PlayStation Sales Down, But Expected To Swing Back Up This Year

By Ishaan . May 10, 2012 . 3:08am

2011’s Tohoku earthquake, floods in Thailand, declining console sales, a PlayStation 3 price cut, and currency exchange rates all added up to a loss of 456.7 billion yen ($5.7 billion) for Sony last year, the company reported in its annual earnings release today.


In its Consumer Products and Services division, Sony shared that sales of the PlayStation 3, PlayStation 2 and PSP all fell as compared to the previous year. Here’s the sales comparison to illustrate the PlayStation family’s performance:


System                          FY2010                  FY2011

PlayStation 3           14.3 million             13.9 million

PlayStation 2           6.4 million               4.1 million

PSP                        8.0 million               6.4 million


Another major factor that played a role in the losses suffered by the Consumer Products and Services division is the PlayStation 3 price cut to $250, which went into effect in August 2011. Meanwhile, software sales for PlayStation 3 were up, while software sales for both PlayStation 2 and PSP were down compared to 2010.


For the ongoing fiscal year, Sony estimate they’ll sell 16 million units of PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 2 hardware combined, and 16 million units of PSP and PlayStation Vita units combined. Total software sales for the four devices are expected to remain approximately the same as 2011. Meanwhile, digital imaging products and PCs are expected to see an improvement in sales as the CP&S division recovers from the impact of the earthquake and flood.


Sony’s overall sales forecast for this fiscal year is 7.4 trillion yen ($92.9 billion) and profits of 30 billion yen ($376.5 million), as opposed to a loss.

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  • malek86

    There is so much optimism in these forecasts. The PSV is doing badly and needs either a pricecut or a crapton of KAs. The PCs (especially notebooks) and cameras market are seeing their importance dropping in lieu, respecitvely, of the tablets and smartphones boom. Even so, they still expect their shipments to rise and their results to improve a lot, get into the black even.

    I’m not sure how they intend to do this, given they haven’t really outlines any strategy in these weeks. But if they can do it, more power to them.

    • It looks like our PSP/Vita estimates were on the money. That 16 million forecast is 6 million PSPs and 10 million Vitas.

      • malek86

        Uhm. That’s optimistic. I’m not seeing the PSP selling another 6 millions this year, unless they cut the price, and even then it might not be effective enough. The 3DS will impact its sales a lot. If you compare the first four months of this year to the first four months of 2011, PSP sales have dropped from 900.000 units to 300.000. I don’t know how much a price cut will be able to offset the 3DS. And of course, PSP sales in the west are already dead and will only get deader with time. So 6 millions again this year seems like a very optimistic prediction.

        As for the PSV, well. I won’t say anything until E3, but still, 10 millions with the way it’s started seems difficult to achieve. Of course, the 3DS did it, but I’m not sure if Sony will manage to 1) have the guts (and resources) to do a price cut of almost 40% and shoulder the losses, 2) get a whole lot of KAs on the same level of Mario Land, Mario Kart and Monster Hunter. Hard to believe.

        • I agree, even with a price cut, 6 million seems like a lot for a PSP, especially with New Super Mario Bros. 2 and Animal Crossing hitting in Japan (the only viable PSP market) this year.

          Vita, is of course, another matter. There’s barely been any game announcements for the thing, either from Japan or the west. In the west, perhaps they’re simply waiting until E3 to show their hand. Of course, Nintendo will no doubt have more 3DS announcements at E3, too.

          Quite frankly, I’d be happy with ports of recent console games on the Vita personally, even though that isn’t what will sell the system. I’m not sure just what will sell the system in the west, but I suppose we’ll see in a month’s time just what the plan is…

          • malek86

            I really don’t know what could sell the PSV in the west. Even the 3DS is struggling a bit there, lagging behind the 360 and PS3 despite the price making it about as expensive as a DS (which is why Iwata said sales are not satisfactory yet). If not even Mario can sell a $150 console, imagine what could sell a $250 one.

          • Yep. That’s pretty much my train of thought. Nintendo’s 3DS forecast for this year is 18.5 million units worldwide, and that’s with Mario and Animal and a bunch of other games. 

  • I’m not an analyst or business observant but I hope they do better because I love Playstation.

