Electronics giant Sony has seen a 46 per cent slump in its profit for the three months ended September 30th, with the enormous cost of developing the PlayStation 3 console fingered as a key factor in the decline.
The firm reported net income of 28.5 billion Yen (204 million Euro) for the quarter, which is down massively from the 53.2 billion Yen (380 million Euro) figure reported in the same period last year, and also falls below analyst average estimates of 30 billion yen (214 million Euro) reported by Bloomberg.
The costs associated with the creation of the PlayStation 3 - for which Sony is building new hi-tech manufacturing facilities and has co-created a new processor architecture, Cell, with IBM and Toshiba - are a headline factor in the profits shortfall, along with a worldwide decline in the price of television sets.
The news will come as another blow to Sony's already embattled share price; the firm has lost nearly six per cent of its value on the Nikkei stock market this year so far, compared with a 17 per cent rise in the value of the Nikkei 225 Index as a whole.
One of the toughest battles it faces at present is in the digital music player market, where its Walkman brand has been overtaken by products from rivals including Apple Computer. The firm hopes that the PlayStation Portable, which has sold quite strongly since its introduction late last year, will help to re-establish its dominance in the portable media market.