PlayStation 5 hardware is driving sales within Sony's video game division.
According to the company's fiscal report for the year ended March 31, 2022, sales in the Games & Network Services (G&NS) segment increased by 3 percent year-on-year to 2.73 trillion yen ($20.9 billion)
Operating income remained flat, increasing ever-so-slightly to 346.1 billion yen ($2.65 billion) from 341.7 billion yen ($2.62 billion) over that same period.
Sony attributed that sales upswing to an "increase in sales of hardware," with the PlayStation 5 selling 11.5 million units throughout the entire fiscal year.
Although hardware sales were up year-on-year, its worth noting the PlayStation 5 was only available during the last two quarters of FY20 (as shown in the graph below). As it stands, the PlayStation 5 has achieved lifetime sales of 19.3 million units.
The Japanese company also noted a decrease in software sales in the G&NS division, and suggested that "non-first party titles including add-on content" were largely responsible for that downturn -- although it's worth highlighting that first-party software sales also declined year-on-year.
Digging into the specifics, consolidated game software revenue (which includes physical software, digital software, and add-on content) dropped to 1.55 trillion yen from 1.59 trillion yen year-on-year.
Network services revenue, however, rose to 409 billion yen from 383 billion yen over the same period despite the number of PlayStation Plus subscribers remaining largely flat. At the end of FY21, the PlayStation Network had 106 million monthly active users compared with 109 million at the end of the previous fiscal year.
Looking ahead, the company is forecasting G&NS net sales of 3.66 trillion yen and operating income of 305 billion yen by the end of the next fiscal year on March 31, 2022.
Breaking down that forecast, Sony expects an increase in game development costs and expenses associated with acquisitions (such as its planned Bungie purchase) to negatively impact operating income, but believes an increase in hardware and peripheral device sales will help drive sales revenue.