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When Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales launched, it did not immediately match the record-breaking sales pace of its predecessor. Marvel’s Spider-Man for PlayStation 4 sold 3.3 million copies in its first three days. By comparison, Sony revealed that Miles Morales sold 4.1 million copies in a little over a month. It was still a massive hit. Maybe one that would fizzle out faster than the original. But by now, it’s clear that isn’t the case.
The web-slinging adventure continues to sell in the top 5 in the U.S. each month. And its sales performance is so impressive that it could have an effect on Sony’s PlayStation 5 software strategy.
One of the reasons why Miles Morales is surprising is because of its legs. The conventional wisdom is that anyone who really wanted the game would have bought it in the first month. And that wisdom informed Sony’s decision to release it on both the PS5 and PS4 at the same time. That way, any one of the 100 million-plus PS4 owners at that time could have bought it without waiting for a hard-to-find PS5.
But the game’s longevity on the sales charts suggests that many people did decide to wait. Specifically, many people were waiting to get the PlayStation 5 so they could pick up Spider-Man: Miles Morales alongside it. And now, as more people are getting PS5s each month, more folks are buying the new Spider-Man game as well.
Miles Morales is now the fifth best-selling game over the last 12 months in the United States, according to industry-tracking firm The NPD Group. That puts it ahead of The Last of Us: Part II and Ghost of Tsushima for lifetime sales in the U.S. in terms of dollars.
Sony should feel good about releasing PS5-only games
The sales performance for Miles Morales reveals Sony could likely get away with releasing even its biggest games exclusively on PS5. With the exception of Demon’s Souls, all of Sony’s retail PS5 games have also launched on PS4. But Miles Morales shows that people want to associate even cross-gen games with the next-gen console.
And that makes sense, right? If you are someone considering purchasing a PS5 at some point in the next year, why not wait to play Miles Morales until you get the best experience?
So for Sony, if people are already thinking of a cross-gen game as primarily a PS5 release, it doesn’t matter if you have 115 million PS4s in the world. And while it might make sense to think a company shouldn’t ignore such a huge customer base, those owners might already be ignoring PS4 versions of PS5 games.
For PS5 owners, this could mean that Sony might feel better about focusing just on its newest hardware. And that might mean fewer resources spent on a PS4 version of God of War: Ragnarok that can go into making the PS5 release even better.
More importantly, Sony can breathe easier about waiting for the PS5 install base to grow before releasing big games. One reason to delay games is if Sony hasn’t sold enough PS5s to justify the budget of a major game like God of War. But Miles Morales continues to sell even without a major price drop similar to the way Mario Kart 8 Deluxe has sold for the Switch. If Sony’s games can reach a perennial-hit status, it can assume that those sales will come consistently throughout this generation.
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