Sony describes this as the “harvest phase” for PS4.
Sony hosted a conference call for investors and analysts to discuss its quarterly financial results and revealed that the PS4 Pro and PlayStation VR are performing quite well.
Chief Financial Officer Kenichiro Yoshida said that, “PS VR and PS4 Pro, which went on sale last fall, both continue to sell well, which demonstrates the achievements we made when launching new products in fiscal 16.”
While shipments forecast for the PS4 in fiscal year 2017 (which ends March 31st 2018) was lower than fiscal year 2016, Sony believes the console is undergoing a “harvest phase”. “Three and a half years have passed since the launch of PS4, and we expect annual unit sales in fiscal 17 to decrease year-on-year to 18 million units, but some major software titles are scheduled to be launched, and we believe we are in the harvest phase of the platform.”
Sony is currently working on software promotion and network infrastructure as the PS4 nears the peak of its console cycle. “This is the fourth year since launch for PS4, and the peak for the past platforms came three or four years after the launch, and PS4 should not be an exception in our view, but if sold units reach 18 million this year, the cumulative number would be 78 million, so we need to capitalize and leverage on this base for software sales. We need to promote the software business and network business so that we can expand the profits.
“For hardware, according to the normal cycle, the peak will be this or the next year. For profit and software, the peak will come according to the conventional cycle, and we don’t feel that there will be a major diversion from this trend. For software, this is the season for harvest, and we would like to promote a steady business going forward.
With the growth of network services, this is different from past business practices, and console cycles in the past. We cannot eliminate volatility, but after the peak, volatility of performance should be minimized to stabilize the profit foundation.”
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