PlayStation 5 sales give Sony - and gamers - some good news

Sony has delivered its financial results for the first quarter of fiscal year 2021, and those results give us another look at how the PlayStation 5 is performing around the world. Sony's Games & Network Services division was the company's most profitable segment in the quarter, which has become something of a theme for Sony's financial reports in recent years. PlayStation 5 sales seem to be doing well too, though there has been a drop-off from the previous quarter.

Specifically, Sony reported 2.3 million PlayStation 5 hardware sales for Q1 2021. In the previous quarter – Q4 2020 – the company reported 3.3 million PlayStation 5 sales, though we typically expect to see a drop off in gaming sales as we head into the summer. Nevertheless, even though PS5 sales dipped, this was still a record-breaking Q1 for Sony's gaming arm, which pulled in more revenue than any other first quarter that came before it.

PlayStation 4 sales for Q1 2021 came in at 500,000 units, which is half of what we saw in the previous quarter. But, again, this doesn't come as much of a surprise, not only because of the usual drop-off in sales during the summer but also because PlayStation 4 sales are just going to dwindle naturally as focus shifts to the PlayStation 5.

Software sales for the quarter settled at 63.6 million units, with 10.5 million of those being first-party title sales. Sony says that 71% of the games sold during the quarter were digital titles and that it has 46.3 million PlayStation Plus subscribers. That's actually a slight dip from the previous quarter, where Sony reported 47.6 million subscribers to PS Plus.

Sony also noted that its FY 2021 forecast for the PlayStation 5 remains the same, as it plans to sell more than 14.8 million PS5 units during the year. During a call with investors following this earnings drop, Sony CFO Hiroki Totoki reported that Sony has secured enough semiconductor stock to make all of the PS5s it aims to sell during the fiscal year, so we'll see if the console can keep up this momentum as we move even deeper into the 2021 and stock presumably becomes easier to obtain.