales for the console don’t completely collapse.
The PlayStation 4 has no doubt been a huge success, but consumers will have more options than ever in the coming year. Microsoft is slated to release their Xbox Scorpio console, will still have their Xbox One S for sale, and Nintendo’s new Switch console has been setting records of its own.
Sony won’t be going into the battle for the second half of 2017 empty handed. The PlayStation 4 Pro released last fall with the capability of delivering 4K gaming for some of its titles, but there is no doubt that the console with the capability for the highest fidelity games will be Microsoft’s Scorpio. From what we’ve gathered so far, the PS4 Pro will be a less expensive alternative to the Scorpio and that could very well put Sony in position to continue to outshine Microsoft when it comes to sales. If you’ll recall the slow start for the Xbox One due to marketing mishaps and a higher price point, they very well could be in the same position as they were in 2013… at least when it comes to the price war.
It’s hard to imagine that Sony would want or even need to announce and/or release a new console this year, but never say never. With E3 2017 just around the corner, Sony hasn’t been one in recent years to allow their competition to win the war of public opinion at the show.