Sony sold almost a million fewer PlayStation 4’s in the run-up to Christmas last year compared to the year before and saw gaming profits tumble 14 per cent.
As a result its share price has declined 13 per cent this month, including its worst day in six years, according to Bloomberg.
Profits from flogging games for the six-year-old system were high, but those were offset by the increasing marketing costs of trying to persuade more people to pick up the aging console, according to analysts who examined the firm’s financials in detail.
Things don’t look any brighter for this year either, with this year’s confirmed games not measuring up to last year’s blockbuster releases such as Marvel’s Spider-Man, Red Dead Redemption 2 and God of War.
“There is more downside as we believe slowing growth in its games division signals a very likely PS5 launch for next fiscal year,” according to Amir Anvarzadeh, an analyst at Asymmetric Advisors Pte.
Several analysts also downgraded their ratings on Sony stock because of “the risks in the Games segment” and the fact they can’t properly assess them without knowing when the PS5 is going to hit, along with “the ensuing costs that come with the launch of a new platform”.
It was recently revealed that as many of half of all developers’ next games may well be for next-generation platforms, while Sony has teased some details about the successor to the PlayStation 4.
All indications previously pointed to a reveal of the PlayStation 5 either this year or next, with a release planned for some time in 2020.
Microsoft seems to be operating on a similar schedule, with the door remaining open for it to reveal the first Xbox 2 details at E3 2019, with a launch likely coming the year after.