This year’s Black Friday might have been a disappointment for retail stores, but it was a record breaker for Sony’s console sales, which provides a strong defense for consoles in today’s gaming market.
In an interview with CNBC, Eric Lempel, vice president of marketing and head of PlayStation Network at Sony, said this year’s Black Friday was the company’s best to date. The success is due in part to offers which could be paired with console purchases. This year’s deals included the PlayStation 4 Pro for $349.99 and the PS4 Slim model for $199.99, with a year-long subscription to PlayStation Plus for a discounted price of $39.99.
“We sold more consoles than we ever have in our 22-year history, and Plus is a natural addition to that purchase,” Lempel said. While we can agree that packaging both the console and online service makes sense, there are plenty of console gamers who don’t want the Plus service. Although discounted to under $40, it does make more sense than the regular service fee.
This news comes alongside Sony Corporate’s announcement that the company’s net income from the most recent quarter was up 342.9 % compared to the same quarter from last year. According to Lempel, the majority of this increase was fueled by the PlayStation business which includes console sales, PS Plus subscriptions, and revenues made on the PlayStation Store.
Lempel was also asked about the current state of consoles compared to four years ago when mobile gaming was expected by many tech experts to phase out console gaming altogether. Lempel pointed to these most recent sales and the release of mid-cycle console upgrades in the form of the PS4 Pro model as a sign of the console market’s continued strength. Another reason for the continued console market is that mobile gaming isn’t quite up to console level just yet, and consoles themselves are becoming true PC contenders.
“We’re having a phenomenal year,” Lempel says. “As you’ve said, we’ve sold more consoles this year than ever before and the console business is doing great.” And we expect that trend to continue.