PlayStation 4 sales have officially surpassed sales of the PlayStation 3. Sony's latest console is more popular than its predecessor and continues to move units, even five years after its launch.
Sony first announced the PlayStation 4 at a press conference in 2013. The new console boasted more power, better games and more impressive graphics than the PlayStation 3. The PlayStation 4 won the console wars before its release at E3 that year when Sony announced it would not force limited digital rights management on the console, something Microsoft had already received negative attention for with its then-upcoming Xbox One. Sony also announced more exclusive games for the PlayStation 4, giving it an advantage well before the console went on sale later that year. The E3 presentation won over both critics and players, and once the console released, many believed it lived up to the hype.
PlayStation 4 sales continue to prove there is no stopping Sony's current generation console. In the company's Q1 2018 consolidated financial results, Sony reported total PS4 sales are now at 82.2 million units since launch. In comparison, the PlayStation 3 moved about 80 million units at the end of its life cycle, around 2013, meaning the PS4 has now outsold the PS3. Even more importantly, though, the PS4 outsold the PS3 in a shorter amount of time. Sony also increased its prediction for sales of the PS4 for March 2019 to 96 million units.
There is one PlayStation area that saw a decrease, though. PlayStation Plus subscriptions are at 33.9 million as of June, down from 34.2 million in March. This drop isn't a cause for much concern, though, as this quarter is generally slower than the one before it, which includes the holidays. The number of subscribers is still impressive, though, and shows just how popular the PlayStation Plus program is with players.
Now that the PlayStation 4 is five years old, there is already discussion in the industry about what comes next. The life cycle of consoles is around five years, although the industry has changed since the previous generation of consoles, meaning life cycles are no longer as relevant. There are already rumors about specifications for the PlayStation 5, but it doesn't seem like Sony is ready to announce anything official about a new console for several more years. The PS4 continues to move units, so for now, that's probably where the company will remain focused.