Sony’s Playstation5 Hits Record Sales as Microsoft’s Activision Acquisition Gets Blocked by CMA

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PlayStation5 Record

Japanese tech giant Sony (SONY.us) released today its financial results for the Fiscal Year 2022, which spans from April 2022 to march 2023. The report showed that PlayStation5 hit record sales of 19.1 million units, up more than 5% from the previous fiscal year. Sales had peaked in the quarter ended December 2022, with 7.1 million consoles, which is traditionally the strongest quarter, as it contains the holiday season. PlayStationPass, the subscription services that enables online gaming had 47.4 million users as of the end of March, unchanged from a year ago. [1]

The PlayStation5 launched in late-2020 and Sony struggled to put devices in the homes of gamers, due to high demand and chip shortages, but those challenges eased recently. Isabelle Tomatis, Vice President, Brand, Hardware and Peripherals said in January, that prospective buyers should now have "a much easier time" finding consoles at retailers globally. [2]

The Game & Network Services (G&NS) division generated total Revenues in excess ¥3.6 trillion (or over 26.5 billion USD) in Fiscal 2022. Operating Income dropped to around ¥250 billion, account for around 25% of Sony's total operating profits. [3]

Xbox Struggles

Rival Microsoft does not disclose unit sales for its Xbox X/S consoles and its Fiscal Year ends a quarter after Sony's (SONY.us), which makes direct comparisons between the two a bit difficult. However, the comany's gaming division is clearly facing headwinds.

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The US tech behemoth reported solid earnings this week for the quarter ended in March, but Revenue of the Gaming segment declined 4% and sales of the Xbox hardware slumped 30% [4]. Sales from Sony's G&NS division meanwhile jumped around 60% and hardware revenue more than tripled.

Miscrosoft-Acivision Deal Blocked in the UK

A little over a year ago, Microsoft announced a deal to acquire naming publisher and developer Activision Blizzard, for a whopping $68.7 billion price tag [5]. This became a battleground with Sony, since Activision is responsible for blockbuster console and PC games, such as the Call of Duty series.

The deal immediately attracted the attention of competition authorities around the world, since it could transform the gaming industry and give Microsoft a huge advantage over its competitors. To assuage fears, the firm committed to continue offering Call of Duty to rivals such as Nintendo [6], but Sony (SONY.us)has rejected a similar offer.

This week, UK's Competition and Markets Authority blocked the Microsoft-Activision deal [7]., but the tech giant remains committed to the acquisition and will appeal against the decision, according its Vice Chair and President Brad Smith. [8]

Nikos Tzabouras

Senior Financial Editorial Writer

Nikos Tzabouras is a graduate of the Department of International & European Economic Studies at the Athens University of Economics and Business. He has a long time presence at FXCM, as he joined the company in 2011. He has served from multiple positions, but specializes in financial market analysis and commentary.

With his educational background in international relations, he emphasizes not only on Technical Analysis but also in Fundamental Analysis and Geopolitics – which have been having increasing impact on financial markets. He has longtime experience in market analysis and as a host of educational trading courses via online and in-person sessions and conferences.

References

1

Retrieved 28 Apr 2023 https://www.sony.com/en/SonyInfo/IR/library/presen/er/pdf/22q4_supplement.pdf

2

Retrieved 28 Apr 2023 https://blog.playstation.com/2023/01/30/playstation-kicks-off-new-year-with-increased-supply-of-ps5-consoles-new-spot/

3

Retrieved 28 Apr 2023 https://www.sony.com/en/SonyInfo/IR/library/presen/er/pdf/22q4_sony.pdf

4

Retrieved 28 Apr 2023 https://view.officeapps.live.com/op/view.aspx

5

Retrieved 28 Apr 2023 https://news.microsoft.com/2022/01/18/microsoft-to-acquire-activision-blizzard-to-bring-the-joy-and-community-of-gaming-to-everyone-across-every-device/

6

Retrieved 28 Apr 2023 https://twitter.com/BradSmi/status/1600346773914259458

7

Retrieved 28 Apr 2023 https://www.gov.uk/government/news/microsoft-activision-deal-prevented-to-protect-innovation-and-choice-in-cloud-gaming

8

Retrieved 08 Dec 2023 https://twitter.com/BradSmi/status/1651182266406584320

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