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PlayStation 5 sold 4.5m units in less than two months

Sony's strong Q3 results showed great start for its new console, but price was "set lower than the manufacturing costs"

The PlayStation 5 sold 4.5 million units in the holiday quarter, despite supply shortages making the hardware difficult to find.

While Sony Interactive Entertainment had already said that the PS5 launch set a new record, Sony Corp.'s third quarter results offered the first official sales figure.

The new console hit 4.5 million units less than two months after its launch, on November 13, 2020. The PlayStation 4 also sold 1.4 million units during the quarter.

Hardware performance helped to drive Sony's Game and Network Services division to ¥883 billion ($8.4 billion) in revenue, up 25% over the same quarter last year.

The division made an operating profit of ¥80 billion ($762 million), an increase of 27% year-on-year.

Sony Interactive Entertainment's operating income was hampered by the cost of production of the PS5. According to Sony, "strategic price points for PS5 hardware...were set lower than the manufacturing costs."

Even with a new console launch, the majority of SIE's revenue still came from software, which helped to balance the impact of selling the PS5 at a loss.

The division earned ¥433 billion in revenue from digital software -- an increase of 42% over the prior year. Within that, only ¥51 billion was made from physical game sales, with the remainder coming from digital downloads (¥176 billion) and add-on content (¥256 billion).

PlayStation Plus hit 47.4 million subscribers during the third quarter, up from 38.3 million in the same quarter last year, with 114 million MAUs across the network.

Sony Corp has revised its full-year forecast for the Games and Network Services division: from ¥2.6 trillion to ¥2.63 trillion ($25 billion) in revenue, and from ¥300 billion to ¥340 billion ($3.2 billion) in operating profit.

The entire Sony organisation earned ¥2.7 trillion ($25.7 billion) in revenue in the third quarter, up 9% over the prior year. It made a profit of ¥297 billion ($2.8 billion), an increase of 62%.

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Matthew Handrahan avatar
Matthew Handrahan: Matthew Handrahan joined GamesIndustry in 2011, bringing long-form feature-writing experience to the team as well as a deep understanding of the video game development business. He previously spent more than five years at award-winning magazine gamesTM.
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