PS Now Gets More Popular As PlayStation Plus Numbers Slip
As PlayStation Plus saw a slight (but expected) dip, an uptick in PS Now offset it to reach new heights for Sony's total subscription sales.
Sony has shared its latest financial results, which included good news for PS5 production and some of its biggest game franchises. One unexpected bright spot appears to be PlayStation Now, Sony's subscription service, which seems to have grown enough to help offset some other market forces.
As noted by analyst Daniel Ahmad on Twitter, Sony's subscription sales under its Game & Network services division are at their highest point ever. The majority of that is still PlayStation Plus, the company's other subscription service, which is up slightly year-over-year but down from the prior quarter. Ahmad says this dip would have been expected in Q1, especially since it got a boost last year due to the pandemic. But the drop was offset by PS Now, which drove the company's subscription sales overall.
There isn't a specific reason given for PlayStation Now's growth, but Sony has given the service more attention lately, offering a rotation of more recent first-party games and recently upgrading to 1080p streaming. It could also be seeing an uptick in adoption as more players get accustomed to game streaming services like Xbox's cloud gaming, Google Stadia, and Amazon Luna.
Total PS+ subscribers was 46.3 million during the quarter, up from 45m at the same point last year, but down from 47.6m in the prior quarter.— Daniel Ahmad (@ZhugeEX) August 4, 2021
Q1 usually sees a dip, which was more pronounced this year due to pandemic boost last year.
But this was offset by PS Now growth. pic.twitter.com/U53BPjJ0hu
PlayStation Now began as a streaming-only service, but now offers the option of streaming or downloading select games. PlayStation Plus is a separate service, offering online play and a handful of included games per month. Sony has been hesitant to make PlayStation Now a direct competitor to Xbox's Game Pass, but recently the company has been teasing that it will have its own answer to Game Pass.
Also from the financial results, Sony says it has secured enough components to reach its PS5 sales target, which it almost certainly will considering PS5s are still selling out as soon as they're stocked. Whether the company could produce enough to hit its target was an open question considering ongoing semiconductor shortages. It also said that sales for Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart and MLB: The Show 21 exceeded sales expectations.