At the end of its fiscal year in May, Sony was fairly bullish on gaming sales, predicting sales of 18 million PlayStation 5s for 2022 after selling 11.5 million in 2021. The company also expected a "significant" revenue increase in its gaming division over 2021 due to a boost across "all categories."
In its latest earnings drop, however, the company has revised its profit forecast down by 16 percent from 305 billion yen ($2.3 billion) in May to 255 billion yen ($1.9 billion), "due to an expected decrease in sales of first party titles," it wrote. The company also chalked up the drop in revenue to higher expenses due to its acquisition of Bungie Studios closing earlier than expected.
Sony didn't say anything about its PS5 console forecast, but it sold 2.4 million units this quarter compared to 2.3 million in the same quarter last year (21.7 million units to date). That means it must sell over 5 million units on average for the next three quarters to meet its May forecast — something it has never done before. In May, however, Sony said that it will finally be able to ramp up production to meet PS5 demand as supply chain issues ease — though as it stands now, the consoles are still in short supply.
On the software side, things also went south as Sony sold just 47.1 million titles, including 6.4 million first party games, compared to 63.6 million titles and 10.5 million first-party games in the same quarter of 2021. On top of that, PlayStation Plus users dropped slightly from Q4 (47.3 million instead of 47.4 million), and monthly active users also dropped from 106 to 102 million. Sony introduced the new higher-priced PS Plus Extra and Premium tiers in June, but it has yet to reveal the impact of those — hopefully, we'll learn more next quarter.
Looking ahead, Sony has a few major titles on the horizon that could perk up software sales, including God of War Ragnarok coming November 9th, and The Last of Us Part I remake arriving on September 2nd. On the hardware side, the PSVR 2 has been revealed but isn't expected to arrive until next year.
The next quarter will be a lot more interesting for Sony's gaming division, as PS5 sales will show if it's been able to ramp up production. Game sales will also be notable, as the steep drop this quarter bodes ominously for the industry as a whole.
Update 7/29/2022 10:34 AM ET: The post has been updated with information that Sony has sold 21.7 million PS5s to date, not 21.4 million.