The PS5 Gets Played Way More Than The PS4 Did In Its First 5 Months

The PS5 Gets Played Way More Than The PS4 Did In Its First 5 Months
Image: Sony

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.


  • I find I’m spending a whole lot more time with my PS5 than my PS4…ok, so a lot of that is due to my employment arrangements as I now work permanently from home. A lot of my time is spent with Borderlands 3. The PS5 update got me hooked again with the extra frame rate and fast loading. I’ve also spent a bit of time with a couple of games from the PS+ collection.

    I do eventually want to get my hands on Returnal, RE8 and Ratchet & Clank when it’s released, but given I’m still engrossed in what I’ve got already, I’ll just wait until I need something new to keep me entertained. (Or until Horizon Zero Dawn comes out, that’s a day 1 purchase)

    • I think this is a really good point. PS4 lacked backwards compatibility on launch, so we’re really comparing apples and oranges here. Can it be said that the PS5 is being “used more”, when it is actually being used as a “PS4 Pro Plus” for the most part at the moment?
      Still, I want one.

      • Games like the Yakuza series, or Persona 5, are legitimately so much easier to play without those loading times. Whereas the PS4 you just had to rely on the launch titles — and some of those crashed very, very badly.

        PS5’s launch titles, on the other hand, were pretty damn good: Astro’s, Miles Morales, Demon’s Souls, Sackboy.

      • I would say it’s the backwards compatibility, folks staying home from covid, a solid selection of (post)launch titles and a superior offering of PS+ games compared to the PS4 launch all combined.

        • It has to be backwards compatibility because there’s not enough current gen games to keep it alive otherwise. Same with Xbox, who are basically doing the same thing with Gamepass. No one seriously has one of these consoles for current gen games when all of the current gen games were delayed because of COVID, which leaves backwards compatibility instead.

          • I’m saying this from experience, it’s a combination.
            Between the launch titles, crossgen games and next gen upgrades (both exclusive and multiplatform) there’s been a ton of games to keep people occupied even before the backward compatibility.

            I’ve only just reached the stage where I’m looking for something new to play and I still have launch titles to look at on top of other games coming out now and later.

  • Yeah, no shit Sony.

    If I’d paid a scalper $$$$ to buy a rare-as-hen’s-teeth PS5, I’d play it more as well.

    Luckily(?) I don’t have that problem, because I won’t support scalpers.

  • Pandemic = more people at home to play games.
    Backwards compatibility = more games available to play.

    I’d like to see stats for how many PS5 games are being played on the PS5, compared to how many PS4 games.

  • Ive had exactly the same amount….
    Due to the fact i didnt buy a ps4 til over 18 months after launch and it will be the same with ps5. *giggle*

  • That’s because it’s backwards compatible (the only reason I’m getting one after skipping the Xbox/PS4 gen). They finally learnt from Xbox.

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