Sony announced this week that PlayStation 4 shipments have risen to an amazing 100 million units, but it was not good news. The 3.2 million PS4 systems that Sony delivered from April to June were "slightly below" the company's internal expectations. The reason for the downturn?
Sony said that this was "mainly" due to the announcement of the next generation of consoles, the PlayStation 5. However, PlayStation architect Mark Cerny began earlier this year to talk about the console and some of its specifications. After that, Sony demonstrated the much faster console loading times during a business meeting.
There is a historical trend in the gaming business that the console sales of an older system sink to some extent when a new console is used has been revealed. The idea is that people are reluctant to buy a console when they know a new one is coming. This seems to be the case with PS4 sales.
Sony has revised down its forecast for PS4 sales in the current fiscal year to March 2020 due to lower than expected PS4 sales. The company lowers its projections by 1 million units from 16 million to 15 million.
15 million is still a massive shipment number for a console that is so late in the life cycle. Sony said this continued success "shows that the PS4 platform is still supported by many users."
Sony also forecasts a decline in gaming sales for the current fiscal year. The company is lowering its expectations to remain stable year-over-year rather than growing due to lower third-party gaming revenue. Also, the unexpectedly low revenue from free-to-play games were announced. This can be seen in terms of Fortnite and other Battle Royale games, which slow down when it comes to revenue.
On the positive side, Sony expects its "network services" to generate more revenue in the current fiscal year. Overall, Sony said one of its main focuses during the year was "to prepare for the launch of the next-generation platform" and to expand the company's user base.
The PlayStation 5 is said to launch in 2020, which also confirms the release of Microsoft's next-generation Project Scarlett system.