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Sony to Invest Heavily on Games for PlayStation 5

May 21, 2020 / Swati Lunge
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  • Sony’s gaming future goes beyond what players can do on their couch playing the latest Sony hardware, It is also trying to reach more people through cloud gaming, remote gaming.

  • In the year ended March 31, Sony reported $21.34 billion in revenues for its game division, with $2.87 billion of operating income.

  • That’s the core of Sony’s user base, and it enabled Sony to have the world’s second-largest game business, behind only China’s Tencent.


Sony CEO Kenichiro Yoshida spelled out the Japanese company’s plans in video games during a speech at Sony’s corporate strategy meetings related to its year-end earnings report. In that speech last night, he noted that the company will invest heavily in first-party games for the PlayStation 5 that deliver immersive and seamless experiences for gamers. That means that gamers don’t have to worry about whether Sony will continue to invest in big exclusives like The Last of Us Part II and Ghost of Tsushima for the PS5, which launches during the holidays. But Yoshida said that Sony’s gaming future goes beyond what players can do on their couch playing the latest Sony hardware. It is also trying to reach more people through cloud gaming, remote gaming, and mobile experiences.


What’s interesting to me is that Sony is thinking more expansively about games, and it isn’t just focused on the PS5 for its future. We’ve known this for a while, but it’s informative to see it reinforced by Sony’s relatively new CEO, who took the helm two years ago and doesn’t speak that often. In the year ended March 31, Sony reported $21.34 billion in revenues for its game division, with $2.87 billion of operating income. The PlayStation 4 has reached 100 million units sold to date and 94 million monthly active users for its PlayStation Network online gaming service. It also has 41.5 million PlayStation Plus subscribers. That’s the core of Sony’s user base, and it enabled Sony to have the world’s second-largest game business, behind only China’s Tencent.



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“In that speech last night, he noted that the company will invest heavily in first-party games for the PlayStation 5 that deliver immersive and seamless experiences for gamers.”

~ Sony CEO Kenichiro Yoshida


Sony’s PS5 will have dramatically better computational performance, measured in teraflops, compared to the PS4, Yoshida said. And he also touted the solid-state drive (SSD), which is faster than a hard drive and will enable Sony to make games that are a hundred times faster than the previous generation.That will immerse gamers in huge worlds with seamless transitions from scene to scene, and long load times should be a thing of the past. Sony is also investing more in a haptic game controller that gives you more touch feedback, as well as 3D audio so you can sense what’s happening around you in a virtual world.

“Sony reported $21.34 billion in revenues for its game division, with $2.87 billion of operating income,The PlayStation 4 has reached 100 million units sold to date and 94 million monthly active users. ”


He said the lineup for the PS5 will be announced soon. The core strength of Sony’s business will come from sales of games for the PS4 and the upcoming PS5. And that provides the core revenues of Sony’s gaming business. But Sony isn’t stopping with its traditional console business. Yoshida also said that users will be able to take games purchased on disc or via the network for TV use and play them anytime, anywhere. He credited that improvement in the experience to better smartphones, better networks such as the upcoming 5G networks, and new game services.The core services here are Remote Play, which uses a PS4 console in your home as a server that streams games to other devices, and PlayStation Now, a cloud-gaming service that lets you play games that you haven’t downloaded and are streamed to your PS4.


Remote Play has been around since 2006, while PlayStation Now had its roots in 2012 with the acquisition of Gaikai, which developed game streaming and compression technology. Sony launched PlayStation Now as a service in 2014. Remote Play streams the games on the PS4 via Wi-Fi to any room in the home, using the PS4 as a game server. This worked in the past with PC and Sony Xperia smartphones, but in March, Sony added iOS to reach a larger user base. Yoshida said that Remote Play will be expanded to Android smartphones as well. The PS5 will support Remote Play as well. Remote Play usage grew 2.5 times from December 2018 to December 2019. PlayStation Now has been slow to take off, but Yoshida said it reached a record 2.2 million subscribers in the most recent quarter, compared to a million a year ago. No doubt it grew in part because of shelter-in-home conditions that have helped demand for all games. PlayStation Now’s selling point is its capability to let players discover new games by testing new titles under a single subscription fee.


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