PlayStation 5 off to unexpectedly strong start despite stock woes

Sony’s financial results for the 2020 fiscal year are in, and it seems that the PlayStation 5 is hitting some big milestones in terms of sales. Obviously, we’d expect Sony to report that the console is selling well since it’s impossible to find available stock anywhere, but today, Sony revealed how many consoles it has sold despite the stock shortages. These financial results make it clear that the PlayStation 5 is off to a strong start.

With the sales from the third and four quarters of the fiscal year – the two quarters in which the PlayStation 5 was available – all added up, Sony has managed to sell 7.8 million PlayStation 5 units so far. 4.5 million of these were sold in third quarter (which contained the ever-important holiday shopping season), while a further 3.3 million were sold in the fourth quarter.

The PlayStation 4 was no slouch during the fiscal year either, managing to pull in 5.7 million sales even though the PlayStation 5 arrived on the scene during the year. The PlayStation 4 saw somewhat steady sales throughout the year, selling between 1 million and 2 million units each quarter, though it is worth noting that sales dropped to an even 1 million in the final quarter of the year. Total PlayStation 4 sales now sit at 115.9 million lifetime.

Sony said today that 79% of game sales were digital in Q4, while 65% of game sales were digital for the year as a whole. The total number of PlayStation Plus subscribers remained more or less steady from Q3 to Q4, climbing from 47.4 million at the end of Q3 to 47.6 million at the end of Q4.

From here, Sony says that it’s looking for PS5 sales to exceed the 14.8 million units the PlayStation 4 sold in its second year after launch, which may not be an easy task given that the current silicon shortage isn’t likely to get better anytime soon. We’ll see if Sony manages to hit that goal, but for now, it’s safe to say that the PlayStation 5 is off to a strong start.

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Xbox Series X|S restock lands unexpectedly – but act fast

Here at the start of this new console generation, gamers have something they’re not used to having so early in a hardware cycle: options. Sony is offering PlayStation 5 consoles both with and without a disc drive, while Microsoft is going a little more extreme by offering two distinct consoles of its own – the flagship Xbox Series X and the less-powerful (and less expensive) Xbox Series S. If you’re looking for an Xbox Series S, Microsoft seemingly has it in stock right now at its online store.

If you head over to the Xbox Store right now, you have the option of putting together a console bundle featuring the Xbox Series S. You don’t need to buy anything extra with the Xbox Series S, but if you want to, you have the option of adding one of Microsoft’s new Xbox Wireless Controllers at a $10 discount, which brings the main black and white color options down to $49.99. Other colors, like Shock Blue and Pulse Red, are down to $54.99 when you buy them alongside a console.

You’re not limited to just the new Xbox Wireless Controller. You can also pick up one of last-gen’s Xbox Wireless Controllers with the same discount or – if you’re feeling particularly like a high roller – snag the Xbox Elite Controller Series 2 at $10 off as well. That $10 discount doesn’t make a very big dent in the Xbox Elite Controller’s normal $180 price tag, but that significant sum gets you one of the best controllers in gaming.

Your only other bundle options include Microsoft Complete insurance for Xbox, which is priced at $49 and covers accidental damage. Beyond that, though, the Xbox Series S will set you back $299.99 on its own, which is a fair amount less expensive than the $499.99 Xbox Series X.

Speaking of the Xbox Series X, we’ve been hearing reports from people on Twitter that it’s also back in stock through Microsoft at the moment, but we haven’t been able to verify that as we haven’t seen any option to buy. Still, it could be worth checking into on the chance that available stock is flickering in and out. Otherwise, good luck to all of you attempting to get an Xbox Series S.

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Samsung 980 NVMe SSD is unexpectedly priced for its speed

Samsung today added a new NVMe M.2 drive to its lineup, introducing the 980 NVMe SSD. If you’re thinking that you’ve heard this name before, you’re definitely not alone there, as one could be forgiven for thinking that this same SSD was already announced last year. That SSD, however, was the 980 PRO NVMe SSD, while this is a more affordable option for those who aren’t necessarily looking to have a top of the line M.2 drive in their rig.

For starters, Samsung says that the 980 it’s announcing today is its first DRAM-less SSD, which helps bring the price down. Another thing worth pointing out is that while the 980 PRO – which was released last September – supports PCIe 4.0, the standard 980 that was announced today supports PCIe 3.0.

Samsung says that users can expect sequential read/write speeds of up to 3,500/3,000 MB/s for this drive, so it seems to be plenty speedy despite a focus on affordability. Samsung says that the drive is able to go DRAM-less thanks to its Host Memory Buffer technology, which “links the drive directly to the host processor’s DRAM to overcome any performance drawbacks.”

Samsung Magician can even kick the drive into Full Power Mode when large files are being read, which “allows the drive to continuously run at peak performance.” Random read/write speeds come in at up to 500K IOPS/480K IOPS, and the drive comes in three different configurations: 250GB, 500GB, and 1TB.

Today’s announcement doesn’t give us a release date for the drive, but it’s worth noting that Newegg shows a launch date of March 22nd while there doesn’t appear to be any official listing live on Amazon yet. Regardless, when the 980 drops, it’ll have an MSRP of $49.99 for the 250GB model, $69.99 for 500GB, and $129.99 for 1TB.

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