PlayStation 4 already profitable, half of owners have PS Plus

According to comments at a recent corporate meeting, the PlayStation 4 is already profitable and roughly half of PS4 owners are PS Plus subscribers.

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PlayStation 4 may only be half a year old, but it's already pulling its own weight. According to a recent speech by Sony CEO Kaz Hirai, PS4 has already reached profitability, which as he notes is a marked change from previous generations when companies would take a loss on consoles in their early years.

"It's been a hugely successful launch, but the key to the long term success of the platform lies in how solidly we can continue to grow the installed base," Hirai said in a corporate strategy meeting (via Polygon). "In terms of game titles for PS4, as of April 13, 47 titles had been launched with a total of 20.5 million units being sold via retailers and over the network on the PlayStation Store. From a profitability perspective, PS4 is also already contributing profit on a hardware unit basis, establishing a very different business framework from that of previous platform businesses."

Hirai also mentioned that "approximately half" of PS4 owners are member of PlayStation Plus. On PS4 that means access to multiplayer games, though the paid subscription service is likely most known for its "Instant Game Collection" that grants a handful of downloadable games monthly.

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  • reply
    May 23, 2014 7:00 AM

    Steve Watts posted a new article, PlayStation 4 already profitable, half of owners have PS Plus.

    According to comments at a recent corporate meeting, the PlayStation 4 is already profitable and roughly half of PS4 owners are PS Plus subscribers.

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      May 23, 2014 7:13 AM

      Be sure to send Microsoft a Thank You card. I think their attitude towards consumers during the Xbone launch helped fuel PS4 sales.

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        May 23, 2014 7:14 AM

        Without a doubt. The roles were reversed in the previous gen, Sony learned the lesson and Microsoft got too big for their britches.

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          May 23, 2014 7:54 AM

          Yeah it's completely gone the other way. Should have been so obvious to see as well.

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        May 23, 2014 7:48 AM

        I think it'll balance out as MS releases the Xbone sans the evil camera. They won't really have anything else to backpedal on, and the two big systems will be at the same price points (as long as the PS4 doesn't surprise us with a drop)

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          May 24, 2014 11:10 PM

          Faer from balance, its completely underpowered, All multiplatform are and will always perform better on PS4,

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        May 23, 2014 7:55 AM

        I'll send them a thank you card for showing that a paid online service is leagues better than a free one, and that Sony's PSN has improved greatly by using MS's paid model.

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          May 23, 2014 10:22 AM

          I played a ton of online multiplayer on the PS3, and it worked great (as I'm someone who just pubs and never cared about party chat). What's leagues better?

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            May 23, 2014 10:24 AM

            probably everything you don't use. parties; chat; invites; cross-game invites; everything about XBL was miles better than PSN for a long time. It's a lot more equitable now but for the first half of the PS3 PSN was pretty shit.

            At one point you couldn't even access your friends list, send or receive messages, while in a game.

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              May 23, 2014 11:09 AM

              I don't think that's because of the pay wall. I just think they didn't have the ressource reserved for it.

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                May 23, 2014 1:32 PM

                They didn't know what they were doing. It wasn't because it wasn't a paid service. However had it been maybe they would have made it better because people would have been more upset paying and having it be sucky

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                  May 24, 2014 7:54 PM

                  I just think it was too late and they didn't have enough system ressource reserved for it. The ui was already lagging a lot when you pressed the PS button while in game. Having more features would probably have been too much.

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                    May 24, 2014 9:25 PM

                    It's still pretty bad on PS4 though. I think they just don't know what to do.

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          May 23, 2014 12:23 PM

          Except that wouldn't be true... see Steam, for example. Whether or not the service is directly paid for by users doesn't dictate whether or not it's good. It's the features, latency and stability, among other related things, that decide whether not or a paid server is good, better or the best. How they make money is their business model, not a bonus feature that made PSPlus successful.

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        May 23, 2014 10:17 AM

        It's pretty funny IMO.

        Sony had the "we dictate what you like" attitude with the PS3. You will pay $700 for a console because we are Playstation. Also rumble is bad and half-assed motion control is good.

        The 360 was a very conventional system. I would argue that there is absolutely nothing special about the system at all except that it did one thing right: Play games.

