Sony also updated the PlayStation 4‘s results, and the company is likely preparing for studio acquisitions.
Sony published its quarterly financial earnings report, covering the October-December 2020 quarter. Via it, we learned that the PlayStation 5, which launched on November 12 or November 19 (depending on the region), shipped 4.5 million units by the end of 2020. The company didn’t change its forecast: they want to reach 7.6 million shipped units by the end of March (the end of the current fiscal year). Although the Christmas rush always brings higher figures than the first quarter of the next year, the new hardware has a lot of demand, and it might still not meet the supply levels.
1.4 million PlayStation 4 units were shipped in the final quarter of 2020, increasing the PS4’s total to 115 million. However, it’s 4.6 million down year-on-year (Q4 2019 had 6.1 million units shipped). Sony has 47.4 million PlayStation Plus subscribers, which means the company gained 8.6 million last year (they had 38.8 million at the end of 2019). PlayStation 5 and PlayStation 4 software combined sold 103.7 million units in the last three months of 2020. It is 20.4 million up from the late 2019 results (83.3 million). 18.4 million units were first-party titles, which is 2.1 million up year-on-year. Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales took 4.1 million out of the 18.4 million. 53% of software sales were digital (PlayStation Network/PlayStation Store), which continues the increasing trend (late 2019’s PSN ratio was 50%).
In the previous quarter, Sony had 25.6 billion dollars of revenue, and the net income was 3.5 billion (it’s up 20% year-on-year). It mostly happened due to the launch of the PlayStation 5, and the gaming business arm of the company pulled 743 million dollars of income alone. Sony confirmed in its financial earnings report that they will spend the excess cash flow for acquisitions: „We plan to utilize the excess operating cash flow from this fiscal year as a source of future strategic investment going forward. Opportunities for investment, especially in the entertainment space, are steadily increasing and during the period of our next mid-range plan, which will begin next fiscal year, we aim to make more investments for growth than we did during the current mid-range plan.”
Since July 2017, Sony has acquired the following companies in the entertainment industry:
- Awal – $430mm / February 2021
- Crunchyroll – $1.2bn / December 2020
- Pureflix Entertainment – Undisclosed / November 2020
- Eleven Films – Undisclosed / June 2020
- Whisper Films – Undisclosed / February 2020
- Silvergate Media – $195mm / December 2019
- Game Show Network – $380mm / November 2019
- Insomniac Games – $229mm / November 2019
- Manga Entertainment – Undisclosed / May 2019
- EMI – $3.7bn / May 2018
- Peanuts (Charlie Brown) – $178mm / May 2018
- Funimation – $143mm / July 2017
We only see one game developer team (Insomniac Games), which means Sony Interactive Entertainment is ready to be expanding even further. We will likely hear about this throughout 2021.