Sony is still selling lots of games ahead of the PS5's launch

Another solid quarter for the company.

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A man walks past the logo of Japans Sony displayed at the company's showroom in Tokyo on October 28, 2020. (Photo by Kazuhiro NOGI / AFP) (Photo by KAZUHIRO NOGI/AFP via Getty Images)
KAZUHIRO NOGI via Getty Images

Sony continues to weather the financial storm caused by the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. In its latest quarterly earnings, the Japanese behemoth posted revenue of 2.1 trillion yen (roughly $20.2 billion), which is essentially flat on the same quarter last year. (If you want to get specific, the company made 8.8 billion yen, or $84.1 million less.) Operating income, however, rose to $317.8 million yen (roughly $3 million), which is up 38.8 million yen (roughly $372,000) year-over-year. Not bad, not bad.

As always, the bulk of that money came from PlayStation. The division made 506.6 billion yen (roughly $4.9 billion) in revenue, which was down on the previous quarter but 52.2 billion yen (roughly $501,000) higher than a year ago. That led to $105 billion (roughly $1 billion) in gaming-related operating income, which again, is worse than the last three months, but considerably higher than the same quarter last year. The drop-off from the previous quarter isn’t too surprising. People were desperate for entertainment at the start of the pandemic, when lockdown restrictions were at their tightest. It’s no surprise, therefore, to see a bit of a dip as those limitations are slowly eased and people venture outside a little more.

The company sold 1.5 million PS4 consoles during the period, which is 1.3 million fewer than the same period last year. The system’s decline is understandable, though, as the company prepares to launch the PlayStation 5 and its all-digital sibling. Game sales hit 80.9 million — down 10 million on the last quarter, but up 10 million year-over-year — and 12.4 million of those came from PlayStation-owned studios. Some of that success can be attributed to Ghost of Tsushima, which sold 2.4 million in its first three days. PlayStation Plus, meanwhile, has steadily grown to 45.9 million subscribers, up almost a million from the previous quarter. Unfortunately, Sony didn’t share any PlayStation Now numbers today.

The rest of Sony’s business is a little rocky. The music side pulled in revenue of 230.8 billion yen (roughly $2.2 billion), which was higher than the same quarter last year. Sony’s movie division continues to struggle, though. The company only released two films in the US last quarter — The Broken Hearts Gallery and The Last Shift — neither of which made a lot of money. For comparison, Sony put Spider-Man: Far From Home, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood and The Angry Birds Movie 2 in theaters during the same quarter last year. The smartphone team, meanwhile, sold just 600,000 handsets during the three-month period, which is identical to the numbers it posted last year. I guess people don’t care for the Xperia 1 ii...

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