A Sony presentation provides exceptionally detailed insight into the PlayStation 5 manufacturer’s characters and strategy.
“PS5 – unprecedented demand”: This is the title of one of the 42 slides that Sony presented to analysts and investors this week. Jim Ryan, head of Sony Interactive’s PlayStation division, spent 45 minutes talking about the launch and future strategy according to schedule.
The Sony PlayStation Strategy (PDF) rests on three pillars:
- First, the expansion of the core business with high demand PS5 and stable PS4 location
- Second, growth imagination through a new PlayStation Plus tariff system, PlayStation VR2 and direct marketing (PlayStation Direct), expansion of the group’s own studios (Bungie, Haven) and development of new target groups outside the PlayStation ecosystem (PC, mobile)
- And third, the use of synergies with other Sony divisionsfor example, for the purpose of the extremely successful Unchartedfeature films and an upcoming HBO series The last of us
Ryan is especially proud of the fact that the transition from one generation of PlayStation to the next has been smoother (and more profitable) than ever before. The market launch of PS2, PS3 and PS4 has always led to a drop in sales, whereas PlayStation 5 has set records in revenue and earnings right from the start.
Ryan illustrates the huge PS5 demand with an invoice, according to which three major US retailers sold more than 80,000 units within 80 minutes – that is, 1,000 consoles per minute. The same number of PS4 consoles took nine days eight years ago in the same phase. However, keep in mind that PlayStation 5 is almost exclusively sold online in both the US and Europe, where the turnover rate is of course much higher – PS5 boxes rarely end up in physical stores.
According to Sony, Germany is currently in fourth place in terms of PS5 distribution behind the United States, Britain and Japan, but ahead of France, Canada, Italy and Spain. According to GamesWirtschaft forecasts, the 1 million PlayStation 5 system brand has already been clearly exceeded in Germany. The Chinese market has caught up massively (currently ranked 6th).
In total, Sony has sold more than 19 million consoles so far At least 22 million were planned, which was particularly hampered by the global chip shortage. In the short term, there are still risks, such as corona lockdowns in the container port of Shanghai and the side effects of the Russian war of aggression on global logistics. Among other things, Sony is therefore focusing on a diversification of the supply chains.
Sony Interactive has not yet released the PlayStation 4, although the discontinued model is now almost exclusively available on the used market at serious prices. Right through Free2Play games like Fortnite, Call of Duty: Warzone or Genshin Impact and Sony is hoping for solid user numbers thanks to the continued supply of blockbusters. The pandemic has also resulted in a shift in revenue towards downloads – in the case of the PS4 it is already € 8 out of € 10. The rest: Sales on Blu-Ray Disc.
Also exciting: While the cost of full-price gaming dropped relative to the PS4 launch phase, there were significant increases in expansions (add-ons, DLC) and subscription sales. The shift in sales within the business models can also be seen live at Sony. Currently, most sales come from single-player hits like Uncharted, horizon, Ratchet & Clank, god of war, Spider Man or Return. Motivated by the success of the baseball game MLB: The show By 2025, more than half of sales should come from the Live Service area.
For the PlayStation Plus subscription service, which has been idle for a long time Sony Interactive promises to quickly increase the number of subscribers to more than 50 million (currently: 47 million) and increase consumption per. customer by March 2023. In Europe, the transition to the new system will take place on June 22, 2022.
The PlayStation Direct online factory outlet has only been activated in Germany since November 2021; Austria, Italy, Spain and Portugal are to be added in early 2023. For the year 2022/23, Sony expects direct sales of € 1.4 billion, of which € 340 million will come from Europe alone.
For the launch of the PlayStation VR2 virtual reality system there must be at least 20 titles from Sony and other game makers. Prices and dates for PlayStation 5 accessories are not yet available. However, technical details and the first pictures of the revised design have been published, which largely do without the hassle of tangled cables (analysis).
Sony Interactive wants to expand not only through acquisitions for PlayStation Studios, but also through brand new brands: Two thirds of the investments today are e.g. in existing titles and series Great Tourism or horizon – by 2025, every second dollar / euro / yen will flow into the development of fresh substances. Sony Interactive is also in direct competition with Microsoft Xbox, where studios like Bethesda are working on blockbusters like Starfield occupation.
Very fundamentally and analogously with Microsoft, Sony is also working on expanding entry points to its own ecosystem. Specifically a “Transformation from the current, console-focused approach to a future where large parts of our community are reached outside the console ”. Keywords are PC, mobile, virtual reality, cloud and the ominous metavers. Remarkable: Blockchain and NFT obviously do not matter.
GamesWirtschaft documents the current situation on the PlayStation 5 market every working day in the original PS5 ticker.