Sony has announced that sales of the PlayStation 5 have reached 50 million units. This is almost in line with the sales pace of the previous generation, despite supply problems at the start of the console’s life cycle.

“Achieving this PS5 sales milestone is a testament to the unwavering support of the global PlayStation community and their passion for the incredible experiences created by the talented developers from PlayStation Studios and our partners,” said Jim Ryan, President and CEO of Sony Interactive Entertainment. “We’re grateful for all of our players who have joined the PS5 journey so far, and we’re thrilled that this is the first holiday season since launch that we have a full supply of PS5 consoles – so anyone who wants to get one can get one.”

Ampere Analysis forecasts that the overall console market, which includes hardware, software and services, will grow by 7.2% this year to reach $60.9 billion, according to The Financial Times. This growth almost mirrors the size of the market during the pandemic boom in 2021 and follows a 7.3% drop in 2022. The market recovery is attributed to the improved availability of the PS5 and a strong lineup of games, including Sony’s Spider-Man 2, Starfield from Microsoft and The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom from Nintendo.

Sony has faced component shortages and high demand for the PS5 since its launch in late 2020, leading to supply problems until earlier this year. Erik Lampel, head of global business at Sony Interactive Entertainment, expressed confidence that PS5 is on track to surpass the sales of the PlayStation 4, which has sold more than 117 million units since its release in 2013.

The PS5 reached the 50 million sales milestone on December 9, 161 weeks after its launch, compared to the 160 weeks it took the PS4 to achieve the same result. Microsoft has not published official Xbox sales data for several years.

Although Microsoft gained attention with its $75 billion acquisition of Activision Blizzard, its Xbox hardware has lagged behind Sony and Nintendo in sales. This year, PS5 sales grew by about 65% to 22.5 million units, while Xbox sales were down about 15% to 7.6 million. Sales of Nintendo’s Switch console also declined by 18% to 16.4 million units.

Pierce Harding-Rolls, head of gaming research at Ampere, noted the pent-up demand for PS5, which led to record sales in the first quarter of this year. In the first half of the year, Microsoft faced supply problems with Xbox Series X, and its flagship games Redfall and Halo Infinite failed to gain momentum.

Earlier this year, Sony introduced the redesigned PlayStation 5 in a more compact body with a removable Blu-ray drive that users can now buy separately. The console’s characteristics have not changed, but this approach may also revive PS5 sales.