Sony’s financial report for the first quarter of the 2019/20 financial year shows that despite a boost in console sales, PlayStation has seen a drop in revenue. The Game & Network segment – the division in which PlayStation’s activities are reported – was unusually outperformed by Electronic Products & Solutions, ending the quarter down ¥14.6bn year-over-year (YoY) to ¥457.5bn (£3.45bn).
The firm attributed the fall in profits to foreign exchange rates and a drop in third-party sales, but also singled out an unexpected fall in first-party sales, too. Overall, these issues saw a 9.6 per cent drop YoY in its overall gaming division operating income to ¥73.8 bn (£556m). Operating income overall, however, increased by 18 per cent to ¥230.9bn (£1.74bn), and sales and operating revenue have fallen by 1 per cent to ¥1.93trn (£14.3bn).
The company has also increased the number of games sold across the period, rising from 40.6m to 42.9m YoY, 53 per cent of which came via digital sales. That brings Sony’s global PlayStation 4 game sales to a hefty 973.6m.
Hardware sales, too, remain strong, with 3.2m PlayStation 4s shipped in the three-month period, bringing its overall units sold to 100 million. As Niko Partners analyst Daniel Ahmad pointed out (thanks, GI.biz), this sees the PlayStation 4 overtake both the PlayStation 2 and Nintendo Wii as the fastest console to ship over 100m units.
Digital subscription services such as PlayStation Plus have also helped offset the losses. At 36.2m PlayStation Plus subscribers, there’s been a slight drop in take-up since the company reported 36.4m in the previous quarter, but it’s nonetheless up YoY.
Looking ahead, Sony has revised its forecast and adjusted its sales projection to ¥2.2trn (£16.6bn) and anticipates third-party game sales and hardware sales will continue to fall as it gears up to present its next-gen system, colloquially referred to as “PlayStation 5”.