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PlayStation sales slip further as supply shortages continue, Sony Stock drops 7% after earnings

Sony continues to suffer from PlayStation 5’s supply issues, with sales for its games division during the holiday quarter dipping 8% year-on-year.

The company’s Game & Network Services segment, which handles PlayStation, reported sales for the three months ended December 31 at ¥813.3 billion ($7.1 billion) — down from ¥883.2 billion ($7.7 billion) in the same period last year.

This was attributed to the decrease in hardware and peripherals sales, primarily due to the shortage of components that hurts the PS5 supply line.

Sony Stock price on Feb 3 2022

There were also decreases in sales of non-first party titles and add-on content, as well as first-party sales.

This was to be expected; in the same quarter last year, PS5 benefited from a launch line-up that included Sony-published titles such as Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales and Sackboy: A Big Adventure. This year’s holiday quarter was due to see the arrival of Horizon: Forbidden West, but that game was delayed until later this month.

Despite the supply constraints, Sony shipped 3.9 million PS5 units in the quarter — lower than the 4.5 million in the console’s launch quarter, but bringing lifetime shipments up to 17.3million.

Download games accounted for a larger share of total sales, with Sony reporting digital accounted for 62% — up from the 53% seen in the same quarter last year.

The number of PlayStation Plus subscribers has risen to 48 million (up from 47.4 million in the same quarter last year, and up from 47.2 million from Q2). Monthly active users on PlayStation Network was 111 million.

Operating income for the G&NS segment actually rose 15% to ¥92.9 billion ($810.7 million). This was due to lowered selling, administrative and general expenses, and a decreased loss from PS5’s price point, which was set lower than manufacturing costs.

For the first three quarters of its financial year, the segment saw sales of ¥2.1 trillion ($18.3 billion), up 5% from ¥2 trillion ($17.5 billion). Operating income was down 17% to ¥258 billion ($2.3 billion).

As usual, PlayStation ensures the G&NS segment is the biggest of Sony’s businesses.

Despite the shortfalls seen with the PS5, Sony’s overall results were up. The company reported sales of ¥3 trillion ($26.2 billion), up 13% year-on-year from ¥2.7 trillion ($23.6 billion).

This was attributed to significant increases in other segments, such as Music, Financial Services and Pictures. The latter in particular enjoyed a great quarter thanks to the success of Spider-Man: No Way Home and Venom: Let There Be Carnage in cinemas. These two blockbusters helped the Pictures segment more than double its sales — up 141% year-on-year to ¥270.1 billion ($2.4 billion).

Sony’s overall operating income rose 32% year-on-year to ¥465.2 billion ($4.1 billion).

For the first three quarters of its financial year, Sony’s sales rose 13% year-on-year to ¥7.7 trillion ($67.2 billion), while operating income was up 23% to ¥1.1 trillion ($9.6 billion).

Looking forward, the company has lowered its full-year expectations for Game & Network Services, now expecting sales of ¥2.73 trillion ($28.8 billion) — 6% lower than its October forecast of ¥2.9 trillion ($25.3 billion).

However, further decreases to expenses are expected to lift operating income for the segment from ¥325 billion ($2.8 billion) to ¥345 billion ($3 billion).

The overall full-year forecast remains at ¥9.9 trillion ($82.4 billion) for sales, with a slight lift in operating income to ¥1.2 trillion ($10.5 billion).

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