Sony said on Tuesday that it expects to sell 18 million PS5 consoles this fiscal year, thanks to strong game sales that helped it more than quadruple its fourth-quarter operating profit.
However, the Japanese corporation cautioned that if any fresh Chinese lockdowns to prevent the spread of COVID-19 makes component procurement problematic, it may be obliged to lower that manufacturing target.
“What I can say today is that we can acquire enough components for 18 million units,” Sony’s chief financial officer, Hiroki Totoki, said during a news conference.
Sony is promoting online game downloads and subscription service sign-ups via its famous PlayStation 5 gaming device. It sold 11.5 million devices last fiscal year as it suffered, like other consumer electronics businesses, with COVID 19 supply chain delays.
In a shift away from traditional hardware such as televisions, the corporation announced in February the acquisition of Bungle Inc, the inventor of the “Halo” videogame, for $3.6 billion.
Sony’s earnings for the three months ending March 31 increased from 66.5 billion yen to 138.6 billion yen ($1.06 billion). It was, however, less than the 147 billion yen profit expectation of ten analysts polled by Refinitiv.
Earnings from its gaming and network services businesses nearly quadrupled to 55.6 billion yen in the quarter. Sony forecasts the unit’s profitability to dip 12 percent this fiscal year as it invests in game development and spends on acquisitions.
Earnings for the fiscal year ending March 31 were also bolstered by movie unit profits from the popularity of “Spider-Man: No Way Home.”
The Japanese corporation expects operating profit to dip from 1.2 trillion yen to 1.16 trillion yen this fiscal year. According to Refinitiv statistics, such an expectation is lower than the average 1.21 trillion yen profit forecasted by 23 experts.
Sony also stated on Tuesday that it will acquire up to 200 billion of its own shares over the next year to avoid dilution from stock option incentive programs.