The PlayStation brand has reportedly kicked off a steady quarter for Sony in Q1 2023, with the strength of console and game sales buoying the company’s financial performance. Console sales have progressed steadily in the quarter ending 30 June 2023, with the PS5 reportedly hitting 42 million lifetime units sold.
Sony aims to sell 25 million units over the next financial year, with recently-launched sales promotions and discounts aiding these goals. While momentum is fairly slow, and the milestone will be challenging to achieve, Sony president Hiroki Totoki recently told reporters that ‘there is ample possibility for [Sony] to catch up’ on this goal.
Notably, the latter half of the year is filled with video game blockbusters that may have the potential to boost these sales goals – particularly the PlayStation 5 exclusive, Marvel’s Spider-Man 2.
Beyond console sales, the PlayStation business is also being boosted by a renewed enthusiasm for first and third-party video games, with sales for PlayStation games reportedly up 28% in Q1 2023, to 771.9 billion yen (AUD $8.2 billion). Steady growth in monthly active PlayStation users has also been reported, with around 108 million players noted worldwide.
Despite this success, it appears the greater Sony corporation is having a tough year overall. Per Reuters, the company expects a 10% decline in operating profit over the next financial year, with several challenges facing stable operations.
One of the primary concerns stems from Sony Pictures, which is reportedly experiencing lower sales for television content, and higher marketing costs for released films. The ongoing writer (WGA) and actor (SAG-AFTRA) strikes in Hollywood have also forced a 3% trim to sales forecasts in this division.
The writer’s strike has now been ongoing for 100 days, as staff fight for fairer pay and better residuals that may ensure stable work in the industry. Likewise, actors are currently lobbying for fairer pay and protection from exploitative technology like AI.
Reuters reports that profits at Sony’s movie division have fallen by around ‘two-thirds’ in the last financial quarter, with ongoing strikes likely to have an increased impact on these figures in the near future.