Sony shipped just 3.9 million PlayStation 5 consoles in the all-important holiday quarter, a slight increase from the previous quarter’s figure of 3.3 million. This shows that the electronics company is still having a hard time meeting demand during the global supply chain crunch that is going on now. As of December 31, 17.3 million units had been sold. That’s less than three million less than the PlayStation 4 had sold at the same point after its release. During its first year on the market, the PS4 was easy to find on store shelves. We don’t yet know how much people want the PS5, though.
Video game revenue was down 8% from last year, but operating profit rose 11% to 92.9 billion yen (about $810 million). You would expect that after a big console launch. Sony still can’t make enough loss-making PS5 hardware, but that has a positive effect on the bottom line at this early point in the product’s lifespan.
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It used to be that PlayStation was Sony’s most important division, but now it accounts for more than a quarter of the company’s revenue and almost a quarter of its profits. Sales of the PS5 have been lower than expected, so Sony has cut its full-year 2021 gaming revenue forecast by 6% to 2.73 trillion yen. This shows that Sony’s supply problems will likely continue for the short term at least. The operating profit forecast has been raised by 6% to 345 billion yen as a result. Full-year PS5 shipments are now expected to reach 11.5 million units, down from 14.8 million units in the first half of 2016.
Sony’s important image sensor division had a good quarter, with sales up 22% from last year to 57.8 billion (about $504 million). It made 13.3 billion yen (about $116 million) in operating profit, which is up 26%. Sony blames the weaker yen for 12 billion yen of it. Sony says that the rise in revenue was due to more sales of image sensors for smartphone cameras, many of which were more expensive.
The movie business saw a big rise in revenue, up 141% from last year to 461.2 billion yen ($4.02 billion). Spider-Man: No Way Home and Venom: Let There Be Carnage contributed to much higher theatrical revenues than a year before, while Sony says its TV productions business got a boost by licensing Seinfeld.