49m people still play on PS4 every month, tied with PS5 active users who spend far more money – WGB

By admin Jun2,2024

Earlier this morning Sony held a business meeting discussing various aspects of the company. Of course, as the biggest contributor to Sony’s cashflow, the PlayStation brand was heavily featured and amongst all the data comes some interesting tidbits of information. One such tidbit is just how many people still use their PS4s. Hint: it’s more than you might think.

As part of the meeting, PlayStation boasted that the PS5 has “established a significant installed base” that accounts for half of the monthly active consoles. Yes, half. You see, the other half is made up of PlayStation 4 users. According to a slide in Sony’s document, 49m PS4 users still log on every month which is tied with 49m PS5 users.

Now, obviously if you wanted to get into the nitty-gritty of the data it would be harder to break down. For someone to count as a monthly user they simply have to play at least one game or use one service, so a few PS4 users are likely going to be folk using the console as a streaming device for Netflix, Amazon etc.

Fun little thing I noted: if 56m PS5s have been sold, that means 7m people either aren’t using their machines or are managing to stay offline.

The slide also shows that while there are still a lot of people using their PS4, they use it a lot less than PS5 owners use their console. According to the data, PS4 users have clocked up 1.4 billion gameplay hours, equating to roughly 28.5 hours per user, while PS5 users have racked up 2.4 billion hours, which is about 48.9 hours per user.

It is however, unclear whether this is hours per month or for the overall lifespan. I’m going to assume its per month though, because 1.4b seems far too low for the PS4 considering how long it has been around.

But while the monthly users are tied between the two console generations, the spending isn’t. According to Sony’s data, the average PS4 users has spent $580 on games, add-ons, services and so on, whereas the average PS5 user has spent $731. That’s a difference of 26%.

The breakdown is quite interesting because PS5 users are spending 12% less on regular full games. Instead, they are spending far more on add-on content (up by 176% over PS4) and services (up 57% over PS4).

This is likely due to the rise of subscriptions, and live-service games packed with microtransactions and DLC. Gamers are buying less full games, but spending a lot of their cash on existing, long-running titles like Fortnite.

All of this adds up to a simple conclusion: the PS5 is Sony’s most profitable generation to date. According to Sony, the PS5 has already brought in $106b in sales in the past four years, compared to the PS4’s $107b in sales achieved over seven years. The PS5 also boasts $10b in operating income compared to the PS4’s $9b.

In short, things are looking good for Sony. While the PS5 has sold about as many units as the PS4 in the same timeframe, user engagement and spending are both stronger than the PS4.

PlayStation will hold a State of Play later today.

By admin

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