Sony Interactive Entertainment CEO: PS4 Enters 'Final Phase of Life Cycle'

posted on by Rafael Antonio Pineda
Sony plans to leverage recurring membership revenue, existing IP

Sony Interactive Entertainment president and CEO John (Tsuyoshi) Kodera revealed at the Sony Investor Relations Day 2018 event in Tokyo on Tuesday that Sony's PlayStation 4 console is entering the "final phase of its life cycle."

Kodera added that recurring revenue from user subscription services will ease the impact of fewer sales in light of the console reaching the end of its life cycle. In addition, Kodera outlined a plan to continue to invest in and strengthen existing first-party IP, including music and anime. The company aims to leverage and expand existing franchises as an area of potential growth.

According to Kodera, the current middle management plan period that ends in March 2021 "will be a temporary squatting period for the sake of PlayStation making further leaps."

Kodera also added that the company's PlayStation VR system continues to sell, but sales growth is lower than predicted. The presentation stated that PlayStation VR, PlayStation Vue, and ForwardWorks need improvements, and "utilizing these businesses to strengthen user engagement is key."

Sony shipped 79 million PS4 units in total by the end of fiscal year 2017 (April 1, 2017 to March 31, 2018), including 19 million units during that fiscal year. The company predicted in April that it will sell 16 million units in fiscal year 2018. While the company is also expecting an overall decrease in sales as a result, it predicts increases in operating income and digital software sales.

The PlayStation 4 console launched in the U.S. and Canada in November 2013 and in Japan in February 2014. Sony shipped 7.5 million units during fiscal year 2013, 14.8 million in fiscal year 2014, 17.7 million in fiscal year 2015, 20.0 million in fiscal year 2016, and 3.3 million in the first quarter of 2017. As of December 31, 2017, the console had shipped 76.5 million units worldwide.

Sources: Sony Investor Relations Day 2018 Presentation, Twitter of The Wall Street Journal's Takashi Mochizuki (link 2, link 3) via Gematsu

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