Profits flat for Sony's game division

6.5m PS3s sold in Q3; decrease in PlayStation 3 costs offset by lower PS2, PSP sales

Sony's Networked Products and Services division, which includes sales of PlayStation hardware as well as Viao PCs, recorded an operating profit of ¥19.4 billion (£134m / $213 million) for the third quarter, an improvement of ¥25.3 (£125m / $277m) billion year on year.

However, profitability in the game business specifically was relatively unchanged, said the company, with cheaper hardware manufacturing costs of the PlayStation 3 offsetting the decline in PS2 and PSP sales.

Sales of PlayStation 3 units reached 6.5 million during the three months to December 31, compared to 4.5 million in the 2008 fiscal year, but sales of PSP units were down from 5.1 million to 4.2 million, and PlayStation 2 sales down from 2.5 million to 2.1 million.

The overall Sony business posted its first profit in five quarters, with operating profit at ¥146.1 billion (£1.01bn / $1.6bn), compared to a loss of ¥17.96 billion (£124m / $197m) a year earlier.

The company's Consumer Products and Devices division saw operating income was ¥49.4 billion (£341m / $542m), with cheaper manufacturing costs for BRAVIA LCD televisions and CyberShot cameras.

Higher Blu-ray disc sales helped Sony's B2B & Disc Manufacturing division to operating profits of ¥10.1 billion (£69m / $110m), a 21.5 per cent increase on the previous year.

Sony Pictures were up 9.1 per cent to ¥14.1 billion (£97m / $154m), Music up to 8.2 per cent to ¥23.1 billion (£159m / $253m), and Financial Services up from a loss of ¥37.4 billion (£258m / $410) to ¥35 billion (£242m / $383m) profit

Boosted by the results, Sony now expects a full year to March 31 operating loss of ¥30 billion (£329m / $207m), down from ¥60 billion previously estimated.

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Latest comments (5)

Andrew Clayton Executive Editor, Side Story Games12 years ago
Frankly I'm not surprised by any of these numbers. With the XBox 360 and Wii almost completely saturated in the market, the only console most gamers still don't own is the PS3. Unfortunately for Sony, the PS2 has continued to cannibalize sales of PS3s and thus sales of PS3 games.

Unfortunately for PS, it may be too little too late. Many of the cross-platform games have already been dominated by XBox 360, and without excellent marketing of some of PS3s best exclusives there's little reason for gamers to buy a PS3 at this point. If it weren't for the domination of Blu-ray in the HD War, there wouldn't be any real reason to buy a PS3 at all.
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Jim Webb Executive Editor/Community Director, E-mpire Ltd. Co.12 years ago
Andrew, check the sales/shipment figures from this gen, handhelds and last gen. We've still got quite a ways to go before any saturation points are hit.

I will say I'm very surprised that Sony voluntary stated that the games segment of the Networked Products and Services division was flat when the whole division had a profit. Many expected them to have put the games division into the larger Networked Products and Services division to help hide poor financial performance of their games division. So it's nice to see them at least comment on it directly.
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Seldin Music Studying Civilingenjör i spel- och programvaruteknik, Blekinge Institute of Technology12 years ago
Sony can make billions and millions in a pres of a button. Just put a second aiming stick on the PSP and it is gold. That has kept me from baying one.
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Private Industry 12 years ago
Don`t think it`s to late, don`t think PS3 will get the same numbers at the end as the PS2, but they can still get a good and decent amount of people to buy one after all they are only at 1/3 - 1/2 or so of the lifespan of the console at the moment.

So far Sony didn`t have many of the know franchises on the PS3, there was MGS, Wipeout and Ratchet and Clank that pup up in my head right now. While most of the know franchises start coming this year like GoW, GT, FF (even as multiplatform could sell more on PS3 then on the 360) or the new Team ICO game (unfortunately don`t think will be a systemseller or sell in general extremely well, still hope it`s going to be an amazing game). PS3 isn`t that far behind the 360, surely to far to be at the same level as the 360 at the end of the year, but I wouldn`t be surprised if they manage the be only 3 million behind instead of 6 million units.
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Jacob Mazel Video Game Analyst 12 years ago
You guys have missed the big story - Playstation software projections for the year ending March 2010 were lowered from 240m to 200m, and PSP hardware was lowered from 15m to 10m over the same period. PS2 hardware was raised from 5m to 7m.

It is all here, on the bottom of page 12
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