  • SirRichard

    They’re pretty confident, aren’t they? Here’s hoping E3 can convince the rest of us.

  • XYZ_JolteonZ980

    Didnt they also mention they sold 1.8mln vitas? To get 16 mln this year, I guess they actually have some impressive measures planned for the summer and the holidays in JPN and outside, guess they will bring some momentum for Vita at e3.

    PS3 seemed to barely fall.

  • Well… It’s not as bad as Microsoft’s sales of Xbox 360 down by 48%….

    • malek86

      If you only consider the videogame business, maybe. Microsoft’s entertainment division still made more money than Sony’s this year though. Although in both cases, those numbers included some failing divisions (smartphones for MS, televisions for Sony) that must have skewered the results. So we don’t really know how badly they have it.

      Even so, if you consider the entire company, I think Sony can only wish they were in Microsoft’s position right now.

      •  They also don’t have to deal with yen conversion rates and natural disasters…

        • malek86

          True enough, but Sony has been losing money for the last four years straight. Can’t just blame the tsunami for that. And other japanese companies are having to deal with the weak yen, while still managing to make money (even Toshiba, whom Sony has defeated in the format war…). It’s obvious that whatever’s wrong, it lies within Sony, not in some natural disaster or makret condition. If their strategy were good, they would be much better off now.

          Look at the irony of that. Sony won the format war, but is now suffering years after years of losses. Toshiba lost the format war, but now is making quite steady profits.

          • Only if you are talking as an entire company.  The games division has not had 4 years of losses.

            Comparatively the xbox gaming division had something like 7+ years of straight loses, a couple of years of profits, and then again returned to losses…


    Vita sold 1.8 million units as of March 31,2012 worldwide

    Vita sold 1.2 million units as of Feburary 2012, meaning that Vita sold 600k during March.

    • Not bad for launch sales. Now comes the hard part, which is actually sustaining them.

  • So, where are all the doom and gloom posts about Sony’s losses?

  • Peace Legacy

    Holy cr4p, Playstation 2 still sells even in 2011?  Approx to PSP without any new title at that

    • komiko12

      Quite shocking! Around 4 million units sold! Do they still make new games for the PS2?

      • Anime10121

         Dont need to, the PS2 has so many awesome games that’ll never get old.  Heck somebody buying a PS2 right now has HUNDREDS of good games to go, hundreds of mediocre games, and plenty more crap like licensed games and such.

        • komiko12

          I’d rather ignore those crap ones. hehehe
          It’s not that I didn’t expect PS2 would sell. It was more that I was shocked they are continuing making PS2 units. I thought it would be phased out or something. But I guess it’s still alive and kicking.

          • malek86

            It’s still quite the popular console in some developing countries, due to the low price tag.

          • komiko12

            I am living in a developing country and the ones I know that own a PS3 are really few. My friends just stick with their old PS2 and that’s because in our country’s standards, PS3 units and games are so damn exppensive.

          • Anime10121

            Well they wont faze it out until it stops selling as the PS2 is sold at profit so thats basically a LOT of money coming in, even if they only made $10 off of each console (which I know they’re making way more than that) thats $40,000,000 in profit.  They are NOT gonna throw money like that away :P

          • komiko12

            Well nobody should throw money away in the first place. ^^
            I think that is the advantage of PS2 – being affordable while offering a great selection of games

      • It sells in countries like India, where it’s affordable and a cheaper solution than current gen systems. And in some cases, yes, games are still being made by local developers. Nothing major, but there is new software.

        • komiko12

          I see, thank you for clarifying that. ^^

  • theoriginaled

    :/ sales figures are going to keep going down at this point. The next generation is practically here and the ps3 is showing its age.

  • boundries_san

    While i believe, for PS3 to reach 16m this year, i just can’t see that happening for PSP and PSV atm.

    PSV needs a lot of support to even survive this year.Hope that E3 and new Inafune game for PSV will be able to increase their sales as Sony is not really in a good shape atm.

    • XYZ_JolteonZ980

      Believe it for ps vita and psp. I dont recall any recent time where sony failed to meet their hardware targets extensively falling short.

    • KHSoraKeyBlade

      I’m pretty sure all the Vita needs is Monster Hunter and then the sales will go up. As for outside of Japan I don’t know what the killer app will be.

