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Sony Closes Game Biz Losses On PS3 Growth, While PSP Drags

Sony is narrowing losses in its game business as the PlayStation 3 begins to make headway, although a decline for PlayStation 2 and PSP meant sales were still down for the company's fiscal year.
As the company forecast, Sony is narrowing losses in its game business as the PlayStation 3 begins to make headway -- although a decline for PlayStation 2 and PSP meant sales were still down for the company's fiscal year. Sales in the Networked Products and Services division, which houses the PlayStation business, fell 10.2 percent to ¥1.6 trillion ($16.8 billion) for the full fiscal year ending March 31, 2010. But the PS3 is thriving, with sales up 3.3 million units year over year to 13 million thanks to the Slim launch. The division reported operating losses of ¥83.1 billion ($889 million), an improvement of ¥4.4 billion ($46.5 million) year-on-year, a significant stride toward the company's goal to create profitability in its games business. Software sales increases also boosted the division; unit sales were up to 115.3 million units, compared with 103.7 million units the previous year. But despite the launch of Sony's new PSP Go, its portable platform saw a dramatic decline, with sales slumping from 14.1 million to 9.9 million. Even the PS2, after 10 years on the market, maintained more steady sales, seeing a year-on-year decline of just 600,000 units to 7.3 million. Software for those two platforms also declined; PSP software contracted to 44.4 million units, compared to 50.3 million last year, while PS2 game sales plummeted to 35.7 million units -- PS2 software sold 83.5 million units last year. And although Sony projects PS3 hardware sales to continue to grow -- expecting 15 million PS3s, 8 million PSPs and 6 million PS2s in the year to March 2011 -- the company's forecast for software units remained the same. Sony Corporation overall saw sales for this year down 6.7 percent to ¥7,214 billion ($78 billion), although after last year's ¥227.8 billion loss, it swung to a ¥31.8 billion yen ($233 million) profit. Overall, Reuters notes that Sony "has vowed to turn its television and game operations profitable this year by slashing production costs and boosting unit sales, and helped by the launch of 3D TVs and 3D-ready games in June."

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