Update: Speaking during a webcast, chief financial officer Hiroki Totoki blamed the quarter's decline in PS Plus subscribers and overall monthly active users on the previous year's coronavirus lockdowns and how they increased game time activity (thanks VGC). "Of course, 104m is not a strong number, but are we looking at it as a declining trend? We don’t think so. "
"We are trying to analyse different elements, but there are no conspicuous trends that we can capture. Maybe this month or next month we will have to continue to watch and do an analysis."
"At the risk of repetition, may I say that last year the stay-at-home demand was so significant in hindsight, so compared to that period last year as a trend of course [it’s declined]. [But] compared to fiscal 2019 there is an increase."
Original story: Here's a bit of a weird one: the number of PlayStation Plus subscribers recorded by Sony has actually dropped for the first significant time. Detailed in the company's Q1 report for the 2021 fiscal year, there are now 46.3 million members. That's a loss of 1.3 million subscribers compared to the previous quarter. Across fiscal year 2020, Q1 recorded 45 million memberships, which then increased to 45.9 million in Q2. It then trended upwards once more with 47.4 million in Q3, and finally 47.6 million subscribers in Q4. The first count of fiscal year 2021 now brings it back down to 46.3 million members.
What could the reason for this be? Potentially the PS5, of course. Sony has never sold a PlayStation console quicker, and some of those buyers may have been newcomers that picked up a temporary PS Plus subscription with the system to check out the likes of the PS Plus Collection. Then they let it expire, maybe? We're just spitballing here, but the fact remains that the service has now experienced a drop off of 1.3 million. The offering of free PS Plus titles has been incredibly strong as of late — this month's is a dud, obviously — so there have been more than enough reasons to sign up. It will be interesting to see if Sony regains those members back when the next quarterly report is published.
Have you unsubscribed from PS Plus lately? If so, why? Share your thoughts in the comments below.