      I can’t see the Vita winning for me this year what with KH3D, Fire Emblem, Animal Crossing, Luigi’s Mansion 2, NSMB2 and a few others coming out this year on the 3DS I am pretty much set for what Nintendo throw at me. Otherwise the Vita really only has me at Gravity Rush right now but like you mentioned, E3 really needs to showcase some stuff, guess we’ll have to wait and see.

      • boundries_san

        The problem is MH is now not exclusive only for PS handheld as Nintendo now also had MH on 3DS. People who bought MH on 3DS will probably think that it will be a waste to buy another handheld just to play one game.

        And, i don’t really like if one company is too dependent to one third party title here as the moment the third party developers left them, they are surely to fall.

        • Givemeblood…Nyaa

          Unleast Capcom change idea MH4 will be exclusive to the 3DS.

          If MH4 is really exclusive to 3DS then Sony will lose lot of Vita sales.

          • boundries_san

            Well seeing Vita atm and how MH TriG is still selling on the chart each week…… i don’t think Capcom will move from the profit truck here.

        •  Even if it’s not exclusive it will still sell bucketloads, same deal with other non-exclusive titles like SF4.

          • Monster Hunter is not going to have nearly the same effect on Vita that it did on PSP. 

  • canarinta

    I’m pretty happy Sony’s getting profits now. :D

  • ShawnOtakuSomething

    Odd when Nintendo Sales are bad all we hear is trolololololo but when sonys is bad *tears* hmmmmm  don’t see the fairness in that *voice in your head* “Welcome to the internet”

    • boundries_san

      Well i love both company so i never shout trolololol. I always hoped for the best of both company here.^^ As competition is always a good thing and hell no to stagnation here.

      • ShawnOtakuSomething


  • Domii

    Software moves the industry people. I believe Sony’s e3 presentation will be huge, and they will exceed their expectations by the end of their fiscal year. The only thing that it’s holding the Vita back in my opinion, is the memory card prices, but other than that, Sony will get the games up and running by the end of this year trust me. I said it many times already, Sony’s major concern right now is to establish themselves in the western region with the Vita.
    The Vita will sell gangbusters this year.
    How do I know this? Lets just say I have my sources lol

  • Göran Isacson

    It’s a pretty telling feat that when Gravity Rush hits here in Europe, I’m going to buy that game… despite having not yet bought a PSVita. What can I say- holding out on a good deal for the console shouldn’t go out over the games I want to play one day.

  • Kitestwinblades

    My Ps3 broke last sunday. Had a quick power outage and for some reason the Ethernet is freezing the console. This actually happened before but during a lightning storm when i wasnt home XD fried the bluetooth board and I was so pissed when I got back. I just have horrible luck with the Ethernet ports lol

    I’m picking one up soon but I’m not sure if I should wait for after E3 or not. They usually bundle games and stuff with the console around then. Definitely switching to Wi-Fi when I do. IN ANY CASE XD that’s another PS3 sale for them and the titles coming out later this year are worth owning one alone(or SOME new console lol).
    I’m sure they’ll do fine.

    • PoweredByHentai

      I think it might be a good idea for you to consider buying a back-up battery system.  Surge protectors are useful only up to a certain point.  If your area has frequent random brown-outs, then it helps a great deal to have a back-up battery system protecting your expensive electronics.

      • Kitestwinblades

        Yeah, I get a lot of storms and occasional outages.
        My Electronics vs. The World  ( ̄□ ̄;)

        I actually had no idea things like this existed(which is quite silly). I thought generators took care of all that for large establishments. Whenever I saw this in person,  overgrown serge protector was the first thing to come to mind. But for it to give instant power… that’s definitely a must for me. I even found some small ones! X3 So this, some warranty, and a keen eye on weather.
        I think I’ll be set for sure this time  Thanks, Hentai XD

        • PoweredByHentai

          Yeah, I have two back-up battery systems that I picked up from Amazon and Fry’s so I was pretty much set when it came to dealing with the random brown-outs in my area.  Even back in November, when the high winds took out power to both the LAX area and Pasadena area, those battery systems saved my bacon.

    •  buy an xbox 360, GOD BLESS AMERICA!!!

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