Loss of millions of PlayStation Plus subscribers, drop in revenue and profit, uncertainty to meet PS5 sales goal and only one exclusive to match. PlayStation is not as good as many think, and the release of God of War Ragnarok only makes up the situation, let’s analyze what is happening.

We know that God of War Ragnarok has already debuted and at this moment it is the sensation, in addition to shaping PlayStation to have a good product on the market during the year-end, but this does not prevent us from questioning or considering that the Santa Monica title makes up a poor second half of 2022 for Sony’s video game business.

A few weeks ago, the Japanese company presented its quarterly financial report with contrasting results but which confirm that the market monster that PlayStation 5 should be is still asleep. The first piece of information to take into account was the drop in the number of PlayStation Plus subscribers, which went from 47.3 to 45.4 million, in addition to being the third consecutive quarter with a loss of users, a fact that draws attention since PlayStation launched a new version of its service although it is worth remembering that it has been one of the most grey, mediocre and unattractive revelations of the brand in recent years.

The detail in this section of gaming services is that revenues and profits went up from $679 to $794 million as a result of the price increase. At first glance, it seems like a good idea, but it raises doubts in the medium and long term, since you cannot compensate user losses with price increases forever, in addition to the fact that PlayStation under the command of Jim Ryan has been reluctant to launch its big games. exclusive in their service in parallel.

The truth is that PS Plus has lost its appeal, it seems that it reached a peak in the PS4 era and Sony’s response has not been the one desired by fans who feel the pressure from the wave of comparisons with Xbox Game Pass. The brand has insisted that its model is different and does not seek to compete with other proposals while there are users who consider that there is no substantial added value to make a greater expense, in fact the PS One classics library (reluctantly accepted ) suffers from absences and it seems that there is no interest in making it grow, while the other games of yesteryear are inherited from the late PlayStation Now.

On the other hand, the sale of PS5 consoles continues untapped and although the manufacturing and distribution lines have improved compared to the times of the pandemic, the expectation is not encouraging. Since its launch, PS5 has sold 25 million units, but what about now? The recent report reported 3.3 million units sold through September, which adds up to 5.7 million so far this year, but the possibility of meeting the goal of 18 million by March 2023 seems distant. While Sony believes that it is on the right track, analysts and market firms think otherwise.

From a general perspective, the Japanese company’s video game and related services business has delivered negative results since in the reported quarter a drop in game sales of 13.9 million fewer copies is indicated than in the same period of 2021, including first-time titles. party. Likewise, profits fell 49% and although Sony pointed to the purchase of Bungie and the fall in the Yen as factors to consider, analysts such as Takashi Mochizuki and Yuki Furukawa of Bloombergput their finger on the sore point confirming that the finances of the Japanese company have been saved this year by its music distribution business since its success has offset the losses in 2 of its pillars: video games and sensors for smartphones, to which which are defined right now as businesses with mediocre performance.

FEW EXCLUSIVE, ONLY ONE RELEVANT AND PROPOSALS THAT DO NOT RAISE

When it comes to video games, the success of God of War Ragnarok may cloud your vision, but we’re here to remind you that there isn’t much to celebrate from PlayStation Studios. 2022 saw the release of Gran Turismo 7 and Horizon Forbidden West . The first one crashed head-on, ruining its story by implementing an abusive system to earn points that favors spending with real money. The second repeated the tragic story of Zero Dawn, because despite overflowing quality, he had little to do against ELDEN RING . Then came the most unnecessary remake in history, The Last of Us: Part I , which passed without pain or glory and today is no longer a reason for discussion.

4 exclusives of which 3 are playable on PS4 and only from the Santa Monica game one is expected to impact PS5 sales for the holiday season. At the same time, some sectors have questioned the validity of the style of games created in PlayStation Studios, because since Uncharted hit the nail on the head 15 years ago, it seems that Sony turned it into a base and formula. We know that it was based on what is created at Naughty Dog, which is why it is thought of as a continuous system, not very innovative and overexploited.

Worse still, the strategy of launching exclusive PlayStation on PC does not seem to generate interest for Sony, let’s remember that this was a request from the studios and did not come from the top management spheres. Uncharted: Legacy of Thieves Collection and Sackboy: A Big Adventure debuted in the most discreet way possible and there were even players who found out about its launch due to the controversy that was generated since they are currently the PlayStation Studios games with the worst reception on the gaming scene. gaming on PC.

The lawsuit against Microsoft for the purchase of Activision Blizzard has not left a good image for Sony since its incessant crying so that Call of Duty is not taken from it exposes its immediate needs, raising doubts for those who like its traditional-style exclusive titles, especially with a near-term future in which the brand is moving rapidly towards games as a service. Worse still, there are more and more patents registered by the Japanese company that deal with a more passive gaming experience, supported by AI and even substituting the role of the player and turning him into a mere spectator or putting him in an experience with the minimum possible difficulty. and with virtually no challenge.

Similarly, there is the warning of PlayStation Stars, an unattractive loyalty program that has only cemented a structure that will eventually lean towards NFTs and Blockchain operations. We know that today this is a disaster, but Sony is not the first or the only major company to mark territory thinking about it in the future.

PLAYSTATION CAN GET AWAY WITH IT NOW, BUT 2023 STILL RAISES DOUBTS

Despite everything, PlayStation has a chance to get away with a bit thanks to the holiday season with an increase in available quantities of PS5 and the success of God of War Ragnarok. However, the future at this time is not so encouraging, at least for next year and specifically if you think about the offer of exclusives. 2023 brings, for now, Insomniac’s Spider-Man 2 and a new era of PlayStation VR with the iteration of its device, something that is already controversial due to its price and the need to have the complete package with the PS5.

“Sony will come up against the post-pandemic, crisis and global recession economic reality that is leading people to prioritize spending and leave the whirlwind of console and video game purchases for a better time”

There are also releases with temporary exclusivity such as Forspoken and Final Fantasy XVI , both of reserved prognosis because they represent the new Square Enix strategy that is no longer interested in merely Japanese proposals or in that market and now everything is in favor of conquering the West. At the same time, Sony will come up against the economic reality of the post-pandemic, crisis and global recession that is leading people to prioritize spending and leave the maelstrom of console and video game purchases for a better time.

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