During Sony's quarterly financial conference call, chief operating officer and chief financial officer Hiroki Totoki talked about the performance of the PlayStation business.
Totoki-san explained that based upon the sales results during the holiday quarter, which saw Sony shipping 7.1 million PS5 units, the company has decided to increase its forecast for the full fiscal year to 19 million units, adding one million units on top of its previous forecast announced in May. The company is doing everything it can to sell as many units as possible to meet the strong demand from customers.
He added that engagement metrics for users who transition from PS4 to PS5, such as PlayStation Plus subscription rate, gameplay time, and average spending, are significantly higher compared to when they played on PS4. Due to that, Sony is doing its best to encourage PS4 users to make the jump to the new console.
In addition to that, nearly 30% of PS5's users have never used a PS4, which means that the acquisition of new customers is progressing well as the new console becomes more widespread.
While total gameplay time of PlayStation users during Q3 was down 3% year-on-year, it was up 6% compared to the previous quarter and up 14% in December compared to November, so Sony believes that user engagement is on a recovery trend due to the market penetration of PS5 and the release of hit titles. Answering during the following Q&A session, the executive pledged to "solidify the software delivery" in order to increase engagement.
Speaking of software, Totoki-san mentioned that God of War Ragnarok is the fastest-selling first-party game ever for PlayStation, while the sales contribution of PC ports of Sony's games is steadily increasing. Pre-oprders of Destiny 2's expansion Lightfall are also on a steady rise.
We hear that PlayStation's share of the market in Europe is larger than in North America. Yet, even in North America, while in the summer the gap had narrowed, more recently Sony's market share has "expanded significantly." As such, the company doesn't see much impact of the macroeconomic situation on the performance of PlayStation for the moment, but they intend to watch the situation closely from Q4 onward.
According to Totoki-san, Sony is enjoying steady results from its initiatives on both the hardware and software fronts. Steady momentum has been created centered on the expansion of the market penetration of PS5.
If you'd like to know more about Sony's financial performance and get an update on PS5 shipments, PlayStation Plus subscribers, and PlayStation Network monthly active users, you can check out our dedicated article.