Today, during Sony’s quarterly conference call for investors and analysts, chief financial officer Hiroki Totoki talked about the situation of the PlayStation business.
We hear that total gameplay time spent by PlayStation users between June and September increased slightly compared to the previous quarter but declined 10% year-on-year, mostly due to the increased opportunities to go outside.
Sales for past games have declined sharply while sales of new titles remained strong. It appears that users are playing fewer games to save money.
Totoki-san also explained the decrease in PlayStation Plus users, mentioning that it was caused by a greater decline in the engagement of PS4 users than expected. On the other hand, engagement among PS5 users remains significantly higher compared to PS4. Due to that, Sony is making even more efforts to increase the penetration of PS5 hardware to recover the overall loss in user engagement going forward.
Restrictions on the supply of materials and logistics affecting the production of PS5 hardware have “significantly eased” and Sony managed to produce 6.5 million during the quarter, progressing faster than planned.
Demand from customers continues to be strong, and in September, it took an average of 17.5 hours to sell out 100,000 units after their delivery at retail stores in the US.
Later in the call, Totoki-san mentioned that Sony hasn’t seen any dampening of said demand due to the price hike for PS5 in some regions.
To meet this strong demand, Sony plans to do its utmost to bring forward supply into the year and the Holiday season and aims to exceed its previously announced full-year forecast of 18 million units (which would bring the total to 37.3 million units by March 2023).
Totoki-san also repeated that the target for the next fiscal year is to surpass 23 million units, keeping ahead of PS4.
Sony expects a similar performance for God of War Ragnarok compared to the previous game, which sold 23 million units cumulatively to date.
We also hear that Bungie’s collaboration with PlayStation Studios is going well.
Totoki-san also added that sales of the PC version of Marvel’s Spider-Man “approached the highest level ever” for a PC game released by Sony.
Sony is pursuing various initiatives to increase user engagement and re-accelerate the growth of the game business from both the hardware and software perspectives. The company expects to see the results of these efforts to become apparent in sales and profit from the second half of the fiscal year (between October 2022 and March 2023) and in the next fiscal year.
If you’d like to learn more about Sony’s financial performance on top of official shipment numbers for PS5 and PS4, you can check out our dedicated article.