Sony is confident that its next console, the PS5, will do extremely well once it launches this November. In fact, the head of Sony Interactive Entertainment, Jim Ryan, has stated he believes that the PS5 will outsell PS4 as early as next year.
The Sony boss was interviewed by a Korean website called Naver, the interview was later translated by the Eurogamer. Here’s what Mr Ryan said:
"We think the PS5 will sell more in its first fiscal year than [the PS4] sold in the first fiscal year at the time of PS4 launch. It is difficult to talk about the overall game market or other game consoles. But I think the value is obvious in the case of the PS5.”
The Line Between Confidence And Arrogance
Ryan’s words show Sony’s confidence, which is fine. But Sony need to make sure they don’t veer into PS3 launch arrogance.
Those who remember the launch of the PS3 will remember Sony’s controversial stance on fans buying the console. “We want you to save up for it.” And other such comments; insulted consumers, who felt like Sony was trying to appeal to only the wealthy.
This alienated a lot of normal working people, who felt abandoned. Ultimately it was Sony who lost out here. As consumers voted with their wallets and bought an Xbox 360 or Nintendo Wii instead.
Fortunately for Sony, they soon stopped this strategy and the PS3 recovered. But it shows how too much confidence, at least in public, is not always a wise move.
Are Jim Ryan’s Claims Realistic?
Of course, Ryan is referring to the launch window of the PS5 compared to the launch window of the PS4. He doesn’t mean the PS5 will exceed the PS4’s lifetime sales in just 12 months.
That would be utterly ridiculous and totally unrealistic. The PS4 is the second highest selling games console of all time.
Its lifetime sales stand at over 112 million units. However, the crow still belongs to the PS2; which has sold over 155 million units since it released in 2000.
So, no. The PS5 is unlikely to beat the PS4 anytime soon. Although it could realistically overtake it in a matter of years, if Ryan is to be believed.
Sony's fiscal year will end on the 31st March 2021, giving the PS5 several months to sell as many units as possible when it launches in November.
When you take Ryan’s Naver comments into context and examine the first fiscal year of the PS5. It does have an advantage over the PS4, its rollout will be done in two stages.
Instead of it being protracted over several months like the PS4 was. Although, COVID-19 has caused manufacturing issues, so supply may be lower than expected.
PS4 vs PS5
But even with the difficulties and shortages caused by the virus, the PS5 is still likely to outsell the PS4. The scarcity could even build value, leading to a sales bump come early 2021.
They've also faced criticism over PS4 game saves not transferring to PS5.
However, since getting a PS5 teardown video this week, Sony probably has good reason to be confident.
Ryan ended his interview, saying, "We'll excite fans around the world with the best exclusive games on the market today. And deliver a truly next-generation device experience that will captivate them."