Sony warns of weaker PlayStation business as game sales wobble

From The Verge: Sony has cut its annual profit outlook, warning of weaker PlayStation game sales. The forecast comes as Sony revealed it shipped 2.4 million PlayStation 5 consoles in its recent quarter, up only 4 percent from the 2.3 million shipped during the same period last year. PS5 lifetime shipments have now reached 21.7 million.

While hardware sales are slightly up year over year, software sales have plummeted 26 percent. In an investor call, Sony blamed the game slump on a lack of big PlayStation titles this year compared to 2021 and less time spent playing games in general — backed up by monthly active PlayStation Network users dropping 3 percent to 102 million. Sony released its exclusive Gran Turismo 7 and Horizon Forbidden West titles earlier this year, but Elden Ring arrived at the same time across multiple platforms and stole the limelight.

Reuters reports that Sony has now revised its annual profit forecast down 16 percent for its gaming business, as it anticipates another fall in game sales next quarter alongside costs associated with its recent $3.7 billion Bungie acquisition.

Sony’s PlayStation game sales are the latest sign that the gaming industry is slowing down after a big boost during the initial stages of the pandemic. Microsoft doesn’t reveal its own Xbox hardware shipments, but the company saw Xbox hardware revenue dip 11 percent in its recent quarter, alongside a 6 percent drop in Xbox content and services revenue, and a 7 percent decline in overall gaming revenue. While Microsoft had a strong fiscal year for Xbox revenue, the company is also warning that gaming revenue and Xbox content and services revenue will both decline next quarter.

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