PlayStation Plus Loses Nearly 2 Million Subscribers Since June Revamp
PlayStation 5 sales don’t seem to be stopping, with 25 million already shipped, but it’s not quite the same story for PlayStation Plus. The subscription service has lost around 2m subscribers since dividing the service into three tiers back in June – what was once around 47.3m subscribers has reduced to 45.4 million in the quarter that ended September 30.
Revenue Through PlayStation Plus Has Still Increased
The idea to turn a subscription service into Essential, Extra, and Premium was not a particularly pathbreaking one, and even made some sense as the distinctions between a ‘casual’ gamer and ‘hardcore’ gamer have been used loosely for years. This sort of a tiered system helps serve the needs of both parties.
It certainly hasn’t negatively affected Sony’s pockets, as the overall revenue has increased 10% since the revamped tiers came into place, and this isn’t surprising the benefits that can be derived from accessing the higher tiers of the subscription. Sony CFO Hiroki Totoki even claimed that there has been greater momentum as a whole for the subscription service since the revamp. The right numbers are going up as far as Sony are concerned, but this was largely due to the premium tier being priced at $119.99 per year.
Overall Sales Might Have Reduced With The Pandemic Easing Up
Totoki acknowledged, however, that there’s been a decline in the sales of PS Plus games, going down by 13.9m year-on-year in the third quarter. The aim of selling 18m units of the PlayStation 5 by the end of the year might also not be met with only 3.3m units being sold in the latest quarter, for a total of 5.7 million since the start of the financial year.
Totoki said that Sony’s results on the whole for this quarter have lacked momentum, and suggested that progressively more people going outdoors might be playing a part in this. There was certainly a rise in media consumption throughout the pandemic, and this applied to video games as well. Of course, video game consoles have a history of seeing great sales during the Christmas period, so this could all change in a month or two, and the objectives might be met.
PlayStation 5 is still in its infancy
Another reason for the drop might be the lack of big AAA titles. Earlier this year, two of the most awaited games of this generation in Horizon Forbidden West and Elden Ring were released, but no highly-anticipated titles have been released since February.
That’ll all change this month, of course, with God of War Ragnarok releasing in a week’s time. It won’t be a surprise if the PlayStation Plus subscriptions and PlayStation 5 sales see a hike following the game’s release.
The games remain the key source of demand, and the PlayStation 5 is still in its early years, and yet to have a real catalog of strong games that make it an essential console to own. The games that are coming out this year can also be played on the PlayStation 4, as has always been the case with titles that come during the early days of a console.
Buying a PlayStation 5 requires a lot of investment that goes beyond the console itself. The experience is only worthwhile if the games are played on a 4K television set. Despite all of these caveats, the fact that the PlayStation 5 is seeing a lot more sales in comparison to the times of logistical crunches is a positive sign.
We Might Be In A One-Console World
There was a time when purchasing multiple consoles from the same generation seemed affordable to most families who earn a decent income. That might no longer be the case. As mentioned earlier, consoles are starting to feel like luxury devices. They always were skirting that line, but it seems more obvious now.
Many users might’ve had PlayStation second or even third in line despite owning consoles from previous generations. Users might opt for an Xbox, PC, or Nintendo, and be happy with that choice. It seems like the consoles are also actively targeting different markets now. All of this informs why there has been a drop in the number of subscriptions and users.