One of the key details from Sony’s quarterly financial report today – which also confirmed that the PS5 has shipped 21.7 million consoles – is that PS5 and PS4 owners are playing less than they were a year ago. The manufacturer noted that total gameplay time is down a sizeable 15 per cent year-over-year for the three month period ending 30th June, 2022.
Now a lot of this decline appears to be focused on April and May, with the platform holder pointing out it saw a three per cent month-on-month increase in June, which itself was down just 10 per cent year-over-year. However, it admitted “this is a much lower level of engagement than we anticipated in our previous forecast”.
The company blamed the deceleration of the overall industry as the reason for the slide, “as opportunities have increased for users to go outside due to a reduction in COVID-19 infections in key markets”. But, unsurprisingly, it’s something the firm aims to address: “We are to take action to increase user engagement in the second half of the fiscal year, during which major titles including first-party software are scheduled to be released, primarily by increasing the supply of PS5 and promoting the new PS Plus service.”
Sony saw a two per cent reduction in revenue during the aforementioned quarter, which isn’t a terrible result in isolation – although increasing costs meant profit declined by a more significant 37 per cent, with a slump in software and add-on sales to blame . The reality is that the pandemic had a massively positive impact on PlayStation, and the numbers were always going to have to come back down to Earth.