        Now we have Sony coming in a year ago with a conference "GAMES GAMES GAMES and MORE GAMES" and MS coming in trying to tell us how to watch TV.

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          May 23, 2014 10:35 AM

          The 360 did more than just play games well, it advanced the system layer of a video game console by an enormous degree with the way they handled portable user profiles, achievements, cross-game chat and invites, and a ton of other small usability improvements that added up to a great user experience overall.

          It's a real shame that Sony still hasn't caught up to all of those features yet on the PS4, and Microsoft bafflingly regressed several of them in the Xbox One. You'd hope both new machines will catch back up through system updates over time, but it's ridiculous they weren't both at least at parity with the 360 when they launched.

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            May 23, 2014 10:49 AM

            You're right,360 did online real well.

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            May 23, 2014 10:51 AM

            I think the 360 is right there with the SNES on best of all time consoles. I just wish they had shaved a year or so off its lifespan. It hung around a little too long.

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              May 23, 2014 11:37 AM

              Oh don't get me wrong, it was a very good system. Just saying that feature-wise it was very conventional upon initial release. I think sometimes, that's all you need to be for a game console.

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            May 23, 2014 11:41 AM

            Correctumundo.

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            May 23, 2014 11:45 AM

            Weren't there rumors that MS had to push back what they planned to include in the xbox one dashboard at launch because of the last minute reverse on the DRM situation? And now that they're making Kintect optional they'll have to devote resources to make kinect/voice-only aspects of the dashboard now work with a controller.

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              May 23, 2014 11:53 AM

              What the hell are you talking about? "Kinect/voice only" aspects of the dashboard? What? The dashboard is totally navigable with a controller. You guys need to lay off the crack smoking.

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                May 23, 2014 11:59 AM

                Okay, maybe that should have been "easier with Kinect/voice" aspects of the dashboard. MS has even mentioned that they're working on implementing better dashboard navigation with the controller.

                http://www.engadget.com/2014/05/13/xbox-one-price-interview/

                The Xbox One is designed around voice control. You turn it on with your voice. You open games and browse Netflix and everything else, all through voice. For anyone who's tried navigating Xbox One without Kinect, you already know the sad truth: it's a mess. Microsoft is thankfully aware of this issue, and is working on a fix. "We do want to find ways to give you some of those shortcuts and make some of the things that we have with Kinect easier with the controller," Mehdi said. "You can expect to see us do a bunch of things over the coming months to make the experience easier and easier, even if you don't have a Kinect."

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                  May 23, 2014 12:08 PM

                  I think calling it a mess is a bit of an exaggeration. Yes, it's fucking awesome to say "Xbox, go to Powerstars Golf" and it just fucking launches the title. No matter where you are in the system. That's fucking nice, and you'll never replicate that with a controller.

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              May 23, 2014 1:24 PM

              I've heard they originally planned to ship at the end of 2014 until Sony surprised them with the PS4 announcement, so they had already been forced to accelerate their R&D tremendously rather than get beaten to market by a year.

              Then yeah, on top of that it sounds like the 180 on the DRM created a ton of extra engineering work that took time away from fleshing out the dashboard properly. Based on what it was like using the Xbox for the couple of weeks we had consoles in the office before launch, I'm not remotely surprised to hear that thing barely came together super last-minute.

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                May 23, 2014 1:42 PM

                I heard the same things from some friends who had dev kits ahead of launch.

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              May 23, 2014 1:56 PM

              The Kinect is already optional. You don't have to have it plugged in. They're just making it also an optional purchase.

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          May 23, 2014 12:00 PM

          Phil Spencer seems to be fixing all that stuff now, Kinect-less Xbox One and focusing on games again, E3 is going to be interesting.

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      May 23, 2014 7:13 AM

      This is good news indeed. I hope they use this extra money to reinvest and push even more innovative ideas.

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      May 23, 2014 7:38 AM

      1) Duh. We all knew the PS4 was not being sold at a loss from the get-go, so it being "already profitable" is pretty much a no brainer.

      2) I'm really interested how they don't mention the profitability status of PS Plus... so half of PS4 owners have it, but you don't mention how well that's doing for the company?

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        May 23, 2014 7:46 AM

        I thought people had said the PS4 was being sold at a loss initially. Maybe that was just internet sleuthing and not based in reality though.

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          May 23, 2014 7:49 AM

          They certainly would have had a huge marketing spend to recover from.

