Number Of PS Plus Paying Members, PSN Users Rise To New Heights

Up and up.

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While Sony is predicting PlayStation 4 hardware sales to decline in the future, any negative impact from lower hardware sales may be offset by gains to Sony's services. This week, Sony announced that the number of PlayStation Network monthly active users has risen to 80 million, which is up from the 70 million figure that Sony disclosed this time last year.

Additionally, the number of people who pay for PlayStation Plus has risen to 34.2 million. That compares to 26.4 million from a year ago. What's more, PS4 gamers are spending 800 million hours on the system each week as of December 2017, which compares to 600 million hours per week at this point last year. All of this is notable because, as PS4 sales decline, revenue from services like PS Plus will be important to PlayStation's overall profitability.

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This information comes by way of Sony's latest Corporate Strategy meeting, which is where the company also said the PS4 is entering the final stage of its lifecycle. The system has been enormously successful, selling 79 million units by Sony's latest count. The console continues to perform well, as it was just revealed to be April 2018's best-selling system in the United States and the top console of the year in the market. The PS4 is not going away anytime soon, though there are swirling rumours and speculation about a PlayStation 5.

In the current fiscal year, Sony said some of its strategies for the year include focusing on ways to "enrich and utilize" exclusive games and "grow and improve recurring revenue" from services like PlayStation Plus, PlayStation Vue, and more. Here is the relevant slide:

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Sony's E3 2018 briefing takes place early next month in Los Angeles. We won't hear anything about new hardware; Sony will focus on four big games during the event.

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