Sony PS5 Still On for Winter Holiday Launch

Sony Corp. May 13 disclosed that its flagship PlayStation 5 video game console is still on schedule to debut in time for the winter holidays — despite manufacturing delays caused by the coronavirus pandemic. PS5, along with Microsoft’s Xbox Series X, are expected to revive a lagging video game market. Sony also disclosed that the PS4 has sold 110 million units since launching in 2013.

“Although factors such as employees working from home and restrictions on international travel have presented some challenges in regards to part of the testing process and the qualification of production lines, development is progressing with the launch of the console scheduled for the 2020 holiday season,” Sony said in a statement.

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That’s a good thing as sales of PS4 dropped to 1.5 million units in the fourth quarter (ended March 31). That was down 43% from sales of 2.6 million units in the previous-year period. For the year, hardware sales dropped 24% to 13.6 million units, compared with 17.8 million in the prior year.

PS4 packaged-media game sales totaled $190.2 million in the quarter, down 39% from $309 million in the previous-year period. Indeed, Sony sold $1 billion in game discs for the fiscal 2019 year. Digital game sales topped $9.3 billion. Total game revenue in the fiscal year surpassed $18.4 billion.

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“At this point in time major [PS5] problems have not arisen in the game software development pipeline for Sony’s own first-party studios or its partners’ studios,” the company said from Tokyo.

GameStop Posts $488 Million Q3 Loss, Cuts Full-Year Outlook

GameStop Nov. 29 reported a third-quarter (ended Nov. 3) net loss of $488.6 million compared to income of $59.4 million during the previous-year period. Sales increased 4.8% to $2.1 billion from $1.98 billion last year.

The nation’s largest video game retailer attributed the loss to a non-operating, non-cash intangible asset impairment charge of $587.5 million, primarily related to goodwill and triggered by the sustained decline in the company’s share price.

Without the impairment charge, adjusted net income actually increased 24% to $68.3 million, compared to adjusted net income of $55.1 million in the prior-year quarter.

Indeed, pre-holiday comparable store sales increased 3.4% increase in the U.S. New hardware sales increased 12.8%, driven by demand for Xbox One X and Sony PS4. New software sales increased 10.9% driven by the strong slate of titles that launched during the quarter. Accessories sales increased 32.6% on the strength of headset and controller sales. Pre-owned sales declined 13.4%.

Digital sales increased 29.5% to $341.6 million driven primarily by strength in sales of digital currency.

Collectibles sales increased 11.7% to $154.6 million due to continued growth in both our domestic and international collectibles business.

Technology brands operating earnings increased 29.4% to $23.3 million compared to $18 million in the prior-year quarter, despite an 11.9% decline in sales to $171.1 million, primarily due to store closures relative to fiscal 2017.

“Software sales benefited from a compelling title line-up … including Red Dead Redemption 2and Spider-Man, as well as the earlier launch of Call of Duty,” COO/CFO Rob Lloydsaid in a statement. “We are especially pleased with our performance in October, a month where The NPD Group disclosed that the U.S. physical video game industry grew by 46% while our U.S. physical video game revenue outpaced the industry and increased 63% resulting in market share gains.”

That said, Lloyd cautioned about brewing storm clouds as current fourth-quarter sales are being driven by hardware versus higher-margin software.

“While our Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales were strong … the underperformance of certain titles, weakness in pre-owned and recent sales promotions, will result in fourth quarter earnings that are below our previous expectations,” Lloyd said.

The executive reiterated management is evaluating “all aspects of our business,” including store operations, cost structure, strategic and economic partnerships with publishing and platform partners, and relationships with customers and the services to “enhance our business and drive growth and profitability over the long term.”

Indeed, GameStop announced it sold 1,289 branded AT&T wireless stores for $700 million – proceeds it said would be used to pay down debt.

 

 

Sony Promotion Includes Limited Edition Blue PS4

Sony Interactive Entertainment is bringing back its Days of Play PlayStation promotion, offering deals June 8-18 at participating retailers across the United States and Canada, while supplies last.

The promotion includes a blue-with-gold-symbol Days of Play Limited Edition PS4 system for $299.99 ($379.99 Canadian) starting June 8. The console features a 1TB hard drive and comes with a matching DualShock 4 wireless controller.

Hardware and peripheral discounts throughout the 11 days include:

  • Jet Black PS4 Pro – $349.99 ($449.99 Canadian)
  • PlayStation VR bundles – starting at $199.99 ($249.99 Canadian)
  • DualShock 4 wireless controller (all colors) – $39.99 ($49.99 Canadian)
  • PlayStation Move motion controller (2 pack) – $79.99 ($99.99 Canadian)
  • PlayStation VR Aim controller (U.S. only) – $49.99

 

PS4 and PS VR title promotions include:

  • God of War: $49.99 ($59.99 Canadian)
  • Gran Turismo Sport: $19.99 ($29.99 Canadian)
  • Horizon Zero Dawn: $19.99 ($29.99 Canadian)
  • MLB The Show 18: $39.99 ($49.99 Canadian)
  • Shadow of the Colossus: $19.99 ($29.99 Canadian)
  • Bravo Team (PS VR): $29.99 ($39.99 Canadian)
  • Farpoint (PS VR): $14.99 ($19.99 Canadian)
  • The Inpatient (PS VR): $14.99 ($19.99 Canadian)

 

The PlayStation Store will be offering promotions on games and network service memberships, including:

  • PlayStation Plus – $49.99 ($59.99 Canadian) for a 12-month PS Plus membership
  • PlayStation Vue (available in the U.S. only) – $10 per month off the Core plan standard price for the first two months ($44.99 per month thereafter)
  • PlayStation Store catalog titles