News Article

Sony Cuts Losses, PlayStation Sales Tumble

Posted by Sammy Barker

Ups and downs

It looks like the appointment of Kaz Hirai has worked wonders for Sony. The recently recruited president promised to decrease losses when he took over the role in April last year, and he’s done a decent job. The company as a whole recorded a net loss of ¥10.8 billion ($115 million) for its fiscal third quarter ending 31st December, an enormous reduction over last year’s ¥159 billion ($2.1 billion).

Sadly, while the overall organisation’s predicament improved, it was a disappointing quarter for the PlayStation division. Sony once again lowered its forecast for the combined sales of the PlayStation Portable and PlayStation Vita, expecting numbers in the region of 7 million by 31st March. The company had originally anticipated 16 million sales, before cutting that estimate to 10 million in November. The manufacturer shifted 2.7 million handhelds throughout the third quarter, but only expects to move 1.3 million in the remaining three months of the fiscal year.

As a result of the poor sales, operating income dropped year-on-year from ¥33.8 billion to a disappointing ¥4.6 billion ($49 million). The firm noted that last year’s figures were buoyed by the Japanese launch of the Vita, but added that it had experienced decreased sales across all of its systems.

Despite this, the company still expects the PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 2 to sell a combined total of 16 million units by the end of the fiscal year, with sales of the systems reaching 6.8 million in the third quarter. A total of 61.7 million console games were sold during the period, with a further 8.9 million handheld games shifted.

It’s doesn't make for particularly pleasant reading, but it’s also not the end of the world. There are signs that this generation is starting to wind down, and Sony will be expecting the PlayStation 4 to rejuvenate interest in the sector when it debuts later this year. Unfortunately, the Vita situation is looking increasingly dire, but with a solid software line-up on the horizon, hopefully the system’s fortunes will improve.

[via sony.net, sony.net, vg247.com, joystiq.com, computerandvideogames.com, neogaf.com]

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User Comments (9)

Jaz007

#1

Jaz007 said:

Hope fully Kaz Hirai will be able to turn a profit next quarter. It doesn't sound too unlikely after he cut their losses by that much.

rjejr

#3

rjejr said:

Does the Vita play PSP games? I keep wondering why Nintendo doesn't stop making and selling the DSi and DSi XL considering the 3DS is only marginally more expensive yet plays all DS games. If the Vita isn't backwards compatible I can certainly see that as another reason why it isn't selling well. And the price. And the memory card costs. How much have the Vita's and memory card prices come down since launch? It's been a year now since launch in the US. I also think their new marketing team needs to promote it as more of a tablet than a game machine. Sure it doesn't have "apps", but if it can do email, txt, web browsing and GPS that should be promoted as well. I didn't even know it had half that stuff until I looked it up.

Games are the most important issue, but they still need to sell the system. Price cut, 32GB memory card in box, 1 year free PS+ in box. Better to lose money on every system sold than not to sell any systems.

charlesnarles

#5

charlesnarles said:

@rjejr Vita is pretty capable, but it's still more of a glorified gameboy than a tablet. Not that I dislike Vitas, they're just not for word processing, etc. that tablets were designed to do. I'd love to be able to use it as a tablet if the focus weren't so heavily placed upon games, but it's also cool to have a dedicated handheld with better-than-iOS games. No MGS: PO or AC!D or a lot of psp games. Kinda counter-intuitive, eh?

XCWarrior

#6

XCWarrior said:

Pretty sure all three companies need to dial back their forecasts from here on out. The boom of 2008-09 is over. Gaming is going to die, but the fad part is over. And who knows what happens when three new systems are on the market by the end of the year.

But man, why no price drop for Vita? They saw what happened to the 3DS, but they refuse to do it. Can only imagine the loss they are already selling it out if they won't drop it.

JavierYHL

#7

JavierYHL said:

i love my vita anyway having so much fun with friends through ragnarok odyssey...

meldarion

#8

meldarion said:

@charlesnarles facepalm why would you use a psvita as a word processor no that i haven't though about it but it is useless when nowadays there are tablets. PSVITA should be solely focused on Games and Video streaming. Regarding the gaming side it is amazing but the prices of the games need to go down as well as the memory card. I did not mind paying 250 euros for the vita but I was a bit pissed off having to pay for a 4gb memory card just to play uncharted which came as a promo code with the vita.

I have high hopes however for the Vita if they introduce Gaikai with it. I have tried Gaikai on a poopy PC and it worked amazingly well and it was mind blowing playing Crysis 2 with better graphics than the PS3 on a browser imagine that on a Vita. And I am more convinced that Gaikai will be a saver for the Vita because of the inclination that the whole industry is having towards cloud gaming with service such as OnLive and the new handheld which was announced by Nvidia (Project Shield). All of that is good atmosphere to promote the PSVITA

rjejr

#9

rjejr said:

@meldarion - he wasn't saying he would use the vita as a word processor, he was responding to my saying that Sony should promote the Vita as a tablet. And you yourself said the Vita should be soley focused on games. And then added "Streaming'. But does Sony really advertise the Vita as streaming tablet? Do they promote all the stuff it can do besides playing games? I have a tablet - Samsung Tab 2 7" - an dI would never consider using it as a word processor. I use it to email, txt, check stock quotes, browse the web, GPS navigation, and play the occasional free game. All of which I think I could have done on a Vita.

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