Despite COVID-19-related difficulties, Sony sold 4.5 million PS5 consoles in 2020

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If you are trying to get your hands on PS5 consoles in South Africa at the moment, you’re out of luck, as no retailers seem to have restocked in the new year. As predicted prior to the PlayStation 5‘s official launch late last year, it looks like COVID-19 has had a larger impact on Sony’s ability to manufacture and ship the desired number of consoles.

Despite this, the company still managed to sell an estimated 4.5 million units following the December launch, with a Q3 quarterly report (PDF) explaining as much to investors.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, there weren’t many PS4 consoles being snapped up during the same time, despite the numerous “specials” and “bundles” we saw during the festive period. In fact demand for the previous generation of console dropped 77 percent compared to the same period last year, but that was to be expected given how much fervour surround the next-gen version.

Although Sony did not ship as many PS5 consoles as it may have wanted, it still managed to have its best quarter ever according to analyst Daniel Ahmad, with sales of the next-gen device the key factor. Breaking down the quarterly results, Ahmad notes that PS5 sales drove revenue up by 40 percent and operating profit got boosted 50 percent thanks to games sales, PS Plus subscriptions and some PS4 hardware contributions.

All in all then, it turned out to be PlayStation’s strongest quarter to date. That said, regardless of the pandemic, it needed to be, especially as Sony faces stiff competition from Xbox, not from is Series X|S consoles, but rather from services like Game Pass.

Whether this current quarter can yield the same results looks increasingly unlikely, particularly as PS5 consoles are hard to come by, as mentioned earlier.

If Sony hopes to keep South Africa as a key PlayStation territory in 2021, those new consoles need to land ASAP.

Robin-Leigh Chetty

Robin-Leigh Chetty

When he's not reviewing the latest smartphones, Robin-Leigh is writing about everything tech-related from IoT and smart cities, to 5G and cloud computing. He's also a keen photographer and dabbles in console games.