Today, during Sony’s quarterly conference call for investors and analysts, chief financial officer Hiroki Totoki talked about the forecast for the current fiscal year, between April 2021 and March 2022.
Totoki-san admitted that in the past fiscal year, Sony has not managed to keep up with the extremely strong demand for PS5 and shortages for the supply of components — especially semiconductors — are expected to continue in the current fiscal year.
That being said, the current target is still to exceed the 14.8 million units shipped by the PS4 in its second fiscal year on the market.
To meet the strong demand from customers, Sony will continue to strive to secure components and do its best to produce and sell more units than the target mentioned. That being said, Totoki-san admitted later in the call that it’s unlikely that supply will be drastically increased.
We also hear that the total gameplay time of PlayStation users in March 2021 continued to be “quite high” at approximately 20% above March 2020. Sony believes that this level of strong user engagement will continue throughout the current fiscal year.
Sony expects software sales to drop year-on-year during the first quarter that will end on June 30, but they should go back to matching last year’s performance from the second quarter onward.
As for network services, Sony does not expect a significant increase in subscribers as it happened in the previous fiscal year (due to stay-at-home orders), but it still aims to hold and possibly increase the number of PlayStation Plus subscribers.
The house of PlayStation also plans to increase the number of development personnel in its first-party studios by approximately 20 billion yen (about $183.5 million) year-on-year as the software production capability will be further strengthened.
To enhance the software offering, Sony aims to continue investing in partnering with external studios in addition to “aggressively investing” in in-house studios. An example mentioned of said partnerships is the one with Jade Raymond’s studio Haven Entertainment.
On top of investing in big games, PlayStation also wants to enhance the social capabilities of its titles.
If you’d like to learn more about Sony’s financial performance (and PlayStation’s successful fiscal year) on top of official shipment numbers for PS5 and PS4, you can check out our dedicated article.