Today Sony announced its financial results for the fiscal year 2018, which ended on March 31, 2019.
First and foremost, we get an update of the PS4 units shipped during the past quarter. 2.6 million units reached retailers worldwide, which means that the grand total as of March 31 is at 96.8 million units.
Sony shipped 17.8 million consoles between April 2018 and March 2019, which is the best performance among all home consoles. The Switch shipped 16.95 million units in the same period.
Again, these are sold-in figures (shipped). The last sold-through numbers (to customers) were got are from December 31st, with 91.6 million units that found a loving home.
We also get the forecast for the current fiscal year. Sony expects to ship 16 million units between April 2019 and March 2020, meaning that if they achieve their goal, the number of shipments will reach 112.8 million by March 31, 2020.
By comparison, Nintendo expects to ship 17 million units this fiscal year, which would bring the Switch to 52.74 million units.
We then read more about the performance of the Game & Network Services segment (which includes PlayStation and PlayStation Network), as well as an update on PlayStation Plus subscribers, which are now at 36.4 million, actually increasing by 100,000 compared to the Holiday quarter.
“Sales increased 367.1 billion yen (19%) year-on-year to 2,310.9 billion yen (a 19% increase on a constant currency basis). This increase was primarily due to an increase in game software sales as well as an increase in the number of subscribers for PlayStation Plus, a paid membership service, partially offset by a decrease in PlayStation 4 (“PS4”) hardware sales.
Operating income increased 133.6 billion yen year-on-year to 311.1 billion yen, primarily due to the impact of the above-mentioned increase in sales. During the current fiscal year, there was a 4.8 billion yen negative impact from foreign exchange rate fluctuations.”
Below is a breakdown of the outlook for the next fiscal year, which incidentally mentions development expenses for the next generation console. This also likely means that Sony does not expect to launch the new console before April 2020 (which shouldn’t surprise anyone, really).
“Sales are expected to be essentially flat year-on-year mainly due to an expected decrease in PS4 hardware unit sales and the impact of foreign exchange rates, substantially offset by an expected increase in game software sales.
Operating income is expected to decrease primarily due to an increase in development expenses for the next generation console, a decrease in the contribution from highly profitable first-party software titles, and the negative impact of foreign exchange rates, partially offset by PS4 hardware cost reductions.”
As for Sony as a whole, we see that all profitability figures are firmly in the black, with solid improvements year-on-year across the board.
As you can see from the tables above, the Game & Network Services segment showcased massive improvements compared to the previous year, marking the best fiscal year in its recorded history.
If you’d like to compare, you can read our dedicated article about the previous financial results announced in February.