Sony has posted its earnings release for fiscal year 2018, and it's been a record one for the company. A big part of Sony's success is down to PlayStation, with Games and Network Services forming a serious chunk of Sony's huge earnings.
The profitability of the PS4 has been well-documented by now. Sony's console has been the undisputed victor in this generation of gaming, even with both the Xbox One and the Nintendo Switch competing against the PlayStation behemoth. The PS4 was once again the best-selling console over the course of last year, and Xbox One's overall sales of 41 million units are still less than half the PS4's number.
All of this means that Sony had a massive fiscal year for 2018. The company's earnings release paints a strong picture across the board, with income before tax reaching one trillion yen for the first time in the company's history, and in gaming Sony saw some jaw-dropping figures. For starters, the company shipped 17.8 million PS4 consoles during the fiscal year, which is impressive given that the PS4 has been on the market since November 2013.
Overall, this puts the number of PS4 units shipped over the console's lifetime just shy of the 100 million mark, with a total of 96.8 million units shipped as of the end of the fiscal year. Not only that, but PlayStation Plus subscriptions are up to 36.4 million, and Sony's PlayStation Now subscriber base has reached the 700,000 mark - meaning that it is bigger than both EA Access and Xbox Game Pass.
Although from a gaming perspective Sony has been successful for some time now, this does mark something of a turnaround for the company in some other divisions. Just a few years ago Sony Pictures was posting losses of over $700 million, and with electronic products also struggling it seemed as though a lot was put on the shoulders of its gaming division. Even though other areas are now up to expected profits, those PS4 sales and subscription services are making up a big portion of Sony's success.
The immediate future might not look quite as rosy for Sony, but it's something the company expects. Development of the PS5 is now underway, and between the expense of this and fewer first-party PS4 titles in the year ahead Sony expects income to drop. That said, should the PS5 manage to match the success of the PS4, then the company should be feeling confident in the years to come.