Sony: 4.5 million PS5s sold, and an already record fiscal year for the video game department




After Nintendo earlier this week, it’s Sony’s turn to release its third quarter results for fiscal year 2020/2021. And just like its competitor: the lights are green.

Not only in great shape with the launch of its PlayStation 5, Sony's video game division is enjoying a sharp increase in digital sales.



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Profits up 50% over the quarter

Sony's “Games and Online Services” division grossed 883.2 billion yen ($ 8.43 billion) in the third quarter of 2020, covering the period October-December. This figure represents an increase of 40% from the same period last year.

From this figure we can extract an operating profit of 80.2 billion yen (767 million dollars), this time signing an increase of 50% compared to Q3 2019/2020. Excellent results therefore, which allow Sony to envision nothing less than the best fiscal year of its existence.




An explosion that can be explained quite easily thanks to the launch last November of the PlayStation 5 - but not only. Sales of digital games and additional content also boosted results, according to the company's balance sheet. Indeed, 53% of games purchased on a PlayStation console were through the PlayStation Store in Q3. Over the whole of 2020, this figure even climbs to 63%. An increase that can also be explained quite easily by the various containment measures that have been put in place by governments around the world to fight the Covid-19 pandemic.





A PS5 already in great shape, and a PS4 which is declining

This is the cycle of life. One new console hunts the other. Also in this third quarter of 2020, we are not surprised to see that Sony has sold a lot more PlayStation 5 than PlayStation 4.

According to official figures, 4.5 million PlayStation 5s sold between October and December 2020, compared to 1.4 million PS4s. The latest sales tally for the latter stands at 115.1 million units since its launch in 2013.





As financial analyst Daniel Ahmad explains on Twitter, it will take a few years for Sony to make a profit from its new console. Like the PS4, the PS5 is currently sold at a loss. This is mainly due to the price of components which, as everyone knows, are still very rare at the start of 2021. Lisa Su, P.-D.G. AMD, which provides the console's APU, estimates that the shortage could stretch throughout 2021.



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PlayStation Plus as a goose that lays golden eggs

As we have seen: Sony can count on the excellent health of digital sales to stay afloat. Better still, the company benefits from a very regular financial contribution thanks to the PlayStation Plus, to which precisely 47.4 million players are subscribed. This figure is once again on the rise, with nearly 10 million new subscribers in one year (38.8 million in Q3 2019).






We also learned that 87% of PlayStation 5 owners subscribe to the service. A figure that echoes Microsoft's announcement, claiming 70% of Xbox Series X | S owners subscribe to Xbox Game Pass.

Finally, Sony still has a key figure that tells us that its rapid growth is not about to be slowed down. In one year, the time spent playing on a PlayStation console has increased by 30%. An increasing retention rate which, as everyone knows, is crucial to ensure conversion and motivate new purchases.



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