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          May 23, 2014 7:56 AM

          I think the build costs for both were below the MSRP, but yea, marketing and other expenses could have made it not profitable from "day one"... but they were not selling at a loss either.

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        May 23, 2014 10:28 AM

        No we didn't already know that. I thought Sony was taking a loss on the hardware. The reason this is "news" is that no longer seems to be the case.

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        May 23, 2014 12:03 PM

        Back when it was launched they said it wasn't, but they were counting on people signing up to PSN or buying content.

        http://www.forbes.com/sites/danielnyegriffiths/2013/11/19/report-sony-near-to-profit-on-ps4-hardware/

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      May 23, 2014 8:22 AM

      Rip Flopza

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      May 23, 2014 8:37 AM

      when is drive club coming to psplus?

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      May 23, 2014 11:03 AM

      all this tells me is sony couldve added even more processor power with a tiny loss and killed the xbox one.

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        May 23, 2014 11:10 AM

        people don't buy consoles based on specs (most people; the niche audience here is different).

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          May 23, 2014 11:16 AM

          People don't, period. But they like to think that they do and tonguelash with a hellfire fury if told otherwise.

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        May 23, 2014 12:05 PM

        Specs only matter to a few.

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          May 23, 2014 12:06 PM

          Yeah, but if you're buying a console to play multiplatform games, it's the next issue after 'are these boxes the same price'?

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            May 23, 2014 12:09 PM

            If Microsoft really wants to fire a shot, Halo: Journey is fucking Games With Gold the month it launches.

            *Spencer drops mic*

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            May 23, 2014 12:10 PM

            Even then we are the exception, not the rule. Average Joe is going to buy for the titles and/or what his/her friends have.

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              May 23, 2014 12:17 PM

              I guess I don't agree. The 360 got a ton of goodwill because it was the lead platform for multiplatform games. Average people totally got the message: stuff runs better on 360, get it there if you can help it.

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                May 23, 2014 12:18 PM

                i don't think that's why they got the 360 versions - i think people gravitated towards 360 versions because the console was cheaper and all their friends played online with live accounts.

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                May 23, 2014 12:52 PM

                Agree or not it's the truth. Ask a non-techie why they chose their console and you aren't going to get an answer about specs.

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                  May 23, 2014 1:16 PM

                  My decidedly non-techie friends knew that 360 games like Madden/Dragon Age/Skyrim/GTA all ran better on Xbox. They heard it from the sales staff at Gamestop. And since (as casual players) they were not early adopters, they bought consoles late enough in the life cycle for that judgment to be relevant.

                  Just my experience.

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                    May 23, 2014 1:22 PM

                    They didn't run better on xbox just because of the hardware. It was usually a combination of the xbox being easier to develop for in the early days that when combined with much better sales made it an easy choice for developers to use the 360 as the lead platform.

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                      May 23, 2014 1:24 PM

                      Right, I get that. I'm just saying that 'being lead platform for everything' makes a huge difference, and adds up over time. You don't have to be a crazy pixel counter to end up having a 2 minute conversation with some sales person about which system runs multiplatform games better.

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            May 23, 2014 12:14 PM

            "What do my friends have" rates far higher than specs IMO.

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        May 23, 2014 1:09 PM

        Sony can't afford to take a 'tiny loss' - even if they could, why should they?

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sony#Finances
        They've been losing tons of money for the past few years and are still not finished with corp restructuring. Their credit rating is still junk.

        Selling things at a loss is a dumb idea most of the time. You'd be better off not entering the market and doing something that makes money instead.

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          May 23, 2014 1:47 PM

          Isn't the gaming division still losing money even with the PS4 selling so well?

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          May 23, 2014 1:48 PM

          If anyone folds out of the game, I still think it's Sony since the company is in such bad shape if Microsoft got their shit together and put a little bit of pressure on the gaming division there they could see the house of cards fall.

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        May 23, 2014 1:58 PM

        No, because games are made for the lowest common denominator. They'd still be targeted to the XB1, it's just the PS4 would have an even easier time maintaining framerate.

        Although I suppose there'd be an even bigger gap for exclusive titles.

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      May 24, 2014 11:13 PM

      Funny how this news is about Ps4 making a profit and all the comments are about Microsoft .. wtf is going on here??

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