Today Sony announced its financial results for the fiscal year 2019, which relates to the period ended on March 31, 2020.
First of all, we get an update on the PS4 units shipped during the latest quarter, 1.5 million units were purchased by retailers worldwide, which means that the grand total as of March 31 is at 110.4 million units.
During the fiscal year, Sony shipped 13.6 million PS4 units, which is slightly higher than the latest forecast predicting 13.5 million units shipped.
For the sake of comparison, Nintendo has shipped 3.29 million Switch units during the latest quarter, reaching a grand total of 55.77 million units worldwide.
Below you can check out an overview of the performance of the Game & Network Services business (which includes PlayStation and PlayStation Network), alongside the impact on the business of the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.
In particular, we read that the launch of PS5 is still scheduled for the Holiday 2020 season despite “challenges in regards to part of the testing process and the qualification of production lines.” On the other hand, there have been no major problems within the game development pipeline.
“Results for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2020 Sales decreased 333.3 billion yen (14%) year-on-year to 1 trillion 977.6 billion yen (a 12% decrease on a constant currency basis).
This significant decrease was primarily due to a decrease in PlayStation 4 (“PS4”) hardware sales and game software sales, as well as the impact of foreign exchange rates, partially offset by an increase in sales for PlayStation®Plus (“PS Plus”).
Operating income decreased 72.7 billion yen year-on-year to 238.4 billion yen. This significant decrease was primarily due to the impact of the above-mentioned decrease in game software sales and the negative impact of foreign exchange rates, partially offset by the above-mentioned increase in sales for PS Plus and cost reductions.
During the current fiscal year, there was a 12.2 billion yen negative impact from foreign exchange rate fluctuations.
Current View Regarding the Impact on the Business from the Spread of COVID-19
Although there has been a slight impact on production of PS4 hardware due to issues in the component supply chain, demand in the short-term is being addressed with current inventory and sales are trending well. Sales of game software that is downloaded from the network, as well as PS Plus and PlayStation Now (PS Now) subscriber numbers have significantly increased.
Regarding the launch of PlayStation 5, although factors such as employees working from home and restrictions on international travel have presented some challenges in regards to part of the testing process and the qualification of production lines, development is progressing with the launch of the console scheduled for the 2020 holiday season.
At this point in time major problems have not arisen in the game software development pipeline for Sony’s own first-party studios or its partners’ studios”
A forecast for shipments for the current fiscal year (between April 2020 and March 2021) was not provided at this time.
Incidentally, we get further details of the gaming business’ performance showing that the PlayStation Plus subscriber total is now at 41.5 million.
Speaking of Sony as a whole, all income numbers are in the black, but show a significant decrease year-on-year. The same goes for sales.
If you’d like to compare, you can read our dedicated article about the previous financial results announced in February.