That damn home console market continues to refuse to die as yesterday Sony talked about the state of their "Game and Network Services" division of the company. It was essentially a victory speech as the company outlined all the things that are going well in this part of the company. You can read the entire report here (PDF), but I've filtered out the most interesting parts below.
They first touted the 40+ million Playstation 4 units sold since launch (November 2013). The PS4 hit 40 million sales in 30 months, while the PS3 took about 45 months to hit that same total. Not bad at all.
Additionally, the company's subscription services have grown dramatically year over year. Services include Playstation Plus, Vue, Music, and Now1 They've seen a 51% increase in overall revenue in these areas over last year.
PlayStation Plus continues to be very popular with users as well, as there are currently 20.8 million paying subscribers to the service. That works out to $50/year or $18/3 months. Even if everyone is just paying the minimum amount, that's over $10B in annual revenue from this single service.
Then they jumped into their future plans for growth and 2 things jumped out. First, they mention "Game as a service" as an opportunity in the market that they can take advantage of as a platform holder. Their Playstation Now service is already a subscription service that you can pay a flat monthly fee and get access to hundreds of PS3 and PS2 games, and their Playstation Plus service is growing and provides users a reason to keep paying year in and year out with free games as well as extra deals on paid games, and access to online multiplayer.
The second interesting point in their future plans is that they see "non=game VR" as an opportunity to grow the platform. We all know the Playstation VR is coming out this October, and gaming has been its big focus so far, but Sony appears to be looking into ways their VR experience could be useful to non-gamers. Maybe it's using VR to do more immersive conference calls (exciting!), watching sports, or to tour the world in VR, but this is a very interesting space and I am looking forward to seeing what Sony is planning.
- For those less familiar with Sony's gaming divisions, PS+ is their gaming subscription service, Vue is their TV package similar to Sling, Now is their game streaming service, and Music is their Spotify competitor. ↩