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During Sony’s earnings report presentation on Wednesday, February 14, 2024, the corporation’s president, COO, and CFO Hiroki Totoki said they “expect a gradual decline in unit sales (of PS5) from next fiscal year onwards”. It didn’t take long for traders to react by selling off shares leading to an 8.4% dip in the company’s shares on Thursday.

Sony Shares Slips To 2-Year Low After President’s Comments. New Astro Bot Game Likely On The Way

That dip was the steepest the company has witnessed in intraday trading since February 2022. According to a Bloomberg report, the company’s shares closed down 6.5%. Sony previously set the ambitious goal of shipping 25 million PS5 consoles in this current fiscal year ending March 2024.

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However, in the last earnings report, the company confirmed that it has fallen short of its target and downward revised it to 21 million units. As of the end of Q3 on December 31, 2023, the company has shipped 16.4 million units of the console.

“Regarding first-party software, we aim to continue to focus on producing high-quality productions and producing live service games,” Totoki said. “But while major projects are currently under development, we do not plan to release any new major existing franchise titles next fiscal year like God of War: Ragnarök and Marvel’s Spider-Man 2.”

Besides not meeting its PS5 console sales target, virtually every other area of the company’s business experienced significant growth in Q3. For example, software sales across PS5 and PS4 rose to 89.7 million, a 3.2 million increase year-over-year. Also, digital sales accounted for 66% of game sales in Q3, a 4% increase compared to the same time last year.

Sony Shares Slips To 2-Year Low After President’s Comments. New Astro Bot Game Likely On The Way

“If the platform has already peaked in growth, then the outlook could be much grimmer than what even we had in mind for its games business,” said Amir Anvarzadeh, Asymmetric Advisors strategist, in a research note. “We have long feared that the deep-pocketed Microsoft and its subscription service called Game Pass could prove highly disruptive to Sony.”

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During the Q&A session that followed the financial report, Totoki said he wants to aggressively boost Sony’s profit margin in the gaming division. One way he hopes to achieve this is by bringing the platform’s first-party titles to PC.

Sony may bring a new Astro Bot game to players this year

Sony Shares Slips To 2-Year Low After President’s Comments. New Astro Bot Game Likely On The Way

Although Totoki clearly said Sony has no plans of releasing “any new major existing franchise titles next fiscal year,” however, Jeff Grubb of Giant Bomb has claimed that the company may be planning to release unannounced games from its less high-profile IPs.

“We already know Rise of the Ronin is coming, we know that Concord, one of the live service games, is scheduled to come out this year. That’s the stuff that’s scheduled for sure,” Grubb said. “Then it’s like, there might be new game entries in franchises that already exist, they just might not be major in PlayStation’s eyes when they’re talking to investors. They said God of War, they said Spider-Man, these are the franchises that sell 15 million copies lifetime or more.”

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Sony Shares Slips To 2-Year Low After President’s Comments. New Astro Bot Game Likely On The Way

“I’ve heard maybe Astro does happen this year, so if that happens, that’s pretty big for me. I get why Sony’s not thinking that’s a major one for us, at least not yet, hopefully, they could turn it into a major one, and then a lot of this changes around.”

The last installment in the Astro series was Astro’s Playroom, a 3D platformer that was released in 2020. PS5 consoles came preloaded with the game as a bonus. Likewise, Astro Bot: Rescue Mission was a free tech demo for PS5’s DualSense controller. It was the follow-up to 2018’s PlayStation VR game.

Emecheta Christian

Emecheta Christian is an avid gamer with over 5 years in the industry. He is also a poet. It is therefore not surprising that his post sometimes read like poetry.


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