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In its latest financial results published on Wednesday, the corporation said its Games and Network Services division had generated revenues of around $25 billion, and profits of around $3.2 billion for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2021.
As shown by Niko Partners analyst Daniel Ahmad in the graph below, this represents a record year for Sony’s gaming division.
3.3m PlayStation 5 consoles were shipped in the three months to March 31, Sony said. This means total shipments reached 7.8m in the first two quarters since launch in November, which surpasses the 7.6m achieved by PlayStation 4 during the same timescale.
It’s worth noting that PS5 launched in more territories than PS4, which didn’t arrive in countries such as Japan until months after the US and Europe.
Sony said that although it expects a shortage of hardware components to continue during its current fiscal year, ending March 31, 2022, its current target is to exceed the 14.8m PS4 consoles shipped during its second year.
338.9 million games were sold in total during the fiscal year, Sony said, 58.4 million which were first-party titles. More than half (65%) of PS4 and PS5 games sold during this period were digital downloads.
PlayStation 4 has now sold in 115.9 million units, Sony said. This represents an increase of around 5 million units since this time last year. PlayStation 2 is Sony’s most successful console, with some 155 million units shipped in its lifetime.
The biggest driver of revenue for Sony during the latest quarter was software, which generated $6.22bn, and add-on content ($8.59bn) including microtransactions and DLC.
Sony has said on Wednesday it will “aggressively” invest in its first-party studios during its current fiscal year, in addition to partnering with external game developers on exclusive games.
Another key profit driver was PlayStation Plus subscriptions. According to Sony, total PlayStation Plus subscribers have increased by around 15% year-on-year to 47.6m.
Sony’s record Game and Network figures mean that the corporation has finally broken the cyclical profit/loss cycle it’s suffered since the launch of the very first PlayStation.
Sony is reportedly set to pay its Japanese employees record-high bonuses of seven months’ salary, following the record profits.
Earlier this month, market research firm NPD Group claimed that PlayStation 5 had become the fastest-selling video game hardware platform in US history.
That’s based on both unit and dollar sales generated by Sony’s console after five months of availability, NPD analyst Mat Piscatella said.
The console previously held the record for dollar sales based on four months on the market.
However, the supply constrained PS5 was only the second best-selling hardware platform in March, trailing Nintendo Switch in both unit and dollar sales.