PS Vita sales on the rise, but Sony's game business still flagging
Sony's losses greatened for the second quarter of the current fiscal year, the company admitted today, due in part to its video game business swinging to losses year-over-year.
The Japanese manufacturer blamed the decrease in unit sales on its PlayStation 2, PlayStation 3 and PSP hardware, as well as the continuing negative impact of the PS Vita price reduction -- although PS3 software sales were up, slightly offsetting the overall decrease in sales.
The company also noted that its PlayStation 4 development expenses are making a dent in profits -- although with the PS4 finally releasing during the current quarter, we can expect the financial situation to shift.
PS Vita sales were up, although still not so healthy. Sony sold 800,000 Vitas and PSPs combined in the second quarter, compared to 600,000 sold in the previous quarter. The PS3 and PS2 combined sold 2 million hardware units in the same period.
Notably, Sony will be combining sales of the PS4 hardware with the PS3 and PS2 figure starting from this quarter, potentially meaning that we won't be able to see exact hardware sales figures for the PS4, unless Sony separates them out elsewhere.
Although Sony's game business posted losses, it was the company's Devices and Pictures divisions that really did the damage, with notable hits to their respective operating incomes.
But Sony's game segment even had something to do with this as well -- the primary reason for the Devices division's drop in sales was the decrease in sales of system LSIs for the game business.
For the quarter ended September 30, Sony's Game business recorded revenues of 155.7 billion yen ($1.6 billion), up compared to 148.2 billion yen ($1.5 billion) year-over-year, and operating losses of 800 million yen ($8.1 million), compared to operating profits of 2.3 billion yen ($23.4 million) year-over-year.
Overall, Sony posted revenues of 1.78 trillion yen ($18.1 billion), up from 1.60 trillion yen ($16.3 billion) year-over-year, and losses of 19.3 billion yen ($196.3 million), worsened against losses of 15.5 billion yen ($157.6 million) year-over-year.
Notably, the company has been forced to cut its full year estimates as a result of these losses. While Sony had previously forecast profits of 50 billion yen ($508.6 million) for the full fiscal year, it has now significantly cut this figure down, to 30 billion yen ($305.1 million).