The transition from physical software sales to digital downloads has happened quickly to say the least, but last year’s pandemic pushed more consumers than ever towards the PS Store. Of the 338.9 million PlayStation 5 and PS4 games sold during the fiscal year ending 31st March, 2021, an incredible 220 million were downloaded.
That means that around 65 per cent of PlayStation’s overall game sales were purchased through the PS Store, which is up significantly year-over-year, from 53 per cent. Obviously, as alluded to previously, coronavirus has helped to accelerate this transition – but the industry has already been heading this way for some time.
In fact, when you include add-on content such as microtransactions and subscription services like PS Plus, an eye-watering 69 per cent of PlayStation’s overall revenue was driven by the PS Store. To put this into perspective, the remaining 31 per cent consisted of hardware sales, accessories, and boxed games. In all, a minuscule five per cent of the division’s overall revenue can be attributed to physical software.
Of course, some consumers are worried that by purchasing digital they could potentially lose access to their software in the future. Sony announced plans to close the PS3 and PS Vita storefronts recently, before reversing the decision after a few days. It’s important to note that, had it gone ahead with its plans, fans still would have been able to download any titles they’d bought in the past.