First observation, Sony had neither underestimated nor overestimated its production capacity for the first months of 2022. The manufacturer intended to distribute in all and for all 2 million PS5 between January and March 2022, and that is what he did. As a result, the PS5 has 19.2 million consoles worldwide as of March 31, 2022, including 11.5 million during the fiscal year. As we know, the machine is now despite itself well behind the PS4, which had 22.5 million consoles distributed worldwide at the same stage of its existence.
Despite the handicap represented by this interminable shortage of components, Sony’s video game activity has just completed the best year in its history, managing to surpass the record figures of the previous financial year. Between April 2021 and March 2022, revenue amounted to €19.8 billion (up 3%) while operating profit reached €2.5 billion (up 1%) .
During the fiscal year, 303 million PS5/PS4 games were sold, including 43.9 million PlayStation Studios games, which is less than last year’s record (338.8 million and 58.4 million). The releases of titles like Elden Ring, Horizon Forbidden West and Gran Turismo 7 in the last quarter of the fiscal year were therefore not enough to do as well, but we are still talking about the 2nd best performance in PlayStation history. in the sale of games. Note that the growth of dematerialized is beginning to stagnate: over the last 12 months, 66% of sales of PlayStation games have been by download, compared to 65% in the previous year.
Video games remain the strongest segment of the group, by far, with a better turnover than electronics (16.9 billion euros) and a better operating profit than Sony Pictures (1.5 billion euros). euros). All of Sony’s activities are also largely in the green. The group’s balance sheet indicates that its video game business has benefited from favorable exchange rates, while PS5 production costs continue to fall. On the other hand, sales of games and content from third-party studios weakened.
Among the other important statistics, we note a decline in PlayStation Plus, which fell from 48 million subscribers at the end of December 2021 to 47.4 million subscribers at the end of March 2022. It will of course be interesting to come back to see this figure at the end of June to see the impact of the new subscription formulas that will be available soon. Despite a good first quarter in terms of releases, the number of active users also fell from 111 million to 106 million over the last three months.
Breakdown of PlayStation revenue between April 2021 and March 2022
- Sales of boxed games: 935 million euros
- Sales of download games: 4.2 billion euros
- Sales of additional content: 6.2 billion euros
- Subscription sales: 2.9 billion euros
- Console sales: 4.2 billion euros
- Sales of accessories, PS VR and PC games: 1.3 billion euros
On the horizon: more PS5 and PS VR2
For the next fiscal year ending March 31, 2023, Sony anticipates a sharp increase in video game revenue (26.5 billion euros, a new peak in prospect) but a drop in operating profit (2.2 billion euros). euros). The increase in turnover would be explained by the increase in sales of consoles and peripherals, which could also include a certain PlayStation VR2.
In fact, Sony thinks it can deliver 18 million PS5s by the end of March 2023. Not enough to get back to the PS4 or even meet demand, but it would be a noticeable improvement over the 11.5 million PS5s. that had to be shared during the exercise which has just ended.
Going the other way, the decline in profit would be explained by higher game development costs at PlayStation studios and the recording of special expenses, such as the expensive acquisition of Bungie which will normally be finalized before the end of the year 2022. On the games side, Sony expects an increase in sales both from its own studios and from games from third-party publishers.
Also to know:
- Sony as a whole achieved another record year with sales of 72 billion euros and operating profit of 8.8 billion euros, while net profit stood at 6.4 billion euros.
- Sony dropped the deal with the PlayStation 4 by distributing only 1 million machines over the year, for a total of 117 million for the 2013 console.
- Russia and Ukraine represent only 0.7% of the group’s turnover for the year. The economic impact of the sanctions and the conflict therefore remains minor.