Sony never seemed to have enough PlayStation 5 stock since it launched, but still managed to sell 4.5 million of the consoles in 2020 — matching PS4 sales during that console’s 2013 launch quarter. Combined with sales of 1.4 million PS4 units, Sony’s gaming business had its best fiscal quarter in history with 883.2 billion yen ($8.4 billion) in revenue, up 40 percent over 2019, the company announced.
Profits were also up 50 percent to 80.2 billion yen ($763 million), due to increased game sales amounting to 484 billion yen ($4.6 billion), which actually doubled the 240 billion yen ($2.3 billion) in hardware sales. Sony also saw a 9 percent boost in PlayStation Plus subscription and other network revenue.
While the PS5 got off to a running start, Sony also confirmed that it’s losing money on every PS5 sold because it set “strategic price points for PS5 hardware that were... lower than the manufacturing costs.” The cost of the launch itself also cut into potential profits, as would be expected with an all-new console.
Sony Electronics fared well in the company’s latest quarter (Q3 fiscal), with revenue down slightly but operating income up 25.4 percent to 105.8 billion yen ($1 billion). Sony chalked that up to an increase in television revenue, a better product mix and a reduction in operating costs in its mobile division. However, mobile and camera sales were down over 2019, continuing a trend with Sony and the camera and mobile industries in general — with Apple being the large exception.
Sony had a good quarter overall, showing profitability across all its segments with sales and operating income up 9.5 and 20 percent, respectively — with gaming, once again, leading the charge. Now, it just has to ramp up manufacturing so that everyone who wants a PS5 console can get one.