Switch's early success may continue to grab the headlines, but the enduring success of the PS4 continues to be the console sector's crowning jewel.
Sony has revealed that it shipped 20m PS4s in the year ending March 31st 2017, making it the most successful period in the console's history. In the previous year that total stood at 17.7m. Considering the platform first launched in 2013, that's a pretty remarkable performance.
Shipments for the last fiscal quarter hit 2.9m, up from 2.3m the year before.
That also means that SuperData were likely right in predicting that lifetime sales for the console probably now stand at around 60m units.
Even more impressively, as pointed out by analyst Daniel Ahmad, PS4 continues to outpace the PS2 – which remains the best selling console ever made.
PS4 still tracking alongside PS2 when launch aligned.— Daniel Ahmad (@ZhugeEX) April 28, 2017
Should be ahead of PS2 12 months from now too if targets are achieved. pic.twitter.com/IaojJanYRc
Sony predicts PS4 sales of 18m in the year ahead, meaning that it does expect the pace to slow. Should it hit this number, however, it will remain ahead of the PS2, which had hit 71m sales after four years.
How likely the PS4 is to actually surpass PS2's total is another story entirely. PS2 benefitted by aggressively dropping its price as it approached later life, opening itself up to a brand new audience not only in established markets but also in emerging ones. PS4, in contrast, will have to win the affections of a low-cost crowd that is already enamoured with the mobile and smartphone gaming sector, and is perhaps less inclined to buy into the console ecosystem.
As for Sony's wider performance, its gaming division remained the star performer in its last financial year, reporting operating profit of 135.6bn. Revenues were up 6.3 per cent at 14.7bn.