In brief: Sony saw its profits fall 31% during the first fiscal quarter, but the company still raised its full-year forecast on the back of its successful PlayStation business. It also confirmed that almost 42 million PlayStation 5 units have now been sold since the console launched in 2020.

Sony generated $20.7 billion in revenue during the latest quarter, a 33% rise compared to the same period a year earlier. And although its $1.76 billion operating profit was down 31% year-on-year, it was still better than expected.

It was another good quarter for the PlayStation 5. Sony sold 3.3 million units between April and June, an increase of 37.5% compared to the year-ago quarter when 2.4 million units were sold. That brings the lifetime total to 41.7 million, confirming President and CEO Jim Ryan's announcement last month that over 40 million PS5 consoles have been sold. The company wants to achieve 25 million PS5 sales this financial year, which ends on March 2024. For comparison, it sold 19.1 million units during the previous year.

Looking at games, 56.5 million PS4 and PS5 titles were sold in the last quarter, up 19.7% YoY, thanks to third-party sales. Releases such as Final Fantasy 16 and Diablo IV helped give game sales a boost.

The PlayStation Network's monthly active users were up 5 million to 108 million, while one of the most interesting figures was the ratio of digital downloads to physical copies. We've seen the former increasing for years, but it dropped from 79% in Q1 2022 to 72% in Q1 2023.

Sony has now revised its sales forecast for games and network services up 7% to 4.2 trillion yen and overall revenue forecast up 6% to 12.2 trillion yen. It cut its outlook on its image sensors used in smartphones and other devices due to China's phone market taking longer than expected to recover and a slowdown in the US that Apple recently highlighted.

"We expected the smartphone market to start recovering from the second half of this fiscal year, but now we don't see that happening until at least the next year," said Sadahiko Hayakawa, senior general manager in charge of Sony's finance department.

Another business that disappointed was Sony's pictures division. Its profits were down 68% and revenue fell 6%, something the company blames on writers' strikes.