We recently reported on Sony's less than successful second quarter financial results – a respectable ¥3.5 billion ($35 million) profit in the first quarter was followed by a dismal net loss of ¥19.3 billion ($197 million) in the second. The poor performance was attributed to a sluggish turn by the organisation's movie division, Sony Pictures.
These numbers are no doubt giving the company's president Kazuo Hirai a major headache – and a Bloomberg report reveals the extent of this. Tokyo-based investment officer Kazuyuki Terao notes that Hirai's hold on the business is tenuous. "It seems like Hirai is standing on ice that’s melting right under his feet,” Terao said. "The market is changing a lot faster than anyone expected, and Sony hasn’t been able to keep up.”
But the recently appointed president has a plan for the Christmas period that's set to get the company back in shape again, and the impending PlayStation 4 is right at the forefront. As previously announced, Sony aims to sell five million next generation consoles by March 2014, and hopes to supplement this with annual PlayStation Plus subscriptions.
While pre-orders are certainly looking strong, the PS4's performance this holiday season will still be closely watched says analyst Damian Thong. "How fast the PS4 comes off the blocks will be a closely watched indicator of Hirai’s performance," he explained. "If they miss targets, there will be a lot of questions about whether they can turn things around.”
What do you make of these troubling trends? Are you picking up Sony's next-gen super machine at launch? Sound off in the comments section below.