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PlayStation drives $17.9 billion Q1 for Sony

Higher-than-expected software sales and 43% digital ratio among financial highlights

Sony has reported its results for the first quarter of the financial year, and it's encouraging reading thanks to PlayStation.

Across all of the Japanese corporation's businesses, sales and operating revenue for the three months ended June 30th were up by 5% year-on-year to ¥1.95 trillion ($17.9 billion). Operating income saw a more significant improvement, up 24% to ¥195 billion ($1.79 billion).

Once again, the Game & Network Services segment (which, of course, encompasses PlayStation) was the best performer out of all the corporation's other markets. Sales for the segment were reported as ¥472.1 billion ($4.23 billion), up 35.6% compared to Q1 FY2017.

Operating income for the segment saw the biggest leap, up 371.8% to ¥83.5 billion ($748 million). The increases in both sales and income are attributed to a general rise in sales for PlayStation products, particularly PS4 software.

Taking a closer look at PlayStation's performance during the period, revenues from console sales brought in ¥98.92 billion ($887 million) - roughly flat with the ¥98.32 billion achieved last year.

In terms of units, 3.2 million PS4 consoles were sold in Q1; similar to the 3.3 million sold in 2017, but up on 2.4 million sold in the final quarter of Sony's financial year (first quarter of the calendar year). While Sony opted not to highlight particular sales drivers, it's a safe bet the release of God Of War helped in this regard.

Lifetime sales for the PlayStation 4 now stand at 82.2 million units worldwide, with Sony expecting to have sold 17 million by the end of the financial year (including the 3.2 million sold thus far).

¥268.2 billion ($2.4 billion) was spent on software in the quarter, up 70% from ¥157.8 billion last year. This was generated by 40.6 million game sales, up from 38.7 million in Q1 FY2017. Again, God of War was almost certainly a significant factor. Lifetime PS4 software sales now stand at 737.6 million units.

Interestingly, Sony notes that 43% of all full games sold during the quarter were digital downloads. This is a slight improvement on the 39% digital ratio achieved last Q1, and an even better rise over the 32% recorded overall for the previous financial year.

PlayStation Plus continues to be a revenue driver, with ¥75.4 billion ($676 million) generated by network services - a 27% year-on-year increased from ¥59.5 billion. However, the number of PS Plus subscribers is actually down compared to the three months ended March 31st, slipping from 34.2 million to 33.9 million.

Finally, ¥29.49 billion ($264.4 million) was spent on Other, the umbrella term for peripherals and PSVR. This is down slightly from the ¥32.43 billion seen in Q1 FY2017, but and improvement on the ¥20 billion taken in the three months ended March 31st 2018.

Thanks to the success of PlayStation and some of its other segments, Sony has adjusted its forecasts for the Financial Year. It now expects sales and operating revenue to reach ¥8.6 trillion ($77.1 billion) - ¥300 billion more than previously predicted in April's results. Operating income remains estimated at ¥670 billion ($6 billion) for the year.

Looking specifically at the games forecasts, sales predictions have been raised from ¥1.9 trillion to ¥2.18 trillion ($19.5 billion) for the financial year. Operating income is also up from ¥190 billion to ¥250 billion ($2.24 billion). These have been raised because of "higher-than-expected PS4 software sales" as well as the hardware sales increase and the impact of foreign exchange rates.

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James Batchelor avatar
James Batchelor: James is Editor-in-Chief at, and has been a B2B journalist since 2006. He is author of The Best Non-Violent Video Games
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