Sony drops PlayStation 5 sales forecast again due to chip shortage

It's well behind where the PS4 was at the same stage.


Sony is still struggling to make enough PlayStation 5 consoles to keep up with demand. During its key holiday fiscal quarter, it shipped 3.9 million units for a total of 17.3 million since launch, the company said in its earnings report. That's considerably behind the 20.2 million units the PS4 had managed at the same point in its life cycle.

Because of that, Sony reported 813.3 billion yen ($7.09 billion) in revenue for its gaming division, down from 883.2 billion yen ($7.703 billion) over the same quarter last year. However, operating profit rose 12.1 percent to $810 million, because Sony actually loses money on each PS5 console sold.

Sony CFO Hiroki Totoki said in an analyst webcast that people want to buy PS5 consoles, but partners can't supply components due to the ongoing chip shortage. Sony expects that situation to continue during the coming year, meaning PS5s may not be any easier to find, particularly in the first half of 2022.

Sony lowered its forecast for PS5 shipments for the fiscal year to 11.5 million units, down from 14.8 million. As such, it dropped its full year revenue estimate for its Game & Network Services (G&NS) division by 170 million yen ($1.48 billion). At the same time, it expects 6 percent more profit despite lower game sales, thanks to the aforementioned unprofitable consoles.

Sony's gaming division is its biggest money maker, accounting for around a quarter of its overall revenue and profits this quarter. However, its imaging division also fared well in fiscal Q3, with a 22 percent increase in revenue year-over-year, thanks to sales of its premium smartphone image sensors. Its movie division, meanwhile, saw a large jump in revenue to $4.02 billion due in large part to the success of Spider-Man: No Way Home.

Update February 3, 2021 3:18 AM ET: The post originally said that Sony sold 3.3 million PS5s this quarter, but the correct figure is 3.9 million. It has been updated with the correct information.

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