Hacking scandals and closures caused Sony to sink to yet another $1.1 billion loss for the fiscal year that ended on 31st March, but the organisation is finally planning a profit for the 12 months ahead. The company expects to make a cool $1.2 billion for the coming business term, and while iPhone cameras take centre stage, it's the PlayStation brand that's also increasingly becoming a real bread winner for the Japanese firm.
Indeed, in the fiscal year just finished, Sony Computer Entertainment was the company's biggest earner in raw revenue terms. In fact, sales for the division were up a whopping 33 per cent, netting the firm a staggering $11.5 billion. Its operating income also jumped, up from a $78 million loss to a $401 million profit. And while it was behind several other pillars in terms of pure profitability, we're pretty sure that CEO Kaz Hirai will be smiling at the 22.3 million PlayStation 4s that the organisation has now sold.
For those keeping tabs, it moved 14.3 million new-gen systems during the previous fiscal year, and it's aiming to sell 16 million during the year coming. This perhaps indicates that it may be planning a price cut – or that it knows about some serious software that's going to propel sales further. Either way, it's expecting this fiscal year to be better than the one that's just finished, and that means that it must have something big up its sleeve.
The one downside to all of this is that the PlayStation Vita continues to slide. Handheld sales – combining both the PlayStation Portable and its latest pocketable platform – tallied just 3.3 million units for 2014, down even further from the already atrocious 4.1 million units the year prior. Still, the platform holder won't be crying too much, as PlayStation Plus subscriptions brought in an absolutely astounding $3 billion – almost double the $1.7 billion that the premium service contributed the year prior.
Despite the overall losses, then, it's been a decent year for Sony, as it now looks ahead to a hopefully profitable future. Its smartphone business continues to be its most challenged division, as the Xperia line is muscled out by cheaper alternatives. But with virtually all of its other divisions now posting positive numbers, it's starting to look like Kaz Hirai may have finally steadied the ship. He'll be enjoying a relaxing round of Ridge Racer tonight.