Sony Post Q1 Loss, Lower PlayStation Vita And PSP Sales Forecast

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In May, when Sony published their annual earnings report for the year gone by, the company reported a loss of 456.7 billion yen ($5.7 billion), blaming the 2011 Tohoku earthquake, a PlayStation 3 price cut, and the currency exchange rate.


The upside to Sony’s report was that they predicted an upswing in PlayStation hardware sales for the year head.


For their ongoing fiscal year, Sony projected they would sell 16 million units of PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 2 combined, and another 16 million units of PlayStation Vita and PSP combined (split as 10 million Vitas and 6 million PSPs).


Things aren’t quite on track on that front, though. In an earnings reports for their first quarter, Sony reported combined PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 2 hardware sales of 2.8 million units, down from 3.2 million during the same period last year. At the same time, Vita and PSP sales were also down to 1.4 million, compared to 1.8 million during the same first quarter last year.


Sony have also revised their hardware sales forecast for the rest of their fiscal year. While they still hope to sell 16 million PS3s and PS2s by March 2013, the Vita and PSP forecast has been reduced from 16 million to 12 million. Total software sales for the four devices are expected to remain approximately the same as 2011 (unchanged from their previous estimate).


Overall, Sony reported revenues of 1.6 trillion yen ($19.18 billion) in their first quarter, up 1.4% from the previous year.They also reported a loss of 24.6 billion yen (approx. $312 million) in their first quarter, up from last year’s loss of 15.5 billion yen during the same period. The losses are blamed primarily on the company’s Mobile Products & Communications division, which posted operating losses of 28 billion yen.


Meanwhile, Sony’s games division posted an operating loss of 3.5 billion yen ($45 million), down from Q1 2011’s operating profit of 4.1 billion yen, as PlayStation hardware sales continue to decline.


Sony’s revenue expectations for the full year have been lowered from 7.4 trillion yen ($92.9 billion) to 6.8 trillion yen.

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Ishaan Sahdev
Ishaan specializes in game design/sales analysis. He's the former managing editor of Siliconera and wrote the book "The Legend of Zelda - A Complete Development History". He also used to moonlight as a professional manga editor. These days, his day job has nothing to do with games, but the two inform each other nonetheless.