2019 was a very good year for PlayStation, in fact the second best year ever by Sony or any other console manufacturer ever. Over 110 million consoles have been sold with 13.5 million sold last year, not bad for an ageing machine, and software sales topped nearly 245 million games.
However, sales of physical games have plummeted compared to digital releases, in 2019 creating just 6% of the revenue, a drop of almost 40% compared to last year. Digital sales created 51% of the revenue, but that does include DLC which is not usually available as a physical product.
You can see in the graph below that digital software is now outselling physical and as Sony make more money on a digital release as they don’t have to print discs, make boxes, ship the product etc., the profit margins are much higher.
Overall the group reported an operating profit of 238.4 billion yen for FY 2019, down 23% year on year, but they have explained that was because the 2017 financial year was rather low as games such as Days Gone failed to meet expectations, and in 2018 titles such as Spider-Man exceeded sales forecasts by some margin so profits were unexpectedly high.
Over the lifetime of the PlayStation 4 it has generated 83.1% more revenue compared to that of the PlayStation 3.
PlayStation Plus subscriptions are at an all time high with strong sales in the last quarter which ended in March 2020. As you can imagine with everyone stuck at home they are turning to consoles for entertainment and we played 50% more online games in March than we did over Christmas, usually the busiest period.
As Sony have yet to fully reveal the PlayStation 5 and they have to deal with the world changing effects of COVID-19 they have decided to wait until August to reveal their sales predictions for the next year. However they do say they expect profits to be around 70% of the current financial year, most of that will be costs for research and development of the new console but it could indicate Sony are going to take a hit and make a loss on the sale of the PlayStation 5.
As for Xbox One, well, they probably had a record year for user engagements or something, they stopped reporting console sales when they started falling behind PlayStation. Estimates for sales of Xbox One are less than half that of the PlayStation 4 with around 48 million consoles sold.