Sony shipped 9.7 million PlayStation 4 consoles in the three months spanning October 1 to December 31, 2016, according to its latest financial report. This is an improvement over the same period in 2015, when it shipped 8.4 million units.
It must be noted these figures represent consoles delivered to retailers and not sold through to customers.
In January, Sony confirmed that 6.2 million PlayStation 4 consoles were sold in the holiday period, bringing worldwide sales to 53.4 million since it launched in 2013. Shipment numbers, meanwhile, stand at a total of 57.1 million units.
Sony previously said it expects to ship 20 million PS4 systems during its current fiscal year, bringing the console’s lifetime shipment tally to 60 million by March 2017. This means it needs to ship 2.9 million units in the first three months of 2017.
By comparison, the PlayStation 3 has sold more than 80 million units worldwide as of November 2013, which was seven years after its initial launch. The PlayStation 4 is now in its fourth year of availability.
Analysts have predicted the PS4 will go on to sell more than 100 million units worldwide before its lifecycle is over. Since the launch of the original PS4, Sony has iterated the console multiple times, first with a slimmer model and then with PS4 Pro, which features more powerful hardware.
Overall, the Games & Network Services division under which PlayStation operates saw an over increase in sales thanks to strong performance of software. This includes physically released games, as well as games sold through the PlayStation Network and “the contribution of PlayStation VR.”