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Sony Q2 improves, but game business continues to slide
Sony Q2 improves, but game business continues to slide
November 1, 2012 | By Mike Rose

November 1, 2012 | By Mike Rose
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    13 comments
More: Console/PC, Business/Marketing



Sony saw its revenues increase and its losses reduced year-over-year last quarter, although its video game business still took a hit as PlayStation 3 and PS Vita sales continued to slide.

Sony's Game business saw lower sales of both hardware and software compared to the same period last year. The PS3 and PS2 sold 3.5 million hardware units together, compared to 4.9 million year-over-year, while the PS Vita and PSP sold 1.6 million together, down from 1.7 million a year ago (note that the latter figure is solely PSP sales, as the PS Vita only launched earlier this year.)

In comparison, PS3 and PS2 software sales totalled 41.4 million during this quarter, up compared to 40.2 million year-over-year, while PS Vita and PSP software sales were 8.7 million units, up from 8.2 million units last year (again, the latter is PSP only.)

And the company has cut its forecast for handheld hardware sales again for this current fiscal year (ending June 2013), now expecting PSP and PS Vita to sell 10 million units. It previously slashed its forecast three months ago from 16 million portables to 12 million.

Sony says that it was affected by the slowing of the global economy, and as such has revised its full year forecast as "key products are expected to be below our previous forecast."

However, Sony managed to balance its business elsewhere. Thanks to streamlining in its Home Entertainment & Sound sector and the consolidation of Sony Mobile, revenues and income for the overall company improved year-over-year.

For the quarter ended September 30, 2012, Sony's Game business recorded revenues of 148.2 billion yen ($1.9 billion), down from 176.0 billion yen ($2.2 billion) year-over-year, and operating income of 2.3 billion yen ($28.8 million), down from 3.0 billion yen ($37.5 million) year-over-year.

Overall, Sony posted revenues of 1.6 trillion yen ($20.1 billion), up from 1.6 trillion yen ($19.7 billion) year-over-year, and losses of 15.5 billion yen ($193.8 million), improved compared to losses of 27.0 billion yen ($337.6 billion) year-over-year.


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Comments


Alan Rimkeit
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Is it price cut time yet? Maybe a surprise price cut last minute before the Christmas season? Maybe a free year of PS+ with either PS3 or Vita? They have to figure something out and pronto.

Daniel Campbell
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Adding to the value is more likely than a price cut. I think some free PS+ is a good idea. Maybe some free digital content would be good too.

Alan Rimkeit
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Maybe a small price cut plus some free stuff? Sony needs to do something.

Nuttachai Tipprasert
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PS Vita is already selling at the loss price. I don't see how can they cut the price any time soon; unlike 3Ds which was tagged at profit price from the start. That's why Nintendo can very easy adapt their strategy and cut the price of the console even when it had been sold for only 6 months.

Cutting price might be the good idea for boosting sale. But that's mean Sony need to afford more loss per unit. They need a huge load of cashes for backing up the console and hope that software sale will catch up the loss or the manufacture price drop very fast. If both of the conditions fail, that mean they just signed their own dead warrant. That's a very difficult decision to take.

Scott Woodbury
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Part of the fall of the Playstation is the lack of support the consumers are getting. PSN lags for online gameplay where I live and nothing has been done. I live on the US North East Coast and Sony insists on keeping their servers on the West coast. 2/3 of their potential market base is located on the East Coast. That's just poor logistics and poor use of what resources they have.

Some games like SOCOM tried following the cookie cutter COD fanbase and changed to the point they lost their core audience. The SOCOM community rallied together for a request on the Blog Share for a SOCOM 2 HD remake, it's the highest requested game there yet Sony is making other HD reboot games and completely ignoring the request. Then they shuttered Zipper Interactive who created that game.

Issues have plagued the service and the games, every online game has had VoiP issues at launch and many are never completely remedied. Games are buggy and glitchy even 7 years after Devs have had the hardware...still no Dawnguard for Skyrim!

They are still pushing the media hub and store content, The Movies and Music is just far too expensive when there are so many other options like redbox , I heart radio and free hulu on the PC but Sony gimps the browser so these things won't work unless you pay for a premium service. When they update the store to mix games and movies it just feels like they are cramming content down my throat that I'm just not going to pay that much for.

I was a Sony fanboy for years! I still love a lot of the hardware and products they make but they took the Playstation business and drove it down a road I do not want to follow.

Alan Rimkeit
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"Games are buggy and glitchy even 7 years after Devs have had the hardware...still no Dawnguard for Skyrim!"

Yeah, that is all on Bethesda 100%. Same for any other games and the respective devs.

And the rest of your points apply to the 360 too. Everything on XBL is gimped if you don't pay for Gold service. At least I can watch Netflix on my PS3 without having PS+.

I do agree that the music and movies for Sony's services are too expensive. They are just crazy in that respect.

I also would love to hear why they closed down Sipper. Why did they do that? Makes no sense to me at all.

Alan Rimkeit
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I have no lag issue either in Austin, TX. Fat Princess plays smooth as butter and so does the on-line for Dead Space 2 and Uncharted 3. I never had issues when playing on-line for Resistance 2 either. That was sweet online gameplay. I am also looking forward to the Planetside 2 online play too.

[User Banned]
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This user violated Gamasutra’s Comment Guidelines and has been banned.

Alan Rimkeit
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I like the Vita touch interface. Don't find it bizarre at all.

Rey Samonte
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I love my PS VITA. Altough lately, I've been using it primarily as an alternative to watching NetFlix and playing Classic PSP games on it while laying in bed, but developing with PSM is a lot of fun too.

[User Banned]
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This user violated Gamasutra’s Comment Guidelines and has been banned.

Vijay Srinivasan
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"improved compared to losses of 27.0 billion yen ($337.6 billion) year-over-year "

This should read $337.6 million?

Frank Moolah
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Sony really went at their consumer retention strategy wrong, and I have a personal example. Earlier this year my dad bought a Sony Blu-ray player to upgrade his current one b/c o their brand recognition so he could watch Youtube. Of course you need a router to perform this function, however come to find out, the Blu-ray player requires you to purchase a wireless USB dongle for wireless connectivity to the router or you can connect an ethernet cable to it. Problem was the router was 2 rooms away, a far stretch to string along an ethernet cable. I consider that ripping off the consumer especially when wireless connectivity is an expected feature for these certain products nowadays.


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