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PlayStation Had Its Best Year With 20M PS4 Units Shipped, But Sony Predicts A Decline

Sony posted its consolidated financial results for the fiscal year 2016 and the PlayStation 4 had a great performance, albeit the company expects a slight decline.

In the fiscal year 2016 ended on March 31, 2017, Sony shipped a record-breaking 20 million PS4 consoles, marking the system's best performance ever.

60 Million PS4 Units Shipped In Total

That contributes to a total of 60 million PS4 units shipped worldwide, with 40 million sold until last May before reaching 50 million through December. The company shipped 2.9 million PS4 units in the past three months, marking a notable increase compared with the 2.3 million units shipped during the same period last year.

The 20 million PS4 units shipped throughout the entire fiscal year 2016 also mark a significant bump from the 17.7 million units shipped during the fiscal year 2015, Sony reports [PDF].

Out of all traditional units within the company, Sony's games division performed the best throughout the fiscal year, drawing an impressive profit of 135.6 billion yen ($1.21 billion) off 1.65 trillion yen ($14.7 billion) in revenue. Sony also registered a 6.3 percent increase in sales and a 52.9 percent jump in profits.

PS4 Has Peaked Already

As impressive as 2016 has been for PS4 hardware sales, it seems the console has already peaked. Sony expected a slight decline in the current fiscal year, estimating to ship 18 million units.

That's hardly a surprise, however, considering that the PS4 will have been on the market for more than four years by the time the fiscal year 2017 ends on March 31, 2018. That's well into the regular life cycle of a gaming console and the PS4 has had a great run.

At the same time, it's worth pointing out that the PS4's sales growth is outperforming the PS2, which saw just over 71 million units sold after four years on the market, and more than 150 million after 11 years. At this rate, the PS4 is on track to outsell the PS2.

Sony Video Games Division Results

The Games & Network Services, meaning Sony's video game division, saw a 6.3 percent revenue increase year-over-year to $14.73 billion. According to the company, the sales increase was mainly due to a surge in PS4 game sales, as well as an increase in hardware sales year-over-year. Foreign exchange rates and the PS4 price cut partially offset the increases.

Operating income for Sony's video game division, meanwhile, increased to $1.21 billion, with the company attributing the rise to PS4 cost reductions and the increase in PS4 game sales. A decline in PS3 sales, along with the PS4 price cut, had a negative impact on the income increase.

Otherwise, Sony saw a 6.2 percent revenue decline across all business units, reaching $67.88 billion, while the company's operating income dipped to $2.57 billion.

All in all, the PS4 had a stellar performance in the fiscal year 2016 and it may remain as its best ever, but it's no less impressive. New titles such as Uncharted, God of War, Gran Turismo and The Last of Us series should help maintain momentum.

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