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In a nutshell: Sony has released its financial results for the last quarter. While game sales were up compared to the same period a year earlier, PlayStation 5 sales were down by 1.3 million units—an effect of the chip shortage that still plagues the tech industry.
Sony sold two million PS5 units in the fourth quarter of its financial year 2021. That brings overall sales of the console to 19.3 million, but it's still down from the 3.3 million units it sold in the same quarter a year earlier. Additionally, Sony reports that 11.5 million PlayStation 5 machines were sold throughout the financial year, significantly fewer than the 14.8 million it had originally planned—an amount that would have seen the PS5 match or outsell the number of PS4s at the same point in its lifecycle.
The problem isn't lack of demand, of course; it's the global chip shortage that continues to hamper Sony's efforts at securing components for its console. Nintendo has warned that the Switch could suffer the same issues later this year.
Sony can take some solace in the fact that it was a good quarter for PS4 and PS5 game sales with 70.5 million titles sold, up from 61.4 million one year ago. That figure includes 14.5 million first-party games. However, full-year game sales fell to 303.2 million units from 338.8 million a year earlier, but the 2020 lockdowns did give the gaming industry a massive boost.
PlayStation Plus subscriber numbers were down YoY slightly to 47.4 million in March 2022 from 47.6 million in March 2021, and the PlayStation Network's monthly active users dropped from 111 million to 106 million.
Sony does believe things will improve in the next quarter due to better component supplies and more third-party game sales. It will also be launching its Xbox Game Pass-rivalling PlayStation Plus Extra and Premium services.