Sony Announces PS5 Sales Numbers, Says Putting MLB On Xbox Was A Good Move

Sony provides an update on the health of the PlayStation business.


As part of Sony's latest earnings release, the company provided new sales and user figures for the PlayStation brand, including 2.3 million PlayStation 5 consoles shipped during the April-June quarter. Shipments previously stood at 7.8 million, so total shipments have now hit 10.1 million. Sony also provided commentary around game sales, saying in particular that MLB The Show 21 benefitted from launching on Xbox in addition to PlayStation. Sony also remarked that it has seen success expanding PlayStation games to PC through Horizon Zero Dawn and Days Gone.

Overall, sales of MLB The Show 21 and Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart performed ahead of expectations, Sony said (more on that below).

In July, Sony announced that the PS5 had reached 10 million units sold to consumers, which basically means the company is selling every system it can make. As for the PS4, it shipped another 500,000 systems during Sony's Q1, as you can see in the chart below.

Looking ahead, Sony has told fans to expected ongoing supply constraints for the PS5 due in part to the global semiconductor shortages.

In terms of full game sales, Sony sold 63.6 million games across PS4 and PS5 during the quarter, which is down substantially from 91.4 million sold during the same period last year. Total first-party game sales reached 10.5 million for the latest quarter, compared to 18.7 million during Q1 FY20.

Sony also disclosed that 71% of games sold on PS4 and PS5 were sold digitally, which is good news for the publishers (which make more money on digital sales) and perhaps not so good news for traditional brick-and-mortar retailers.

In terms of PlayStation Plus users, memberships grew to 46.3 million during the quarter, which is up 45 million during the same quarter last year. Total monthly active users hit 104 million, compared to 114 million last year.

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Sony's Game & Network Services division, which houses the PlayStation business, saw its total sales increase slightly (+2%), while operating income dropped more substantially. Sony said the downturn was attributable in part to a decrease in sales of non-first-party titles and DLC, as well as the "deterioration" of operating results for hardware. The slide mentions that the PS5 continues to be sold at a loss. "Loss resulting from strategic price points for PlayStation 5 hardware that were set lower than manufacturing costs," Sony said.

Also negatively impacting Sony's games business during the quarter was a decrease in PS4 unit sales, which is to be expected given how long that console has already been on the market. There was also an increase in selling, general, and administrative costs, Sony said. On the positive side, Sony said its game division benefitted from the positive impact of foreign exchange rates.

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Finally, Sony provided a chart that shows the sell-through figures for a number of first-party PS4 and PS5 games. As announced previously, recent games like Spider-Man: Miles Morales (6.5 million sales), Returnal (560,000 sales), and Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart (1.1 million sales) all reached new heights. Check out the chart below to see more sales figures for select PS4 and PS5 games.

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