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SONY Reportedly Launching a Video-Game Subscription Service

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Sony Group Corporation (SONY - Free Report) is reportedly planning to roll out a new video game subscription service as early as next week, according to a report by Bloomberg. The company will be integrating its existing services — PlayStation Now and PlayStation Plus.

Citing sources familiar with the matter, Sony will be adding several hit games from the last few years to the PlayStation subscription service, noted Bloomberg. Also, the most premium tier will allow gamers to stream games over the Internet and gain access to extended demos, per documents obtained by Bloomberg last year. Yet, Sony will not be releasing big titles on the same day on the streaming service.

Sony has been working on the video game service for quite some time under the code name “Spartacus.” Sony’s foray into the streaming market is understandable as subscription services ensure a stable and recurring revenue stream.

However, SONY faces stiff competition in this space from Microsoft’s (MSFT - Free Report) Xbox Game Pass subscription service. Microsoft’s competitive position in the cloud gaming space has got a boost from bundling cloud gaming with the Xbox Game Pass Ultimate service (at no additional cost).

The company’s Game Pass subscription service launched in 2017 has been a massive success, with more than 25 million users.

For $9.99, Game Pass for PC allows gamers to gain access to 100 titles on PC. Game Pass for Console allows gamers to play 100 high-quality titles on consoles for $9.99. Microsoft’s Game Pass Ultimate is a subscription service that allows gamers to play more than 100 video game titles for a monthly fee of $14.99.

Microsoft also releases Xbox Game Studio titles the same day it releases for its Game Pass subscribers.

Microsoft’s gaming business has been booming. In the last reported quarter, Gaming revenues increased 8%. Revenues from Xbox hardware grew 4%, driven by the new consoles. Xbox content and services revenues were up 10% year over year. For the third quarter of fiscal 2022, Microsoft expects Gaming revenues to be up in mid-single digits.

In comparison, Sony’s Game & Network Services is grappling with a decline in hardware and peripeheral devices sales, a decrease in sales of non-first-party titles, including add-on content and weak sales of first-party titles. For third-quarter fiscal 2021, the segment’s sales were down 7.9% year over year to ¥813.3 billion

At present, Sony carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Shares of Sony have gained 0.5% compared with the industry’s decline of 3.4%.

Stocks to Watch For

Some better-ranked stocks from the broader technology sector include Broadcom (AVGO - Free Report) , and Apple (AAPL - Free Report) . Both the stocks carry a Zacks Rank of 2 (Buy) at present. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

The Zacks Consensus Estimate for Broadcom’s fiscal 2022 earnings is pegged at $35.49 per share, up 7% over the last 30 days. The long-term earnings growth rate of AVGO is pegged at 14.5%.

Broadcom’s earnings beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate in all the preceding four quarters, with the average being 1.9%. Shares of AVGO have increased 38.8% in the past year.

The Zacks Consensus Estimate for Apple’s fiscal 2022 earnings is pegged at $6.16 per share up 3.7% over the last 60 days. The long-term earnings growth rate is pegged at 12.5%.

Apple’s earnings beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate in each of the last four quarters, with the average being 20.3%. Shares of AAPL have rallied 46.4% in the past year.

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