PlayStation full-year revenues rise to $27.5 billion but narrowly misses PS5 sales target |

Helldivers 2 is fastest-selling PlayStation title to date at 12 million copies in 12 weeks

Sony has released its full-year financial results, showing a solid twelve months for its PlayStation business ahead of a year in which it is forecasting declines.

The platform holder saw net sales for its Game & Network Services division, which includes PlayStation, rise by 17% year-on-year to ¥4.3 trillion ($27.5 billion), while operating income rose 16% to ¥290.2 billion ($1.9 billion).

Sony also managed to ship 20.8 million PlayStation 5 units throughout the fiscal year. This was an improvement on the 19.1 million managed in the previous year, but fell slightly short of its 21 million target. This in itself was already reduced from an initial target of 25 million.

Alongside its financial results, Sony announced new leadership for PlayStation with Hermen Hulst and Hideaki Nishino taking over from Jim Ryan as joint CEOs.

Breaking down the full-year results for its G&NS division, Sony reported software sales of ¥2.2 trillion ($14.1 billion, up 24% year-on-year), of which digital software and add-ons accounted for ¥1.9 trillion ($12.1 billion, up 27%).

The platform holder said 286.4 million games were sold for PS5 during the course of the year, of which 39.7 million were first-party titles. By comparison, the previous fiscal year saw 264.2 million games sold, of which 43.5 million were first-party.

According to VGC, Sony announced during its earnings webcast that Helldivers 2 sold 12 million copies in 12 weeks across PC and PS5. The company said this was “far exceeding expectations” and makes it the fastest-selling PlayStation game launch to date.

Hardware revenues saw a 9% boost at ¥1.7 trillion ($10.9 billion), which there was decent growth in revenue from network services — including PlayStation Plus — at ¥545.5 billion ($3.5 million, up 17%).

There were 118 million active PSN users at the end of Q4 (three months ended March 31, 2024) — down from the 123 million reported at the end of Q3 but up from 108 million marked at the same time last year.

[Update]: According to a SeekingAlpha transcript of the post-earnings call, Q4’s active PSN user numbers were the second highest in PlayStation history, bested only by the January-March period of 2021, when the pandemic was not yet a year old.

Sony senior VP Hayakawa Sadahiko also talked about changes to the console model in the PS3 and PS4 generations, and how moving from a focus on inflating software attach rates to boosting playtime on the platform had benefited PlayStation’s business.

“In the PS5 generation, which has capitalized on the established user base, the trend is hard to see due to the impact of stay-at-home demand and acquisition-related expenses,” Sadahiko said. “But since the launch of the PS5, we have continued to achieve a high level of a more stable profit growth.

“As we enter the second half of the console cycle, we expect the number of new PS5 units sold to gradually decline. However, by steadily maintaining and expanding the consistently increased number of active users and user engagement while also strengthening control over business costs, we believe that we will be able to steadily increase sales and profits on the PS platform going forward.” [/Update]

The success of the G&NS division was cited as a key factor in Sony’s overall results, as well as increases in its music, financial services, and imaging and sensing solutions segments.

PlayStation’s forecast for the new financial year reaffirmed the company’s previously stated expectation of a decrease in hardware sales, but this will also deliver a decrease in hardware losses.

The platform holder expects an increase in non-first-party sales and a decrease in first-party, due in no small part to the fact there will be no new entries from PlayStation’s blockbuster franchises until the following fiscal year.

The forecast also predicts an increase in sales from network services, mainly PlayStation Plus as Sony grows its subscription service.

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