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PS5 barely missed its sales target in latest earnings report, and Sony expects to sell even less by next year


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  • This isn’t really news. The PS5 is 4 years into its cycle by now.

    • Missing its sales target means that Sony expected it to sell more by this point in its cycle. The console model is breaking down.

      • "Sonly sold slightly less than their extremely optimistic projections" ---> "Consoles are done for" is quite a stretch lmao

        • Well, I didn't stretch that one piece of information into that conclusion. Sony's basically telling their investors that. Their expensive exclusives are not fueling growth in adoption of the platform the way they used to, making their margins far slimmer, even when their competition in Xbox is basically squeezed out of the market. I believe Circana estimated that peak spending on console hardware was all the way back in 2009, when there were three extremely successful consoles in healthy competition with one another. If their old model was still working, they wouldn't have broken into the PC market to begin with. With the PC sales of Helldivers 2, that game is 7th in revenue for PlayStation published games; without the PC sales, it doesn't crack the top 20. New management at Sony is embracing these market realities. Consoles used to be the dominant platform for AAA games, and they no longer are, and that makes plenty of sense when you realize how many of consoles' advantages have been eroded over the years.

          • Consoles are not intended to turn a profit on their own. Game sales are intended to turn a profit. There will always be a demand for an easy-to-use box you can buy for less than a PC and plug in and play games. The console is a loss leader, the games are the real profits. Why wouldn't they publish on more platforms? They lose money on every console sold.

            I'm glad competition is so strong in the PC market.

            • I'm well aware of how consoles typically make money. So is Sony. The thing is, their games are getting more expensive to make and take longer too. That means there are fewer of them, which means there are fewer reasons to buy a PlayStation, which means there are fewer games sold to profit from. They historically haven't published on other platforms, because their bread is buttered when you feel like you need a PlayStation and buy your games there, even the ones available elsewhere. There's always demand for an easy-to-use box you can buy for less than a PC, but in the past decade, consoles have become more complex, PCs have become easier (and/or the know-how for using them became more commonplace), and the gap in price between the two has shrunk, especially when you consider long-term costs like subscriptions for online play or having to buy remasters of games that you could just have on PC and run at better resolutions and frame rates, things that consumers have become to savvy to.

              Oh yeah, and of course Microsoft is doing even worse, sounding like their next console will just be a dressed-up Windows PC.

              • I think a lot of this sentiment is more true for the previous generation (PS4, XBOne) because those consoles could barely keep up with PCs at the time. The current generation of consoles have gotten so good that the average consumer would have a hard time telling a console and PC game apart. This is, of course, because the modern consoles are just gaming PCs themselves, with very tight integration.

                Just think about your average dad who buys a TV at best buy. Now think about how he's going to be so impressed by the on-by-default HDR feature on the PS5, and how he can also be sold on the home theater aspect where the device can play 8K Blu-Rays if he wants.

                I'm not arguing that consoles are the best thing, or that they're going to be the same forever, I'm just saying they have their place and I don't think they're going away.

                • There's overhead to making consoles the way that they're made now; not just R&D and manufacturing cycles, but think about the cert process, for instance, that doesn't exist on PC. That overhead only makes sense at a certain scale. Economic factors are just changing how feasible it is to make a console the way that they've always been made, plus multiple countries' legislation is finally breathing down these companies' necks to destroy walled garden ecosystems, and Microsoft is attempting to get out ahead of it. The Steam Deck isn't quite as easy as a traditional console, but it's damn close for a competitive price, and it's just a computer. I think we're all expecting Microsoft's next box and potential handheld to just do that but with Windows, and I honestly don't know how Sony will adapt, but they're in the process of adapting.

                  • For my money, I think Sony will release a PlayStation store for PC, continue pushing the cloud thing, and start allowing third party app stores on consoles if and when they’re forced to by regulators.

                    • We're in such uncharted territory that I don't think I'll be able to predict it, but if Microsoft nails their next box, with its multiple stores and a bespoke version of Windows, which would make it capable of running Sony's games that aren't on "Xbox" today, I don't know how Sony will be able to compete by being second to market. Anything can happen though, it just won't involve PlayStation 6 succeeding by doing what PlayStation 5 did.

                      • Very reasonable take. I’d like to toss a little bit of credit Sony’s way for their excellent controller design at least! I’ll keep buying consoles so long as games are still sold on physical media for them

      • Everyone set way too ambitious targets post-covid, they don't want to admit that because it makes it look like the c-levels are clueless idiots

        • Which includes the pricing model. Some regions even saw a price increase.

          A lot of corps threw out the whole concept of a demand curve over the pandemic.