PS4 doing heavy lifting during PS5 generation, 50% of PlayStation gamers still play on PS4

Sony Interactive Entertainment confirms that the PlayStation 4 is still a very important part of the console ecosystem with half of users still on PS4.

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Sony's PlayStation 4 is doing some heavy lifting for Gen9, and is helping prop up and accelerate spending across the new generation.

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Sony Interactive Entertainment recently held their annual state of the business presentation, complete with eye-opening figures, lots of slides, and discussions about the future of PlayStation. The slide deck highlighted various operating metrics like revenue, profit, and console user base numbers.

Interestingly enough, the PS4 still accounts for 50% of total monthly active consoles, or 49 million gamers, meaning about half of all PlayStation console users are still playing on PS4 hardware. The PS5 beats the PS4 in terms of total gameplay hours, though, clocking in 1 billion more hours than its predecessor. This speaks volumes as to what kind of games that PS5 owners are playing, and that they are more engaged for longer periods of time.

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Perhaps the most interesting slide in the entire presentation is concerning PlayStation Life-To-Date spending. This is the measurement of how much revenue, on average, that a consumer will spend in the ecosystem in a given period of time. In the context of the presentation, the period is 4 years.

According to Sony, PS5 generation users have an LTD spend of $731 compared to the PS4's $580.

The biggest reason for this is that the PS5 has had the added benefit of PS4 cross-play, cross-saves, and cross-compatibility, whereas the PS4 did not receive similar carry-over benefits from Gen7 PlayStation 3 hardware (unlike Xbox 360 to the Xbox One gen, PS3 games are not backward compatible with the PS4). As such, PS5 users are more likely to spend more money on microtransactions given the breadth of games that are available on PS5 now versus the PS4's first 4 years on the market.

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At the very bottom of the slide is an interesting footnote:

"Cumulative spend on content, services and peripherals attributed per active device over the first 4 years of the PS5 console lifecycle (LTD to FY23)."

Since we know that PS4 accounts for 50% of monthly active consoles, this indicates that a portion of the PS5 cycle's Life-to-Date value may also be weighted by the PS4's contribution.

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Derek joined the TweakTown team in 2015 and has since reviewed and played 1000s of hours of new games. Derek is absorbed with the intersection of technology and gaming, and is always looking forward to new advancements. With over six years in games journalism under his belt, Derek aims to further engage the gaming sector while taking a peek under the tech that powers it. He hopes to one day explore the stars in No Man's Sky with the magic of VR.

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