Sales of PlayStation hardware slowed to 9m units worldwide in Q3. That’s down from the 9.7m units that Sony shipped in Q3 last year. It could be viewed that hardware sales are reaching saturation, although it’s hard to compare the two quarters like-for-like as last year saw the launch of the PS4 Pro in November, which must have kicked up sales with upgrades.
In addition, although Sony doesn’t split out figures for its higher-end hardware, there’s certain to be a good chunk of PS4 Pro units in that mix, keeping hardware margins higher than they would have been in previous generations.
Software income saw a gain of 16.2 per cent in PS4 sales year-on-year – 100.3bn Yen up to 718bn (£4.6bn). Some of that can be attributed to the growing install base, but digital shift, estimated by EA to be around 5 per cent per year, will also be directing more money into Sony’s coffers – partly at the expense of other retailers.
Again, though, it would simplistic to simply say that the value of Sony’s sales to the consumer had raised by such a figure in Europe or the US. The strengthening of the Euro and US dollar against the Yen over the last year accounts for 41.6bn Yen of the rise, so those looking to gauge the actual rise of software sales on the platform to western consumers, should moderate the headline figure down considerably.
All that said, it’s been a strong nine months for PlayStation, the hardware is selling, there were good exclusive titles. Only the relatively flat sales of Battlefront II – a major marketing partner for Sony – will have run against the expectations of PlayStation’s executives.