Sony has released its financial results for the fiscal year ending June 31, 2022 (Q1 2022), and while the PlayStation 5 platform continues to gather slight momentum on a global scale, overall the brand is seeing a general decline in customer expenditure, particularly in the realm of software and subscriptions.
The mighty PS5 has now hit an impressive 21.7 million global shipments since its launch in the fall of 2020, with around 2.4 million consoles shipped in Q1. While this number is certainly nothing to be sniffed at, it reflects an increasingly granular sales growth when compared to that of the company’s previous PlayStation hardware launches. Still, the numbers are moving in the right direction, if a little more slowly than Sony had perhaps hoped.
In the realm of software, accessories, and subscriptions, however, a different tale is being told. PS4 and PS5 games sales totaled 47.1 million units this past quarter, which is down almost 17 million year-on-year. This is particularly notable given that 2022 has seen many of the industry’s biggest hitters all launched atypically earlier this year, so one would actually assume numbers would be up on previous years. 79% of all game sales were digital, an increase of 8% on the previous quarter.
PlayStation is still attempting to claw back lost subscribers to its popular PlayStation Plus service. The last quarter of 2021 saw the service decline in users for the first time in many years, and while the latest quarter did not quite recover, it has seen something of an increase, now standing at around 47.3 million users. Of course, SIE has just launched its revamped PlayStation Plus service, so it will be interesting to see how this affects the user base for the next quarter.
Overall, this is no sign whatsoever that PlayStation is in any sort of danger — we’re still talking a revenue of millions upon millions — but it is a sign that the latest generation of gaming continues in its struggle to find a solid foothold. The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, an increased cost of living, scalpers, production woes, component shortages, and general human apathy all play a role in the gaming industry’s continued malaise — one that is affecting developers, publishers, and manufacturers.