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PS5 is the fastest-selling PlayStation as it hits 10m sales milestone

Spider-Man: Miles Morales delivers 6.5 million sales, MLB The Show surpasses two million, Ratchet & Clank over one million

PlayStation 5 is Sony's fastest-selling games console after surpassing 10 million sales worldwide.

The new console reached the figure on July 18th, just under a month faster than the PlayStation 4 managed.

Other sales figures released by Sony includes that Spider-Man: Miles Morales has sold over 6.5 million copies since its launch last year. PS5 exclusives Returnal, released in April, has exceeded 560,000 copies, andRatchet & Clank: Rift Apart, which was released last month, is already on over 1.1 million units worldwide.

Meanwhile, Sony San Diego-developed MLB The Show 21, which was released on non-PlayStation platforms, has surpassed two million sales worldwide. The game actually has more than four million players, and was included in the Xbox Game Pass subscription service.

PlayStation 5's sales performance has been dependent on the company's ability to supply the demand, with the console sold out globally. CEO Jim Ryan said in a statement that improving inventory levels remains a top priority.

Speaking with GamesIndustry.biz, Ryan adds that PS5 has seen 'double digit growth' in terms of engagement -- whether that's monthly users or gameplay time -- compared with the launch window of PS4.

"Engagement on the platform is the highest that we've ever seen whichever way you look at it," he says.

"Whether it's the number of people measured by a metric such as MAU [Monthly Active Users], or whether it's the time that these people spend playing games. Both of these metrics are showing very significant double-digit growth compared to the launch window of PS4, the previous high-water mark.

"We were confident that this would be the case, we believed profoundly in the feature set of our new platform, and we worked really hard internally and with our partners to make sure that the game line-up was really strong, and we have continued to pepper the community with excellent PlayStation Studios' games like MLB The Show, Returnal, and Ratchet and Clank: Rift Apart. But fair to say that the engagement has surprised us, in a very pleasant way."

PlayStation boss Jim Ryan

PlayStation boss Jim Ryan

In terms of which markets are showing the highest demand, Ryan adds that it's too early to say. However, he's been excited by the reaction to PS5 in China.

"It's too early to tell, really, Chris," he says. "Demand is still extremely strong everywhere, and the sales data for individual countries are simply a reflection of inventory allocation decisions. We'll learn a lot more as we get further into 2021 and 2022.

"The one launch that I would call out is China. The console gaming model is not well established there, it's all free-to-play and mobile, but we had a hunch that the time might be right to change that and rolled a few dice. We made a lot of noise at launch, allocated a good amount of stock, and it blew through very, very quickly. Same sort of energy that we see in the West. It's early days yet but we're encouraged by that."

"We made a lot of noise at launch [in China], allocated a good amount of stock, and it blew through very quickly. Same sort of energy that we see in the West"

One of the more unique titles in PlayStation's line-up has been MLB The Show 21, as it was a game that was also released on Xbox and within Microsoft's Game Pass subscription service. Sony has been cautious around the financial viability of putting brand new games into subscription services. Therefore, MLB The Show would have been an interesting experiment for the company.

"It's always interesting to experiment with new models but the core reason that MLB The Show has done so very well is that it's a really great game that is now the fastest-selling title in the franchise's history," Ryan says. "Our San Diego studio just gets better and better with each annual iteration, we're ever so proud of this team. I just wish I could understand the sport..."

Spider-Man: Miles Morales has been a major hit

Spider-Man: Miles Morales has been a major hit

Speaking to GamesIndustry.biz about the performance of PS5, industry analysts praised Sony's ability to overcome the constraints of the pandemic and deliver so much stock into the marketplace.

"The milestone is notable especially considering the supply constraint Sony and the rest of the tech industry operated under over the past year," comments Carolina Milanesi, president and principal analyst at Creative Strategies.

"I am sure the pandemic played some role in generating demand as people were stuck at home spending more time on video consumption and gaming. Consumers who were able to retain their job and work from home and therefore had a regular income might have also ended up with more disposable income because the lack of other forms of entertainment like movies, theater and travel freed up money.

"Yet there is no question PS5 itself was a great upgrade from an overall experience perspective. The hardware, the availability of the two price points and content like Miles Morales that brought to life the enhancements really delivered for Sony."

Head of games research at Ampere Analysis Piers Harding-Rolls adds: "Pre-pandemic, a strong PS5 launch was expected considering the sales success of the PS4 and the idea that the new console would launch in all regions simultaneously. However, the pandemic called that expectation into question due to impact on the component supply chain, so Sony will be very pleased to deliver on its internal target to outperform PS4 launch sales.

"It illustrates a few things; the PlayStation brand is in rude health having maintained sales momentum during the latter stages of the PS4 cycle driven on by high-quality first-party content; Sony's deep expertise in supply chain management for consumer electronics has enabled it to weather the worst impacts of the pandemic even during the launch of a new product; and the continued commercial viability and strength of the global games console market which reached record levels in 2020. This bodes well for this new generation of consoles and their potential in the market."

Rolls adds that to maintain the momentum, aside from making more PS5s to meet demand, it's about the games.

"Sony will now have to deliver on its first-party content slate and mitigate for any release delays it might be faced with. Helpfully, PS5's support for PS4 games means it has a strong roster of content already. Other factors that will be important include evolving Sony's subscription offering to drive further scale of that part of its business and to follow through on the launch of its next-generation PSVR. While no other console supports VR, it remains a nice differentiator for PlayStation."

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