Ahead of the release of PlayStation Plus Extra and PS Plus Premium, PlayStation Plus subscribers is losing subscribers. However, Sony isn't too concerned. During a recent earnings call with investors, Sony revealed PS Plus has 47.4 million subscribers as of March 2022, which is down 600k from the previous quarter and 200k year-on-year. This is only the second time PS Plus has experienced a dip quarter to quarter, so as you would expect, this news caught the attention of investors.
A dip is concerning news, but Sony defended it noting that the stay-at-home demand is diminishing the further the world gets removed from the heart of the pandemic. It also chalked up the decline in monthly active users to this as well. Compared to the previous quarter, there was a decline in 5 million users, and three million when looked at year-on-year.
"Let me give you the overall trend," said CFO Hikori Totoki of the trend while speaking to investors. "The total gameplay time is so important. Year-on-year, there has been a decline, but the stay-at-home demand was not so strong between January to February in 2021 compared to [the previous year].
Totoki continued: "That's a decrease by 8 percent compared to January and February in 2022. Compared to the end of March in 2020, there's a decrease of 5.9 million [users]. The stay-at-home demand was a temporary factor, but after it subsided, it seems to me that the high levels of engagement has been maintained. "o on a mid-term basis, I don't see much concern on PS Plus. I am sure that the high level of engagement will continue. That's a positive take that I have."
As you would expect, Sony is anticipating and expecting the release next month of PS Plus Extra and PS Plus Premium to move the needle back in its favor.
"We will start the renewal [of PS Plus] from June onwards in a staged manner and we would like it to stably grow and be supported by users," concluded Totoki. "I would like you to have great expectations for this together with me."
The use of "great expectations" may be a hint that Sony is going to go big with the revamp of PS Plus, but everything we've heard so far about it suggests otherwise. What's more likely is that this is general PR speak for investors.