Sony’s massively-popular PlayStation 4 has smashed another sales milestone. In its latest financial earnings, the company revealed that 1.5 million consoles — a figure that covers all configurations, including the PlayStation 4 Pro — in the three-month period that ended on March 31st, 2020. That brings lifetime sales to 110.4 million, a figure that’s just shy of the original Game Boy and Game Boy Color. The PlayStation 4’s momentum has slowed, though. The company sold 2.6 million consoles in the same period last year, and fiscal year (April 2019 to March 2020) sales were down by 4.2 million. It’s unlikely, therefore, that the ageing system will take the ‘all time best-selling console’ crown from the PlayStation 2.
Sony won’t mind, though. The company is scheduled to release the PS5 this year, which will undoubtedly boost hardware sales. In its earnings, the company reiterated that the system is “on track for launch in this holiday season.” Yesterday, an online job posting suggested that the console would come out in October. Sony told Japanese gaming publication Famitsu that the date was an “error” introduced by the recruiting site, however. For now, therefore, we’re still stuck with a “holiday 2020” release window.
PlayStation 5 should give Sony’s entire business a much-needed lift. The company reported fiscal year sales and operating revenue of 8.26 trillion yen (roughly $77 billion), which was 406 billion yen (roughly $3.8 billion) less than the previous 12 months. Sales and revenue for the fourth quarter slipped to 1.7 billion yen (roughly $16.3 billion), down billion yen (roughly $3.6 billion) year-over-year. A weaker gaming business was partly responsible for the downturn. Sony’s Game & Network Services division brought in sales and operating income of 1.98 trillion yen (roughly $18.5 billion) for the fiscal year, which was was down 14 percent from the previous 12 months. Sony blamed a decrease in console sales, unfavourable exchange rates, and a dip in game sales for the decline.
Sony says its gaming division is well positioned to deal with the coronavirus pandemic, though. Hardware sales are “trending well,” it reported, and network services revenue (i.e. PlayStation Plus) is rising. The company also stressed that it has “no major issues in game software development at this point.” That bodes well for the remaining first-party PS4 games — now known as PlayStation Studios — that are scheduled to come out this year, including The Last of us Part II and Ghost of Tsushima, as well as any launch titles that the company is cooking up for the PS5.