Sony says PS4 ‘remains an important part of our business’, with 50% of users

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Sony Interactive Entertainment has said its last-gen PlayStation 4 console “is still an important part” of its business, nearly four years into its successor’s lifespan.

During Sony’s business segment meeting on Wednesday, SIE’s new co-CEOs shared an update on the PlayStation business and its strategies for the future.

Hideaki Nishino, who will start his new role as CEO of SIE’s Platform Business Group this weekend, said that PS5 is PlayStation’s most profitable generation to date, with operation income close to eclipsing all others combined.

However, he revealed that PlayStation 4 still makes up exactly half of its monthly active console users at 49 million users.

“As you can see, the PlayStation 5 userbase has continued to grow significantly, driving to half of our monthly active consoles,” Nishino said during a web call. “While the PlayStation 4 is still an important part of our business, our PlayStation 5 players are even more engaged than in our previous generation, and we expect these trends to continue.”

Sony says PS4 ‘remains an important part of our business’, with 50% of users
Sony says PS4 ‘remains an important part of our business’, with 50% of users

According to SIE, PS5 users are spending more money and spending more time playing games than on PS4. PS5 users are spending, per console, more on add-on content (+176%), services (+57%) and peripherals (+34%), but 12% less on full games, according to Sony.

Daniel Ahmad, director of research & insights at Niko Partners, recently commented that live service games have made the most recent console transition unique.

“One thing that’s different from the transition this generation to the transition last generation is that live services play a much larger role.

“The PS5 has sold the same as the PS4 has done in the same timeframe, but those on PS3 weren’t buying DLC / MTX / battle passes every day.”

Sony says PS4 ‘remains an important part of our business’, with 50% of users

Going forward, the platform holder said it wants to introduce more players to PS5 via peripherals and extending to new devices.

Currently, the number of shipped PS5 consoles (59.3 million) is roughly in line with where PlayStation 4 was during the same period of its lifespan (60 million).

During the same web call on Wednesday, Studios CEO Hermen Hulst said PlayStation would continue to grow its most popular franchises, strengthen its live service capabilities, and extend games to new devices.

Sony says PS4 ‘remains an important part of our business’, with 50% of users

Its tentpole games will be existing hit franchises and ambitious new IP, Hulst said, from studios with proven track records of success. This will be supplemented with live service games and experimental titles showcasing innovation.

PlayStation will continue to release its tentpole single-player releases on console first, he said, while live service games will target both console and PC.

Earlier this year, Sony’s gaming division made what it called the “extremely hard decision” to reduce its overall headcount by “about 8% or about 900 people”, which included the closure of its long-running London studio.

The company previously confirmed it’s planning no “major existing franchise titles” during the period until April 2025. However, it plans to release Concord, the new online shooter IP from UK-based Firesprite, sometime this year.

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