Sony Maintains Next-Gen Console Leadership With 20 Million Playstation 4 Units Sold

This week, Sony announced that it has sold over 20.2 million Playstation 4 units worldwide as of March 1, 2015.

"We are so grateful for the enormous support from PlayStation fans worldwide, and we are truly humbled that gamers around the globe have continued to select PS4 as the best place to play," said Andrew House, President and Global CEO of Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. "We remain steadfast in our commitment to deliver unique and interactive entertainment experiences powered by the network and the PS4 system's deep social capabilities."

The PS4 has maintained a strong leadership over its next in line rival, Microsoft's Xbox One, since both consoles came out last year, almost at the same time. The PS4 launched for $100 less (priced at $400) and with hardware that was roughly 50 percent faster (about 1.8 TeraFlops), making it possible to play most games in 1080p, while on the Xbox One, many games were rendered at 720p.

From the beginning, Sony focused on creating a good console experience, which pushed the company to use the most powerful hardware it could get into that $400 price point. Microsoft, on the other hand, tried to do more things at once with less powerful hardware (about 1.2 TeraFlops); the company also included the Kinect 2 camera, which added more to the cost of the device.

The extra cost was potentially more than the $100 Microsoft cut from the Xbox One price once it stopped bundling the Kinect 2 with the console, but the company kept the same pricing as PS4 for a while to get more sales. However, this strategy hasn't helped Microsoft catch up to the PS4 in sales. The last time Microsoft made the Xbox One sales numbers public was in November 2014, when the company announced it had sold almost 10 million units. With a good holiday quarter, that should bring up the total number of Xbox One sales to around 15 million.

Microsoft has recently offered another $50 discount for the Xbox One, making it only $350 now. This discount is possible because the Xbox One uses less powerful hardware (and therefore cheaper) than the PS4, so Microsoft should be able to continue to undercut the PS4 on price, even if the PS4 lowers its price to $350 as well later this year.

Although Nintendo has started doing better lately with its Wii U console, the PS4 has still managed to sell roughly twice as many units so far, despite the Nintendo Wii costing significantly less, at just $300.

With VR gaming potentially becoming the true "next-generation gaming," and with only the Playstation 4 supporting VR gaming out of the three consoles, starting next year with Project Morpheus, Sony will likely remain the market leader in gaming consoles over the next few years.

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Lucian Armasu
Lucian Armasu is a Contributing Writer for Tom's Hardware US. He covers software news and the issues surrounding privacy and security.
  • Shneiky
    Why are they still reffered to as "Next-gen". They are this gen. And arrived outdated already...
  • iam2thecrowe
    yep, not all are stupid, they will buy superior hardware. The only reason to get the xbone was for xbox specific titles. What i dont get is why all games cant just be rendered in 1080p regardless? the gpu's are capable. Even give users the option to sacrifice some draw distance or something for high res or just lower some other detail settings. I know on my pc i wouldn't sacrifice my native 1080p resolution for more game details.
  • SteelCity1981
    those games on the xbox one that were 720p rendered were the first gen xbox one games that didn't utilize ESRAM because the development kits for the ESRAM weren't out at that time yet. Now since ESRAM kits have been widely accessible to developers within the past year, xbox one games have no issue playing at 1080p and even at 60fps.
  • vern72
    Sony still needs to add a DLNA client to catch up with the PS3.
  • atavax
    This article seemed very PS4 biased. And i'm a PC gamer, i think both are garbage. Like saying the PS4 is 50 percent faster because its capable of more teraflops? Do we decide how much faster a gpu is to another by looking at teraflops? And like the article needs to clarify that the reason the xbox one will be able to undercut the ps4 is because it uses inferior hardware. And how many games were really released at 1080p on ps4 and 720p on the xbone, that the article implies is the norm?
    I still find it funny that the "next-gen" consoles are behind the "last-gen" consoles in terms of functionality. I still don't get why so many features were left out on Day 1 versions of the "next-gen" consoles and are very slowly being added back via updates. In some ways, I still think the XBOX 360 is better than the XBOX One, hopefully one of these days, they'll fix it.
  • turkey3_scratch
    Though Microsoft is selling the Xbox One cheaper than the PS4. Microsoft took the cost-effective approach to competing.
  • bloodroses75
    Sadly, if you have a decent PC, there isn't that many reasons to get a console except for a few exclusive titles. Honestly, if I was to buy a current gen console, it would surprisingly be the WiiU since it's at least unique (for now).
  • noooontm
    I do not think these consoles are going to last for ten years but I think they will try to push it that long
  • thor220
    I don't really see the point of buying a console right now. All the exclusives have been major duds. The game most likely to push graphics, the witcher 3, is going to be best on the PC.

    The wii U is the only console I would consider as it's the only console with smash hit exclusives out right now.