PlayStation Vita forecasts cut, but electronics giant is pulling out of financial dive

PlayStation division sales dip 15%

Sony’s PlayStation business has declined 15 per cent year-on-year, while the electronics maker continues its effort to cut its losses across its entire corporation.

PlayStation sales decreased 15.1 per cent year-on-year to 268.5 billion yen ($3,086 million) for the period October to December 2012, due to significantly lower sales of PS3 and PSP hardware. Operating income decreased 29.2 billion yen year-on-year to 4.6 billion yen ($53m).

This was partially offset by the sales of its new handheld system, PlayStation Vita, introduced in December 2011. But as a result of the “slow penetration”, Sony has now amended its forecasted sales since its November 2012 report. It now expects sales and operating income to decrease significantly year-on-year.

“In the game business, Sony is working to expand sales and operating income through the introduction of an attractive software line-up and through offering game software on mobile devices, including smartphones and tablets,” said Sony in its quarterly report.

Sony’s games division is looking leaner following the closure of three of its first-party studios, Bigbig, Zipper Interactive and Studio Liverpool. The latter was one of the oldest games studios in the UK, having been founded as Psygnosis in 1984. All of the aforementioned studios developed their swansong titles for the PS Vita.

The reason for these closures is partly due to Sony’s mammoth recovery plan. Sony CEO Kaz Hirai announced the some 10,000 jobs would go last year as the company battles to right itself from failures in its electronics and photography businesses. In April, Sony said that its restricting plan ‘would not’ affect its stable of games studios, but its actions indicate otherwise.

Sign’s suggest that Hirai’s plan is working though, as the electronics giant posted an overall net loss of 10.8 billion yen ($115m; £73m) compared to 159bn yen for the same quarter in 2011.

Sony is expected to unveil its next generation successor to the PS3 at an event in New York later this month.

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