Today Sony Interactive Entertainment announced its financial results for the third quarter of the fiscal year 2018, related to the period between Oct. 1 and Dec. 31.
First and foremost, we get an update on the number of PS4 shipped during the quarter, which is 8.1 million units.
This means that 94.2 units of the console have been shipped (sold-in to retailers) by Dec. 31. Since we know that by the same date 91.6 million units were sold-through to customers, this gives us a good idea of a difference that is often hotly debated.
We also get the forecast for shipments for the full fiscal year, which remains the same as the one published in October, 17.5 million units.
This is actually higher than the revised 17 million units forecast announced yesterday by Nintendo for the Switch.
Incidentally, today’s numbers confirm that PS4 is the console platform that achieved the most shipments in 2018. It’ll be interesting to see if it’ll manage to preserve that record when the fiscal year ends.
The performance of the Game & Network Services business, which includes PlayStation and PlayStation Network shows a significant increase in sales year-on-year mostly due to an increase in software sales, partly offset by a decrease in hardware sales and Holiday season promotional prices.
Operating income was lower year-on-year due to the natural decrease in PS4 hardware sales as the platform goes towards its sunset and the negative impact of foreign exchange rates, partly offsets by the positive trend of video game sales.
We also get a detailed breakdown of sales, and we learn that PlayStation Plus subscribers were at 36.3 million by Dec. 31, up from 34.3 million by Sept. 30.
As for the company as a whole, we see that all profitability numbers are firmly in the black.
The Game & Network Services segment was the top contributor in terms of sales among all of Sony’s businesses, and the second-best in terms of operating income behind the Music segment.