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Despite short supply, the PlayStation 5 is Sony’s fastest-selling console ever

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Company says it cleared 10 million units sold in 249 days; PS4 sold 10 million in 271

close-up of PlayStation logo on the PlayStation 5 Image: PlayStation/Twitch

The PlayStation 5 has sold 10 million units, worldwide, since its launch in November, reaching that number faster than any other console made by Sony Interactive Entertainment, the company said on Wednesday.

The PS5 reached the milestone on July 18, 249 days after its launch, according to another news release sent Wednesday. By comparison, Sony announced on Aug. 12, 2014 that 10 million PlayStation 4 consoles had been sold, 271 days after its launch.

Sony was less enthusiastic about the weaker-selling PlayStation 3, announcing in October 2008 that it expected that console, which launched Nov. 11, 2006, to reach 10 million units sold by March 2009. The PlayStation 2, the greatest-selling console of all time, had shipped 10 million units as of March 23, 2001, more than a year after that system’s launch.

The PlayStation 4, which is still a supported and manufactured console, has sold more than 115 million units in nearly eight years on store shelves. But the 10 million milestone is still significant, at least when it comes to platform makers declaring a big success.

In 2008, then-Xbox head Don Mattrick infamously said the first console to sell 10 million “wins” its generation of hardware. Conveniently, the Xbox 360 had crossed that line the month before.

Microsoft has not announced hard sales numbers for the Xbox Series X, which launched Nov. 10, 2020. On Tuesday, however, Microsoft chief executive Satya Nadella told investors that the Xbox Series X and Series S “are our fastest selling consoles ever.” Industry analyst Daniel Ahmad said his firm, Niko Partners, estimates 6.5 million Xbox Series X and Series S units sold as of June 30.

Sony’s statement on Wednesday acknowledged the fact the PS5 hit this milestone despite facing greater demand and supply constraints than any of its predecessors. “Pushing through supply challenges and a global pandemic, we’re proud to have delivered a transformational gaming experience that is captivating players around the world,” said Veronica Rogers, SIE’s worldwide chief of business operations.

The company also said that MLB The Show 21, which launched in mid-April, has sold more than 2 million copies so far. It is easily the fastest-selling version of that game in the franchise’s 16-year history, mainly because Sony San Diego also developed a version for Xbox One and Xbox Series X, under an historic agreement brokered by Major League Baseball.

The Xbox Series X version was offered to Xbox Game Pass subscribers on the game’s launch day, which is likely why Sony can claim 4 million players, total, above the 2 million copies sold.

Wednesday’s news release added that the PS5-exclusive Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart, made by Sony-owned Insomniac Games, had sold more than 1.1 million copies between its June 11 launch and July 18.