Global sales of the PlayStation 2 may well have peaked, with Sony's results for the quarter ended June 30 revealing a steep decline in sales of the console and a drop in overall revenues for the games division of the corporation.
The company sold some 4.59 million PS2s during the quarter last year - this year, however, the figure has dropped off to 2.65 million. As you might expect at this point in the console's life cycle, however, software sales are up - gaining four million units in during the period this year to bring the total to 31 million units.
The venerable PSone is doing surprisingly well also, with 0.83 million units of hardware shipped in the quarter, up from 0.67 million last year, and 8 million software units sold, up from 5 million last year.
The decline in hardware sales impacted the bottom line of the games division, however, with revenue falling to 125.2 billion Yen (â'¬917 million) from a figure of some 153.2 billion Yen (â'¬1.12 billion) last year. Profits in the division also slid, to 1.8 billion Yen (â'¬13.1 million) from 2.6 billion Yen (â'¬19 million).
Overall, Sony had a relatively poor quarter, with sales dropping 6.9 per cent compared with last year's sales, and profits plummeting due to heavy restructuring costs. Much of the decline in sales is blamed on lack of demand for consumer electronics, something which the company hopes will be reversed by the release of key new products ahead of Christmas - such as the PSX, for example.
Commenting on the results, Sony chief Nobuyuki Idei expressed the hope that Sony would return to solid profitability by 2006, with the release of these new electronics products in the third quarter of this year and the implementation of a wide-reaching restructuring plan being some of the first steps on the road to that recovery for the company as a whole.