Chief financial officer Hiroki Totoki spoke on this, as he talked about the drop off in the company webcast (transcribed by VGC). He said: “Of course, 104m is not a strong number, but are we looking at it as a declining trend? We don’t think so.”
“We are trying to analyse different elements, but there are no conspicuous trends that we can capture. Maybe this month or next month we will have to continue to watch and do an analysis,” Totoki added.
He also made mention that the demand for Sony’s stay-at-home initiative was so high that this likely contributed to the slight decline. Compared to 2019, 2021 has seen an increase though, Totoki said.
Page nine of the supplemental information sheets for the earnings announcement shows that in Q4 of the 2020 fiscal year PlayStation Plus had 47.6m subscribers and the PlayStation Network had 109m monthly active users. Whilst Q1 of 2021 had 46.3m PlayStation Plus subscribers and 104m monthly active users.
According to Sony, monthly active users are the estimated number of unique accounts who “played games or used services” in the last month of the quarter. The material also reiterated that as of July this year the PS5 has sold 10m units, making it the fastest selling Sony console.
The Sony speech transcript also noted that Q1 sales were up two per cent year-on-year, mostly due to the launch of the PS5 and the impact of foreign exchange rates.
In other news, a new software beta update for the PS5 allows users to make use of the PS5’s M.2 SSD expansion slot. This means extra SSD storage can be added to the console’s 825GB that is currently available. The PlayStation website has a guide on how to do this, and which SSDs can be used.