Sony says $500 PlayStation 5 console is now profitable

Laurent Giret

Nearly a year after Sony and Microsoft launched their next-gen consoles, the Japanese company announced that it’s now making money from sales of it its $499 PlayStation 5. Sony Chief Financial Officer Hiroki Totoki announced the news yesterday during the company’s FY2022 Q1 earning results (via Bloomberg), adding that the $399 PS5 Digital Edition was still selling at a loss, but that this would soon be compensated by other hardware sales including PlayStation 4 and other accessories.

Sony sold 2.3 million PlayStation 5 units during the quarter, and PS5 global shipments have now reached 10.1 million units. In its FY2021 forecast, Sony expects to sell more than 14.8 million PlayStation 5 units this fiscal year and 22.6 million consoles by the end of March 2022. As pointed out by Niko Partners analyst Daniel Ahmad, this number is slightly ahead of the 22.4M PlayStation 4 consoles sold in the same timeframe.

PlayStation remains one of Sony’s biggest businesses and unlike Microsoft, the company shares lots of data allowing investors and analysts to get a clear picture of how the company is really doing. Microsoft stopped reporting Xbox sales years ago to focus on Xbox Live active users and other engagement metrics, but an Xbox exec recently confirmed during the Epic Games vs Apple trial that Microsoft had always been selling Xbox consoles at a loss.

The console business is quite unique as console makers usually subsidize the hardware to make a profit on game sales, hence the 30% cut Microsoft and other console makers take on their digital stores. Subscriptions services like Xbox Live Gold, PlayStation Plus, or Xbox Game Pass also remain a major source of revenue for console makers, and Microsoft now aims to reach 3 billion gamers by bringing its Xbox Cloud Gaming technology to smartphones, PCs, TVs, and other devices.