Hirai: PS4 can earn more profit than PS2

Sony CEO claims that new console is "likely" to outperform its hugely popular antecedent

Sony CEO Kaz Hirai chose to accentuate the positive at a recent corporate strategy meeting, backing the PlayStation 4 to earn more profits than the PlayStation 2.

At a time when Sony is losing money at a rate that is alarming investors, the PlayStation 2 era looks like a golden age. At a corporate strategy meeting today - attended by Impress Watch - CEO Kaz Hirai claimed that the PlayStation 4 could be even more fruitful for the company.

"It is likely that PS4 will become the platform which exceeds the profits earned with PS2," he said, according to Eurogamer. Hirai also stressed the importance of both unit sales and PlayStation Network services in achieving that goal.

The PS4 has sold more than 7 million units worldwide since it launched last year, but the PS2 was the best-selling console of all time, shifting around 155 million units in a 12-year lifecycle.

It seems unlikely that the PS4 will top that record, but the online aspects of the console have allowed Sony to unlock revenue streams that simply didn't exist when the PS2 launched in 2000.

The larger question is what will happen to Sony as a whole between now and the end of the PS4's useful life. Sony Corp. lost $1.24 billion last year, with many of its core businesses struggling to find stability after periods of upheaval.

Sony expects further losses (around $500 million) next year, and it may have to endure further pressure to break up the company, just as it did in May last year.

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Latest comments (8)

Jakub Mikyska CEO, Grip Digital5 years ago
@ Christian:
It goes like this:

Everybody: Console manufacturers need to change their strategy and introduce new business models, or they are dead.

Sony and Microsoft change their strategies, introduce new business models.

Everybody: You have changed and that is bad. We want back the good old consoles we knew!
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Jakub Mikyska CEO, Grip Digital5 years ago
Let's not turn this into an argument. I was just feeling funny today :-) The thing is, we had several games for free in the PS Plus and it made us money. We had games in PS Plus discounts and it boosted sales. We have games outside of the PS Plus ecosystem and they keep making money. PS Plus works.

I won't argue about the race to the bottom. That is a plague and perhaps the biggest danger to the whole industry, a shortcut to another meltdown. But PS Plus is not part of it. It's like subscribing to a cable TV.
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Jakub Mikyska CEO, Grip Digital5 years ago
Oh Sony does make money on Plus. There's over 7 million PS4s and nearly everybody has PS Plus (according to Sony). Then we have subscribers on the PS3 and Vita. So, let's say that there are ten million PS Plus subscribers. At $50 a year (more, if you pay quarterly), Sony banks half a billion dollars on PS Plus, give or take.

If PS4's lifetime sales will be somewhere between 70 and 100 million and just half of those people will have PS Plus... well, that's a lot of money every year. And that's just a part of the PS4 ecosystem.
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Show all comments (8)
I think the trick towards a successful platform this generation is sheerly about accessible popular stable platform, where a majpority of your friends are easily found, to share and game experiences on either solo or together. So whether it involves some element of freebies, or a 2 for 1 (but really shaving only 20p off) - its generating that good feel good factor, that can help steer the platform into a win for the longhaul.
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Jeff Kleist Writer, Marketing, Licensing 5 years ago
This is obvious. The PS3 was sold at a tremendous loss the first few years. Launch systems were about $800 each to roll off the line, $100 of that being the Blu-ray laser, which had abysmal yields. On top,of that, huge numbers of those PS3s never saw a game as it was the cheapest Blu-ray player on the market.

So given the bath they took, I think it's a foregone conclusion since PS4 is sold close enough to cost Fromm the get-go
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Payton Liu Production Support Analyst, IBM China5 years ago
IMO, Sony's main problem is - fighting in too many industries.

Let me see - household electronics (major product line - TV), personal musical electronics, professional audio device, personal computers (laptops), console gaming (shining gold here), insurance (Japan), music publishing, movie studios (recent James Bond movies are good examples), mobile device (smart phones & tablets), etc.

Sony has to compete with every industry leading (or major) companies, such as Sennheiser (audio), Samsung (another multi-industry company), Apple (personal musical device and music publishing; Sony's smart phones are too small to be considered as a competitor to iPhone, I'm afraid.), Microsoft & Nintendo, Times Warner (movie), Lenovo (PC), etc. To name a few...

Glad to know that Sony is planning to sell off PC devision, which has been a profit loss operation for years.

As for PS4, just keep those exclusive games coming from Sony's 1st party studios. (The PS2 era of 3rd party exclusive games has long gone, most are multi-platform now.) In addition, provide supports to 3rd party studios for PS VITA. (All Nintendo's handhelds built on the success of 3rd party games, I think the same can be applied to VITA.)

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Payton Liu on 23rd May 2014 6:12pm

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Rodrigo Almeida Organizer/Editor, Fextralife5 years ago
Its shame the VITA hasn't been very succesful in the west, its a wondeful handheld. Lately i feel more interest for Vita games than AAA releases for home consoles. Maybe the rumored upcoming bundle of Ps4+Vita will increase the interest in handhelds in the west.
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Jeff Kleist Writer, Marketing, Licensing 5 years ago
"Adult" handhelds are done in the west, and the DS market is shrinking.

Nintendo is a $249 ruggedized iPad. Mini away from disaster. Without drastic changes, their future like a lot,like the Vita

Vita is a beautiful piece of hardware, but it's a product five years too late. Ironically just like iOS GamePad support. Had that come in with the iOad, and the controllers priced competitively, instead of double console equivalents, they might have had something.
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