In an interview with The Guardian, House admitted that the hacking incident and Japanese earthquake took its toll on the company — but also resulted in a strong sense of unity between employees.
"Yes, it has been a pretty tough year, no question," House revealed. "If I draw a positive out of it, I think that has been unity in the face of adversity. I think it has had the effect of pulling the company together.
"For the PlayStation business, there was the hacking incident. Not to sound like an excuse, but we're now in very solid company with many other institutions and companies suffering under the same sort of threat. But it galvanised us: we've hired an extremely experienced chief information security officer. There were some very ugly threats going on, and we became the target."
House believes that the arrival of the PlayStation Vita — which launched last month in Japan — is a welcome moment of catharsis for Sony's maligned workforce.
"It's important for the employee base certainly here in Japan that there is something of a morale boost with a great product launch," House continued.
Of course, ever since the system's announcement, commentators have criticised Sony's handheld gaming approach for not being in touch with the current smartphone and tablet dominated climate. Naturally, House disagrees: "We would point to two factors. One is content-based: what we're providing even in the launch line-up is what's in our DNA: deeper, more immersive, really compelling gaming experiences, with a great sense of realism and strong storylines. Then we've married those with some great network features, but also with a set of interfaces that I don't think really exist right now in any other devices out there."
Looking forward, House believes that the PlayStation business is poised for greater success in 2012, with the PlayStation 3 now at its most profitable phase: "[The PlayStation 3] now has an installed base north of 55m units worldwide. And on a per-console basis, I'm pleased to say, we've seen people buying more games per console than we've seen on previous generations, and that has a direct impact on profitability.
"We went through a very tough time in the company in getting to a point of profitability, and I think we're now beginning to enjoy the benefits of that it gives us some more leeway in being able to look at the future and areas of new investment in terms of new business models and new approaches to gaming. It looks to be a far more positive year, I hope, than 2011, and one that yields great benefits to gamers around the world."