The launch of the PlayStation 5 in November contributed to a "significant" sales increase within Sony's Games & Network Services (G&NS) segment.
As highlighted in the company's fiscal report for the three months ended December 31, 2020, sales in the division rose by 40 percent year-on-year to 883.2 billion yen ($8.4 billion). Operating income also increased to 80.2 billion yen ($763.4 million) from 53.5 billion yen ($509.3 million) over that same period.
Sony said rising software and hardware sales were responsible for that upswing, with the PlayStation 5 hitting the ground running after selling 4.5 million units worldwide.
The next-gen console launched in the U.S. on November 12 before landing in the UK and other regions on November 19, and according to Sony is well on track to meeting its sales goal of 7.6 million units for the fiscal year despite stock shortages.
The company also explained that software and network service sales were higher-than-expected, and highlighted the performance of first-party titles like Marvel's Spider-Man: Miles Morales - which had sold-through 4.1 million units by the end of December and rising PlayStation Plus subscriptions (detailed below) as key growth drivers.
Higher profits margins on PlayStation 4 hardware were also a plus for Sony, with the last-gen console selling 1.4 million units during the third quarter -- down from 6 million units in Q3 2019.
Based on its performance this quarter, Sony has (very marginally) upwardly revised its full-year forecasts, and is now expecting the G&NS segment to deliver net sales of 2.63 trillion yen ($25 billion) and operating income of 340 billion yen ($3.2 billion) by the end of the fiscal year on March 31, 2021.