Sony says the PS5 is the company's most profitable console generation ever, but the PS4 still counts for half of its player base

PS4 console with controller in dim lighting
(Image credit: happylemon /

The PlayStation 5 is officially Sony's most profitable console generation to date, but after more than a decade of its life cycle, the PlayStation 4 still accounts for half of its player base.

During Sony's Game & Network Services Business Segment presentation yesterday (May 29), Hideaki Nishino - who has just been appointed CEO of SIE's Platform Business Group - shared the company's latest figures, where he was confirmed that after nearly four years into its cycle, the PS5's income has almost reached all other consoles combined (via VGC).

“As you can see, the PlayStation 5 userbase has continued to grow significantly, driving to half of our monthly active consoles,” Nishino said. “While the PlayStation 4 is still an important part of our business, our PlayStation 5 players are even more engaged than in our previous generation, and we expect these trends to continue.”

According to the presentation, 97 million users make up PlayStation's monthly active users, with the PS4 taking up exactly half of its monthly active users at 49 million users.

In terms of engagement, 2.4 billion total gameplay hours have been spent on the PS5, while 1.4 billion have been spent on the PS4.

Sony Interactive Entertainment presentation slide show engaged user bases

(Image credit: Sony Interactive Entertainment)

Sony Interactive Entertainment presentation slide on the profitability of its different generations

(Image credit: Sony Interactive Entertainment)

Since 2020, the PS5 has sold 56 million units and according to Sony, users on the platform are spending more money (+176%) on add-on content +57% on services, and +34% on peripherals. 

Users, however, are spending 12% less money on full games, despite the PS5's engagement hours. 

Hermen Hulst, CEO of SIE’s Studio Business Group, added that Sony's tentpole games will be existing hit franchises and "new IP with high ambition" from "studios with proven track records of quality and success".

The company will also focus on expanding its live services games with ongoing content, while also experimenting with other opportunities that will "unlock new audiences" and "target new genres". 

For the past few months, we've been hearing rumors about the PlayStation 5 Pro. Although Sony hasn't announced its next major console, reports suggest that the next generation will arrive soon and see a substantial mid-generation jump that will be "45% faster" than the original PS5.

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