PS5 Sales Lagged Behind Sony's Expectations in Q1 But Momentum Improved in July

Published: August 9, 2023 3:56 AM /


PlayStation 5 and DualSense Controller

During Sony's quarterly financial conference call, the company's executives discussed the situation of the PlayStation business and the trends in PS5 sales. 

We hear from SVP Sadahiko Hayakawa that the cumulative gameplay time by PlayStation users during the past quarter (between April and June) was 2% higher compared to the same quarter in the past fiscal year.

The considerable increase year-on-year in software sales (up 27% year-on-year) is seen by Sony as being driven mainly by a considerable increase in spending per play hour by the PS5's expanding user base.

While the 3.3 million units shipped during the quarter was a significant 38% increase year-on-year, it's "somewhat less than the expected progress" toward the previously-announced target of 25 million units for the full fiscal year.

That being said, the promotion that started in July has sparked "an improvement in the momentum of sales" 

The acceleration of the penetration of PS5 hardware is seen as "one of the highest priorities" for Sony in this fiscal year, and the company will "try to work steadily to implement necessary measures to achieve the hardware sales target of 25 million units." 

Hayakawa-san added that the release of Marvel's Spider-Man 2 this fall alongside major third-party games will "greatly energize" the gaming industry and the PlayStation platform.   

Below you can check out a slide showcased during the presentation representing the growth of yearly shipments of PS5 compared to the 25 million target for the ongoing fiscal year, which will end on March 31, 2024. If that target is achieved, the PS5 will have shipped 63.4 million units to retailers by then. 

PS5 forecast

During the following Q&A for media professionals and analysts, chief operating officer and chief financial officer Hiroki Totoki mentioned that Sony would like to make greater efforts on its first-party titles.

Speaking of the split of PS5 sales by region, Totoki-san mentioned that sales in Japan and Asia are strong, while North America and Europe are responding quite favorably to the promotions started in July. On the other hand, the UK has been a bit weak. 

He also added that while expanding the installed base of PS5 is important, so Sony will continue to make efforts in that direction, the company won't take "extreme" measures in order to achieve its goals.

The company intends to carefully balance factors like the extent of demand, a certain level of profitability, and expansion of the installed base while taking a data-driven approach.

SVP Naomi Matsuoka was asked to explain the reason why Sony stopped disclosing PlayStation Plus subscribers this quarter. After confirming the growth through the expansion of network services, Sony decided to stop disclosing the number of Subscribers.

On the other hand, Sony will start disclosing software sales outside of PS5, including sales on PC. 

She mentioned that now PlayStation Plus has moved to a tiered format and Sony would like to continue promoting the shift to higher tiers of the service by increasing the appeal of PlayStation Plus.

If you're interested in reading more about Sony's quarterly financial performance and an update on PS5 shipments, you can check out our dedicated article from earlier today

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