Sony Games Division Finally Profitable Again

You mean people really are buying PlayStation 3s?

It’s been a long time coming but finally, more than a year after launch, (except in the UK because we don’t count) Sony’s gaming corps is once again in the black. After some well publicised struggles with its new gaming machine, due to a combination poor sales, high prices and a lack of attractive gaming titles, the gaming division has finally restored some of the respect it earned during the PS1 and PS2 years – tea, crumpets and pats on the back all around at Sony head office then!

This turnabout arises from a number of factors, with an obvious contender being the dramatic price cut of the company’s PlayStation 3 console, which can now be had for as little as £280 in the UK – down from a £415 launch price. Indeed, Sony has sold around 4.9 million PS3s in the last quarter, which bodes well for the readjusted yearly estimate of 9.5 million consoles shifted (previously 11 million).

So, what’s caused this upturn in fortunes? A cynic might suggest that the continuing shortage of Nintendo’s Wii and ongoing problems (or at least complaints) regarding the reliability of Microsoft’s Xbox 360, but I’m more inclined to suggest that the presence of worthwhile titles (Ratchet and Clank, Uncharted, Burnout) and lower price tag have played a large role. In addition, the impression – though not final – that Blu-ray has all but won the format war may have also helped…but it’s mostly the games, honest guv’nor.

It will likely take Sony a while longer to actually recover from the undoubtedly large hole the ongoing losses by its games division has worn in the larger company’s pocket, but the general consensus has to be thumbs up all around.

While on the subject of Sony profit it’s also worth mentioning that the company as a whole has posted a 25 per cent increase in income (I wish I could boast the same), citing good digital camera sales as a large contributor.

All in all, a good time to be investing in Sony shares methinks.

NY Times report.

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