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PlayStation sales slip to $7.1bn as supply shortages continue

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Sony Interactive Entertainment is still finding it difficult to cope with the PlayStation 5’s supply issues which have resulted in an 8% year-on-year sales decline during the holiday quarter in their games division.

According to the reports made by the company’s Game & Network Services segment, within the last three months, ending on December 31, 2021, the PlayStation sales came in at $7.1 billion which is a significant decline compared to the $7.7 billion made during the same period last year.

This drop in sales is likely due to the decrease in hardware and peripherals sales which are caused by the shortage of components, namely semiconductors that hinder the PlayStation 5 supply lines.

Aside from the peripherals and hardware sales seeing a decline, both non-first party and first-party titles, as well as content add-ons, saw a decline in sales. This was somewhat expected considering that PS5 launched alongside titles such as Sackboy: A Big Adventure and Spider-Man: Miles Morales during the holiday season last year, while the largely expected Horizon: Forbidden West was delayed and missed the launch window for this quarter.

Sony has managed to ship 3.9 million PlayStation 5 consoles within the last quarter, which is significantly less when compared to the 4.5 million that sold during the quarter when the console initially launched. In total, Sony has shipped 17.3 million PS5 units, significantly less than 20.2 million units of PS4 sold during the same period of time after its launch.

Sony is still trying to offset the PS5 shortage by producing and selling their previous generation system, the PlayStation 4 which has shipped 200 000 units in the previous quarter.

When it comes to video games, a total of 92.7 million units have been sold during the last quarter, including the titles for both PlayStation 5 and PlayStation 4 systems. First-party titles accounted for 11.3 million units.

While these are some impressive figures, the 92.7 million sales mark an 11% decline in sales when compared to the previous Christmas quarter during which 104.2 million PlayStation games have been sold with 19 million of them being first-party titles.

Digital sales accounted for 62% of the sales, an increase from last year’s 53%, while the number of PlayStation Plus subscribers went up from 47.4 million to 48 million users compared to the year prior.

The G&Ns segment saw a 15% rise in the operating income to $810.7 million due to lower expenses within the selling and administrative departments as well as generally lower manufacturing costs.

This particular segment saw a 5% increase in sales in this year’s first three financial quarters, from $17.5 billion to $18.3 billion, and the operating income was down by 17%.

Regardless of the downsides of the PS5, Sony has reported sales of $26.2 billion which is a 13% year-on-year increase from $23.6 billion. This was most likely caused by increases in other segments such as Music, Pictures, and Financial Services with Pictures having a particularly good quarter due to the cinema success of Spider-Man: No Way Home and Venom: Let There Be Carnage more than doubling their sales in the process with an increase of 141%.

In total, Sony’s operating income went up by 32%. The Game & Network services are lowering their expectations, now predicting 6% lower sales than what was forecast in October. However, it is worth noting that a decrease in expenses is expected to raise the operating income from $2.8 billion to $3 billion.

The forecast for the full year remains roughly the same, around $82.4 billion for sales, expecting only a slight increase in the operating income to $10.5 billion.

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