With the latest PS5 sales update, Sony has now sold over 500 million home consoles - and as with many big number stats, there's a whole lot of historical data to unpack here.
As part of its latest financial report, Sony revealed that a record 6.3 million PS5 units were shipped last quarter. That brings total PS5 shipments up to a total of 38.5 million. Now, Sony has only sporadically provided console sales data - this is the kind of thing the notes in the Wikipedia margins are all about - but if you total up the last bit of reliable sales data for all five of the company's home consoles, the total is now over 500 million.
If the idea of 500 million PlayStation consoles being sold sounds familiar, well, Sony launched a limited-edition PS4 celebrating the milestone all the way back in 2018. Why the discrepancy? Sony's own measurement of the milestone likely would've included sales of portable consoles, and the PSP and Vita would add just shy of 100 million combined sales to the total.
Some fans have been quick to note that this technically makes Sony the first console manufacturer to reach 500 million home consoles sold. That's technically true, but there are some substantial caveats to the stat. Sony only has two meaningful competitors for this milestone. One of them, Microsoft, launched the first Xbox after a full generation of wildly successful PS1 sales, so it doesn't have quite as much runway as Sony.
The other competitor, Nintendo, then has its own advantage, having launched its first hardware a decade before Sony released the PS1. If you limit Nintendo to strictly its home console hardware and Switch, however, it's sold just over 400 million units - definitely behind Sony. But if you include handhelds, Nintendo has sold well over 800 million units to date, and would've crossed the 500 million mark sometime way back in the DS and Wii generation.
Direct comparisons are sketchy for all these reasons, but one thing's for certain: with the PS5 proving successful, Sony is cementing its position as one of the top platform holders in the history of the games industry.
The PS5 has launched stronger than the PS4 despite all those supply issues.