Sony posts big losses -- and expects losses this year too
As expected, Sony posted significant losses for the last fiscal year today -- and the company admitted that it projects losses for the current fiscal year too.
Sony recorded a 6.2 billion yen ($60.7 million) write-off of PC game software sales from Sony Online Entertainment, leading to overall losses for its games business.
But Sony's PlayStation business also took a hit, due to increased costs related to the launch of the PlayStation 4, and poorer-than-expected PS Vita sales.
The PS4 and PS3 sold 14.6 million units during the last fiscal year, down from the original forecast of 15 million, while the PS Vita, PSP and PS Vita TV only sold 4.1 million units, down from the original forecast of 5 million.
Notably, Sony told Gamasutra last year that
this 5 million forecast was a worst-case scenario, suggesting that the Vita has sold far worse than the company was anticipating -- and the company only expects Vita and PSP sales to total 3.5 million during the current year, so it's clear no resurgence is on the way.
But for the current year, Sony believes a swing back to profits for its game business is in order, thanks to increased PS4 sales, and a decrease in costs related to the PS4. The company believes it will sell 17 million PS4s and PS3s combined this fiscal year.
There's some good news: Overall software sales are up from 266 million units in the previous fiscal year, to 374 million units last year. And Sony forecasts this figure will jump slightly to 390 million in the year ahead.
Elsewhere in the company, it was Sony's Devices department that really did a number on the company's earnings, due to impairment charges.
For the fiscal year ended March 31, 2014, Sony's Game business saw revenues of 979.2 billion yen ($9.6 billion), up 38.5 percent year-over-year, and operating losses of 8.1 billion ($79.3 million), compared to operating income of 1.7 billion yen ($16.6 million) year-over-year.
Overall, Sony recorded revenue of 7.8 trillion yen ($76.4 billion), up 14.3 percent year-over-year, and losses of 128.4 billion yen ($1.3 billion), compared to profits of 41.5 billion yen ($406.3 million) year-over-year.
For the current fiscal year, Sony is forecasting revenues of 7.8 trillion yen ($$76.4 billion), up 0.4 percent year-over-year, and losses of 50 billion yen ($489.5 million).