Companies can toss big impressive numbers at you, but sometimes it’s putting those numbers in context that really makes them stand out. In 2019, more than 257 million PS4 games were sold. That’s 257,000,000. It’s a big number for PS4 software sales, but just how big is it? Breaking it down to average daily sales, that’s about 704,000 PS4 games sold every day, and further distilling that number averages out to 8.15 PS4 games sold every second in 2019. And yet, that only added up to Sony’s second-best year. That number was even higher in 2018 at about 8.84 per second (accounting for total software sales of 279 million in the same year).
PS4 2019 games sales were also the second-highest ever software sell-through for any platform in recorded console history. As for software sell-in (sold to retailers but not necessarily to consumers), the PS2 and PS4 dominate the top seven spots for highest yearly software sales, and only the Nintendo DS and Wii manage to crack into the top 10 (PS1’s 1999 sits at number 9). The PS4 software sales numbers do exclude “download-only software titles,” so estimates could put those numbers even higher if dedicated PSN games were factored in.
While total software sales may have been down slightly in 2019, the total sell-through of digital software continued to rise year-over-year. Not including digital-only titles that didn’t also release at retail, digital software sales rose to 109.8 million in 2019, up from 93.1 million in 2018. Digital software sales were a big contributor to Sony earning more than $12 billion in revenue through the PlayStation Network, its second-biggest year, which also in part consisted of a continued rise in revenue from subscription services (PlayStation Plus and PlayStation Now). It was also Sony’s second-biggest year for PS4 hardware sales, dipping slightly from its peak in 2018.
Sale beginning to decline is all part of the console cycle as Sony readies itself for the PS5 release date in holiday 2020. A brand new PS5 site just went live today, but Sony isn’t quite ready for a full PlayStation 5 reveal just yet. Sony also hasn’t finalized a PS5 price, waiting for Xbox Series X pricing in order to determine how much it can afford to undercut the Microsoft console.