Sony released its earnings report for the 2011 fiscal year late last week, showcasing both promising and ugly news for company investors and fans of the PlayStation brand.
There's plenty to take out of Sony's year, and while the company is fledging after a multi-billion dollar loss, it's turning to advanced game development and the expansion of the PlayStation brand to help maintain consumer confidence, which is an especially good outcome for gamers.
- Sony lost $6.4 billion during the 2011 fiscal year.
- Year PlayStation 3 sales of 13.9 million is down more than 300,000 units on the previous year.
- Company cites Japan earthquake as major contributor for massive losses.
- Also cites US tax loopholes for falling sales.
The PlayStation Brand
While sales for the Consumer Sales and Purchases sector at Sony, the group that handles the PlayStation brand, are down 18.3 million, the company never actually cites PlayStation as a major contributor to that damning statistic.
Interestingly, the PSP sold 6.8 million units in the year, down 1.2 million on the year before. While that is certainly a massive drop in sales for the hardware, the sales figure alone showcases that the product still has worth in the market, some seven years since it first launched in Japan.
As for PlayStation 2, the console that launched in 2000 is still somewhat relevant, selling 4.1 million units for the year, although that figure is down from 6.4 million in 2010.
But What Does This All Mean?
For gamers, it means more games, because it's clear that the PlayStation brand still has plenty of worth, and that consumers have faith in the products. The fact that so many PlayStation 2 consoles are still being sold is particularly fascinating, although one would imagine that recent launches in Latin America and parts of Asia have helped drive sales for the twelve year-old console.
As for the PlayStation 3, sales are now at approximately 64 million, behind Xbox 360's 67 million units sold.
Interestingly, Xbox 360's monthly sales average out to 860,000 a month, while roughly 941,000 PS3 units are sold per month on average. That's a fascinating statistics, and an especially promising one for Sony.
OK, And The Games?
Gamers are buying PlayStation brand games in droves, with PlayStation 3 (unsurprisingly) leading the way. Software sales for 2011 were up almost nine million the year before at 156 million.
And if you thought the PSP was hurt by piracy, the fact the hardware still managed software sales of 32.2 million, albeit down 14 million on the year before, is indicative of the handheld's underrated worth.
What Can We Expect At E3?
There's no doubting that Sony has big plans for E3, with the company iterating its software focus for Vita, and bringing a number of exclusive third-party (and unannounced first-party) titles to the new hardware. While sales are lagging -- only 1.8 million Vita's have been sold up until March 2012 -- all signs point to a strong E3 showing for the product, and the PlayStation brand in general.
By Gaetano Prestia - Bio