underperformance and decline in sales, Sony takes the brunt of the shortage

underperformance and decline in sales, Sony takes the brunt of the shortage

Sony has sold 19.2 million PS5s as of March 31, 2022. A nice result that hides a decline in sales due to the shortage of components. One of the worst years for PlayStation in over 20 years.

It is now a long way from the launch of the PS5 where Sony’s console managed to break sales records despite the shortage of components. The manufacturer has been facing a difficult sales slowdown for several months, so much so that the Xbox Series S and X are selling better in Europe and North America in particular. The presentation of Sony’s financial statement is an opportunity to have more precise figures on this trend.

Worst year since 1997

Sony therefore sold 2 million PlayStation 5 over the quarter (from January to March 2022) for a total of 11.5 million over the year (March 2021 to March 2022) and 19.2 million since the launch of the console in 2020. For comparison, the PlayStation 4 had sold 14.8 million in its second year of life. Several factors could explain this decline from one generation to the next. There’s the fact that Microsoft is now in top form with a very clear strategy, a far cry from the disastrous launch of the Xbox One. But the good explanation is simply the shortage of components. Every PS5 in stock still finds a buyer within seconds of arriving, a sign that demand is far outstripping supply.

Even removing portable consoles from the equation, you have to go back to 1997 to find a year when Sony sold fewer consoles than in 2021-22. pic.twitter.com/CNnscCLsOW

— Oscar Lemaire (@oscarlemaire) May 10, 2022

The journalist Oscar Lemaireworking on the Ludostrie site, offers us a contextualization of the ” counter performancemade by the PlayStation 5 over the past few months. If we put handheld consoles aside, since Sony no longer sells them today, “you have to go back to 1997 to find a year when Sony sold fewer consoles than in 2021-22“. That is, in the early years of the very first PlayStation, when Sony wasn’t such a popular game console player.

Sony is still fine

We must still wonder about the supply problems of the PlayStation 5. Microsoft seems to be better able to manage the shortage since the firm manages both to sell more Xbox Series S and X consoles and both to develop its cloud gaming servers asking for modified Series X. Here, the Redmond company can thank its choice to develop a simpler console to produce with the Xbox Series S. It is also likely that Microsoft, with its incomparable financial level, was able to negotiate more strongly with the suppliers of the best lines of supplies only Sony.

If we put console sales aside, Sony is still doing very well. The manufacturer even achieved a record year in video games thanks to game sales and the ever-constant increase in the share of sales of dematerialized games, which benefits the manufacturer. Remember that manufacturers earn a higher commission on the sale of games on their online stores. We should also mention the PlayStation Plus subscription and the sale of microtransactions, especially in games.free-to-playwhich explain these good results.

Still, these record results are the result of a huge installed base of PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5 consoles. It is the sale of consoles that serves as the founding base for a manufacturer’s ecosystem. Without the sale of consoles, no dematerialized games or subscriptions. Far from being in danger for the moment, Sony must therefore start PS5 sales rising again.


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