Sony Says PS5 Sales Have Peaked After 29% Decline

The console market is facing strong headwinds as we head into the latter half of this generation, something that is affecting both Xbox and PlayStation. Just weeks after Xbox announced a 31% year-over-year decline for hardware sales, Sony has now announced an almost identical 29% decline over the same period for the PS5.

That was 20.8 million sales, just missing its 21 million target, but that had already been dropped from 25 million previously. Now, Sony says it expects PS5 sales to continue to decline going forward, as 18 million sales are predicted for the next fiscal year. The console has peaked, and at this point, it looks like the PS5 will not ultimately catch the PS4 in sales.

Of course Sony is selling more PS5’s than Xbox, even if percent declines are similar, and Xbox doesn’t report exact numbers. Estimates usually put things at around a 2:1 sales ratio, similar to the previous generation, and Microsoft has mostly conceded that its never going to be back on top of the hardware race, hence the focus on other platforms.

So, what’s going on with Sony? For starters, the PS5 faced about two years of significant shortages, a period of time where it looked like it would have dramatically outsold the PS4. Since then, a lot of the bullets in its big-studio gun have already been fired. Horizon Forbidden West. God of War Ragnarok. Spider-Man 2, where Spider-Man 1 was the biggest hit of the PS4 generation. We have no release window or really even a tease of Naughty Dog’s next big game, as the only time we talk about them now is in relation to its HBO show.

It seems one of the biggest hits of this generation is going to be Helldivers 2, where it was announced the game has sold 12 million copies, and retains a healthy playerbase to this day. Though even there, the majority of those players are on PC, meaning that game is not a “system seller” in the sense that these other games may be. But PC release is the plan for all Sony’s live games going forward.

Unlike Microsoft which is grappling with its “day one on Game Pass” strategy, Sony is fighting the fact that the reach of its games are limited to its consoles, hence the push to PC, albeit for its single player games, that’s on a significant time delay. There’s also the issue of increasingly bloated budgets, where a game like Spider-Man 2 was said to be triple the cost of the first game, despite sharing large parts of a map and certainly not feeling like triple the amount of content, which eats into profits.

Both console makers are facing significant challenges, where of course Nintendo comes out smelling like roses most of the time. Switch sales are dropping too, but that system is ancient at this point, it’s one of the best-selling in history, and new hardware is coming soon. As for PlayStation and Microsoft, they both have a lot of work to do.

Pick up my sci-fi novels the Herokiller series and The Earthborn Trilogy.

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