An interesting stat that you don’t see pulled out often is comparable periods. It’s one thing to say the PS5 might be more popular now compared to the PS4, but that doesn’t really track against how the PS4 fared when it originally launched. Fortunately, Sony has opted to expose that little insight in a new interview.
In a chat with Sony Interactive Entertainment CEO and president Jim Ryan, Wired has revealed that out of the 7.8 million people who already own a PS5, those users are spending way more time with the next-gen console at this stage of its life, compared to the PS4 at the same point. (For clarity, that time frame is from the console’s launch to March; the PS4 launched here on November 29, 2013, although Americans got the console on November 15 that year.)
According to figures supplied by Sony, users have spent 81 percent more time logged into their PS5 than they did on the PS4 from their respective launches through to the end of March. People are buying more games too: 11 percent more “game units” — presumably individual titles and not, say, overall game sales that would include bits of DLC or V-Bucks — have been sold over the first 5 months of the PS5’s release compared to the same period for the PS4.
There’s a few things wrapped up in here. Firstly, a lot of the world is still dealing with the global pandemic, so it’s no surprise that people are spending more time on their consoles generally. But the supply issues mean that most people still can’t get a PS5, and the PS4 is a massively popular console with over 114 million units sold. The Switch is looking to break the 110 million mark this year, and that’s a console that you could buy with relative ease throughout most of 2020.
The WIRED interview has a bunch of other details, like how Horizon: Forbidden West had to be playtested over cloud streaming so the studio could continue working on it. Engineer Mark Cerny was surprised by the takeup of ray-tracing already — “I thought ray tracing was something that would be used in second and third-generation titles,” he’s quoted as saying — and the makers of Kena: Bridge of Spirits are already talking about how their game doesn’t even really fully take advantage of the PS5.
“I know for sure we haven’t fully taken advantage of how actually fast it is—we were getting a lot of benefits of it being just out-of-the-box better. But I think you can push it even more,” Josh Grier, one of Kena‘s co-creators said.
The full interview is a great read, so go check it out. As always, I’m interested to know whether Sony would ever release Australian specific stats about this stuff. They haven’t in the past, but I’ll hit them up and let you know if they do.