Today, during Sony’s quarterly conference call for investors and analysts, chief financial officer Hiroki Totoki talked about the situation of the PlayStation business.
We hear that during the quarter between April and June 2022, gameplay time for PlayStation users declined 15% year-on-year. In June it improved by 3% compared with May, and it was down only 10% versus June 2021, but this is still a much lower engagement level than Sony anticipated in its previous forecast.
The company believes the reason for this is that the growth of the gaming market has recently decelerated as users have more opportunities to get out of their homes as the COVID-19 pandemic has weakened in key markets.
As a response, Sony intends to take action to increase user engagement in the second half of the fiscal year (between October and March 2023) during which major titles including first-party ones will be released. This should be achieved primarily by increasing the supply of PS5 hardware and promoting the new PlayStation Plus services.
For now, Sony has made no changes to the 18 million units forecast for PS5 shipments during the whole fiscal year (which would bring the total to 37.3 million units by March 2023), but since the company is seeing a recovery from the impact of the lockdowns in Shanghai and significant improvement in component supply, they’re working to bring forth more supply for the console for the Holiday season.
The house of PlayStation is also working to strengthen its first-party software lineup by creating new IP and accelerating the rollout of the live game services and PC titles through synergies with recently acquired studios.
Answering to questions during the Q&A session, Totoki-san mentioned that the demand for PS5 hardware isn’t slowing down and the first objective for Sony is to manage to meet that demand.
He also mentioned that on top of issues with the procurement of parts, during Q1 the supply of PS5 was hit pretty hard by disruptions in the supply chain. Sony hopes this to be completely addressed going forward.
Totoki-san believes that in the second half of the fiscal year, the volume of PS5 supply will “significantly increase” and with the launch of both first and third-party games coming at the same time, Sony will be able to build momentum to escalate user engagement.
Asked whether Sony could increase the price of the PS5 similarly to other consumer electronic products due to the worldwide hikeB in costs of raw materials, Totoki-san simply answered that there’s nothing he can share about prices.
If you’d like to learn more about Sony’s financial performance on top of official shipment numbers for PS5 and PS4, you can check out our dedicated article.