In brief: As the next-generation console wars heats up, sales of the current generation cool down — at least for Sony. Although, revenue in its game and network services arm were up, PlayStation 4 year-over-year sales declined.
According to Sony’s fiscal year 2018 financial report, sales for the PlayStation 4 have slowed down. Compared to the 19 million units moved in 2017, last year saw only 17.8 million consoles sold. While that is not a small number by any means, it does indicate a decline.
A cooling in sales for the aging game system is perhaps not a surprise. The PlayStation 4 will be six-years-old in November. Couple that with news that the next generation of consoles is on the horizon, albeit more than a year away, and it is easy to see why sales are down.
Despite the dip, Sony still projects to have more than 110 million units in circulation by March 2020. It is currently approaching the 100 million mark at 96.8 million meaning that the bean counters forecast 2019 PS4 sales to drop to around 13 million.
Sony warns investors that profits next year will be down in part due to the decline in hardware sales, but also due to increased investment into the upcoming PlayStation iteration. It forecasts a 31.1 billion yen ($279 million US) dip for FY2019.
Fortunately, there is no sign of Sony taking a loss. The company currently has 36.4 million PlayStation Plus subscribers to keep it afloat while it gears up to compete in the upcoming console war. At $50 per year, that $1.8 billion should more than cover the minuscule dip into profits.
Of course, gaming is not the only egg in Sony’s basket. It still has interests in Sony Pictures, imaging products, music, and more, but games and network services (PSN) are its bread and butter these days. So any significant shifts in the industry will be felt throughout the company.
PS5 Concept Image by Steel Drake via Behance