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The company hoped to sell 25 million consoles during the current fiscal year, but feels that target is now out of reach.

Chris Kerr, News Editor

February 14, 2024

2 Min Read
The PlayStation 5 and DualSense controller
Image via PlayStation

At a Glance

  • Game & Network Services sales increased by 16% year-on-year to 1.4 trillion yen during Q3, driven by third-party titles.
  • Operating income in the division fell by 26% to 86.1 billion yen over the same period.
  • The PS5 delivered 8.2M sales in Q3 to set a new quarterly record, but still fell short of expectations.

Sony claims PlayStation 5 sales aren't cutting the mustard despite hitting a quarterly high.

As noted in Sony's fiscal report for the third quarter ended December 31, 2023, PS5 hardware sales reached 8.2 million units during Q3—but it's likely that won't be enough to meet Sony's annual shipment target of 25 million units.

Based on those results, Sony now expects PS5 unit sales for the fiscal year to reach 21 million units. The PlayStation 5 has now sold over 50 million units worldwide.

Looking more broadly at the company's Game & Network Services (G&NS) segment, which houses its video game operations, Q3 sales increased by 16 percent year-on-year to 1.4 trillion yen ($9.2 billion).

Sony attributed that increase to the performance of third-party titles, and noted that sales of its own first-party software actually dipped by around 4 million units year-on-year. That's despite Marvel's Spider-Man 2 surpassing 10 million sales in under four months and God of War Ragnarok making a "major contribution" to profits.

Third-party titles boost quarterly sales as Sony warns of first-party hiatus

Operating income in the G&NS segment decreased by 26 percent year-on-year to 86.1 billion yen ($571.6 million) during Q3, and Sony said dwindling first-party sales and losses from hardware "mainly due to promotions" were to blame.

Related:Marvel's Spider-Man 2 tops 10 million sales in under four months

Network services revenue increased by 11 percent year-on-year "due to the impacts of a further shift to premium services and price revisions." The number of PlayStation Plus subscribers declined slightly year-on-year, but the wider PlayStation Network appears to be in good health after monthly active users (MAUs) reached a record high of 123 million.

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Glancing towards the next fiscal year, Sony is anticipating a "gradual decline" in PS5 hardware sales as the console enters the latter half of its lifecycle but said it intends to "optimize sales with a greater emphasis on the balance with profits."

"We expect third-party software sales to continue to expand gradually due to the expansion of the PS5 installed base and the high level of user engagement," it added. "Regarding first-party software, we aim to continue to focus on producing high-quality works and developing live service games, but, while major projects are currently under development, we do not plan to release any new major existing franchise titles next fiscal year."

As for the current fiscal year, Sony has downwardly revised its full-year sales forecast by 5 percent to 4.1 trillion yen. The company's operating income forecast remains unchanged at 270 billion yen.

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About the Author(s)

Chris Kerr

News Editor, GameDeveloper.com

Game Developer news editor Chris Kerr is an award-winning journalist and reporter with over a decade of experience in the game industry. His byline has appeared in notable print and digital publications including Edge, Stuff, Wireframe, International Business Times, and PocketGamer.biz. Throughout his career, Chris has covered major industry events including GDC, PAX Australia, Gamescom, Paris Games Week, and Develop Brighton. He has featured on the judging panel at The Develop Star Awards on multiple occasions and appeared on BBC Radio 5 Live to discuss breaking news.

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