PlayStation 4 Sales Surpass 50 Million Units, Leaving Xbox Far Behind

The Sony PlayStation 4 has now sold over 50 million units worldwide, according to a press release from Sony Interactive Entertainment issued on Wednesday. That total included sales of the PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 4 Pro models.

Part of the success came from the PlayStation 4 enjoying the best ever Black Friday sales for any PlayStation system this year.

“We’re truly delighted that the PS4 community continues to flourish since launch three years ago,” said Andrew House, President and Global CEO of Sony Interactive Entertainment. “With tremendous support from our fans and partners across the globe, this year we were able to deliver an unprecedented lineup of hardware, including the new slimmer PS4, PS4 Pro and PlayStation VR. We will continue to provide the best gaming experiences available through our ground-breaking software lineup and network services, as we focus on accelerating our business and expanding the PS4 ecosystem.”

The announcement of selling over 50 million units of the PlayStation 4 is big news for Sony, as it definitively illustrates how much better the brand is doing when compared with its top competitors, the Xbox and Wii gaming systems.

“The PlayStation 4 has now sold more units than Microsoft’s Xbox One (30 million) and Nintendo’s Wii U (13 million) combined which confirms its position as the fastest-selling games console,” Arjun Kharpal writes for CNBC. “Gaming has been a major success for Sony and one that is becoming increasingly important to the business as other areas, such as smartphones, struggle to generate competitive sales revenue.”

A large part of Sony’s success with the PlayStation 4 undoubtedly arises from the popularity of several of the system’s video game franchises.

“PS4’s software portfolio will continue to grow this holiday season and beyond with highly anticipated games including Horizon Zero Dawn, Gran Turismo Sport, and MLB The Show 17 (all from SIE WWS), as well as PlayStation VR games such as Farpoint (SIE WWS),” the press release states. “Third-party publishers and the independent development community will also continue to deliver a variety of blockbuster franchises and innovative new titles for PS4.”

Sony has also released several exclusive video games for the PlayStation 4 as well. Among the most popular this year are Bloodborne, Flower, The Last of Us Remastered, Ratchet & Clank, and Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End, according to a rundown provided by Time.

In October, Sony launched another accessory that has further boosted sales for their PlayStation systems: the PlayStation virtual reality (VR) headset.

The headset is Sony’s first virtual reality product available on the market, and it currently operates only with the PlayStation 4. Sony is hoping to sell “hundreds of thousands” of the $399 headset, according to Kharpal.

The option of using the virtual reality headset could definitely sway some gamers who are on the fence about deciding between a PlayStation and an Xbox.

“Smartphone VR headsets will represent the largest addressable market for VR content because of cheaper pricing,” Ian Fogg, Senior Director at IHS Technology, told Kharpal. “The smartphone VR base will be a major opportunity for VR content experimentation.”

Fogg added that virtual reality headsets are expected to have generated $1.6 billion in sales by the end of 2016. These numbers will be “bolstered heavily by the launch of high-end headsets from Oculus, HTC and Sony,” in Kharpal’s words.

Exclusive options like the virtual reality headsets and games available only on PlayStation appear to be one of the ways through which Sony intends for the PlayStation 4 to remain at the top of the gaming industry.

“[Sony] will continue to expand the world of PS4 to deliver entertainment experiences that are only possible on PlayStation,” Sony’s press release on the PlayStation 4 sales figures concludes.

The PlayStation 4 system is currently available in 122 countries and regions worldwide.

[Featured Image by Noam Galai/Getty Images]