PS5 Could Help Propel Sony To Six Million Consoles Sold By Next March
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Sony's gaming revenue rose 19% to 2.31 trillion yen ($21.3 billion) in fiscal 2018. Within that total, its software revenue rose 45% to 1.1 trillion yen ($10.1 billion) and its network services revenue grew 21% to 326.5 million yen ($3 billion). However, its hardware sales dipped 2% to 795.9 million yen ($7.3 billion) as it sold fewer PS4 consoles ahead of the PS5's launch next year.
Given healthy production lines and demand for gaming, we view the larger tailwind behind gaming from the stay-at-home period will continue to propel gaming longer term; however, the recent surge in console sales may remove some incremental buyers of the next-generation consoles later this year.
The current Xbox One/PlayStation 4 generation has sold over 155M units to-date, with 10M Xboxes and 15M PlayStations sold in the first full year, and roughly 3M Xboxes and 4M PlayStations in the six-week launch period. As we head into the new console launches later this year, especially factoring in the potential for the economy to remain in recession, we think a successful launch of the next-generation consoles would see Microsoft and Sony hitting these same 3-4M unit launch period numbers. We see this as a solid possibility assuming there are no production issues for either console. The recent surge in console sales may negatively impact the full-year numbers but likely not the launch period numbers.
Firstly, the game helped propel Sony's first game console, the PlayStation, into the stratosphere, beating out industry stalwarts Sega and Nintendo. The original Resident Evil, according to Capcom, sold over five million copies. Its subsequent re-releases on PlayStation sold another four million copies.
According to Schiffer, Sony's TR-63 radio "cracked open the U.S. market and launched the new industry of consumer microelectronics." By the mid-1950s, American teens had begun buying portable transistor radios in huge numbers, helping to propel the fledgling industry from an estimated 100,000 units in 1955 to 5 million units by the end of 1968.
On 31 March 2019, the successor to the PlayStation 4 was announced and on 12 November 2020, the PlayStation 5 was released in North America, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, South Korea, and Singapore. The console was launched in Indonesia on 22 January 2021. Upon completion of the fiscal quarter, Sony sold 4.5 million PlayStation 5 consoles, keeping pace with the best-selling console of all time, the PlayStation 2.
So much can change in a year. This time last year, it was PUBG, dominating on Steam and sporting an exclusive deal with Microsoft for the Xbox One version, which was driving the most discussion and helping propel the battle royale phenomenon even further. Today, Fortnite is a veritable juggernaut on the level that few could have expected or even imagined. It is a bona fide hit that has been so unbelievably successful it's spurred changes to long-standing policies within the industry and impacted wider entertainment culture. 2b1af7f3a8