Sony’s Q1 2017 results: Slow and steady

Sony’s game & network services was really on a roll for the past half decade or so. While the company overall has been is a lot of trouble, the game division has been producing record numbers quarter after quarter. After a completely bonkers fiscal year 2016 where they broke revenue records all year long (and profit records in 3/4 Qs). With that context, this first quarter of the new fiscal year1 was a little boring.

Sony reported ¥348 billion in revenue last quarter (approx. $3.15 billion USD) which was a 5.4% increase over the same quarter last year. They also reported ¥17.7 billion ($160 million) operating income.

The graph at the top of this post is a little odd in that sense, as the Dollar has gained value compared to the Yen since this time last year. My numbers have been reported in USD since it make more sense to me (and my US-based readers’) brain. I may be switching to Yen next time if this is an issue again.

Sony credits their revenue growth to software sales, both physical and digital. I really wish Sony would break down their disks vs. downloads totals, but we may never know how well each side is doing. Somewhat surprisingly, PlayStation VR is also credited with this growth as well. The only thing slowing this down is lower ASP (average selling price) for of the standard PS4 , which had a $50 price drop in September 2016.

The company’s operating income was down quite a bit from last year (¥17B 2017 vs. ¥44 billion in 2016), which Sony blames on lack of first party software driving more profitable revenue, which makes some sense. Uncharted 4 and Ratchet and Clank were released in the March-June quarter, while this year had only had Persona 5 and the Crash Bandicoot remake, which released on June 30 and probably didn’t have much, if any impact in this regard.

The next quarter looks pretty rosy to me, as Sony has a few high profile first party games coming in the next 2 months. A new Uncharted game will pull most of the weight, but the Final Fantasy 12 remaster, Everybody’s Golf, and Knack 2 (yes, Knack 2!) on their way. We’ll of course check back in three months to see how things went.

  1. It’s still weird to me that some companies can report their first quarter in August of that year. 

Sony’s Q4 2016 results: Another record quarter for gaming sales

Another quarter, another record quarter for Sony's Game & Network Services division. The company reported $14.73 billion in revenue (+6.3% over Q4 2015), which returned $1.21 billion in profit (up 52.9% over Q4 2015).

In terms of sales numbers, Sony officially moved 2.9 million PlayStations this quarter (+26% YoY), which concluded a 20 million unit fiscal year (+13% over 2015). That makes 2016 the best year for PS4 sales since its launch in 2013.

It's not only hardware that's improving for Sony, their software sales, both digital and physical, are listed as the primary reason for this increase in revenue. PS4 sales are up, which is great, but PS4's average selling price in this quarter was lower than that of last year. PS4 Pro should have brought this up a bit, but the regular PS4 is $50 less than it was this time last year, Sony is making about 14% less gross revenue on each unit they sell1.

As they have for the past few quarters, the company cites poor exchange rates to lost revenue. Their 6.3% growth would have been 16% on a consistent currency basis.

  1. Base PS4 now sells for $299 vs $349 last year. 

Sony's Q2 2016 Results: A Merely Acceptable Pre-Holiday Quarter

Sony announced their 2016 Q2 results today and they were honestly a kind of boring release. Their revenues were technically up year over year in Q2, but this was ultimately a down quarter for the company due to currency fluctuations.

But what I really care about with Sony is their gaming division, so let's dive in.

Sony reported $3.17 billion in gaming revenue last quarter, with $188 million in operating income. That's a 5% increase in revenue over last year, but again that is technically an 11% decrease for currency changes. Sony cites the PS4 price reduction from $349 to $299. That's a 14% reduction in revenue on each PS4 sold, so they simply have to sell more units to make the same amount. On the plus side, Sony reported an increase in software sales as well as sales through their PlayStation Network.

With the PlayStation VR was released on October 13 and the PlayStation 4 Pro is coming on November 10, so those should juice the numbers a bit for them in the next quarter. I'll see you right back here on February 1 with the results.