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PS5: Sony no longer selling more expensive PlayStation 5 at a loss, company announces

Andrew Griffin
Wednesday 04 August 2021 17:35 BST
(AFP via Getty Images)

Sony is no longer selling the more expensive PlayStation 5 at a loss, according to a new report.

In the lead-up to the release, and since it came out in November, the PS5 has been rumoured to be expensive for Sony to produce. It has also been very difficult for the company to make in enough numbers, leading to widespread and long-running issues even finding somewhere to buy the console.

But the more expensive version of the console – which costs $499, and comes with a disc drive – is now making money for Sony, according to a report from Bloomberg. The cheaper “Digital Edition” that costs $399 and cannot play physical media is still selling at a loss, but that is expected to be offset by sales of other hardware such as the PS4 and accessories.

That is according a Bloomberg report citing Sony chief financial officer Hiroki Totoki, who gave the detail as Sony announced new results showing its biggest first quarter for the PlayStation ever. It is also the second biggest non-holiday quarter the company has ever had.

Much of Sony’s recent success with the PlayStation – and some of the reason it is so hard to buy one – is the fact that the pandemic has kept people at home, looking for ways to keep themselves entertained without leaving the house. The new results show that may already be having an effect, with slower sales in software, subscribers for its premium online service and revenue from third-party games.

While Sony’s results were helped out by booming PS5 sales and the fact the company literally cannot make enough of the consoles before they fly off shelves, the high cost of actually making the console has held back the amount of money the company is able to make.

It has still done better than the PlayStation 3, however, which was notoriously expensive and took years before Sony was actually making money by selling the console itself. The PlayStation 4 crossed over the threshold about six months after release, slightly shorter than the PS5.

Like Sony, Microsoft does not make a profit by selling the Xbox, it revealed during court hearings as part of the trial between Apple and Epic. But the business as a whole does make a profit, with the extra money coming from the sale of games and premium subscriptions.

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