While Sony is struggling as a corporation, its gaming division is doing what it can to bring in the cash.
The PlayStation 4 is already making money for the Japanese company after only half a year on the market. Sony chief executive officer Kazuo Hirai revealed that the latest console is booming and that the hardware itself is actually contributing to Sony’s bottom line. This is different from prior PlayStation systems, which Sony typically lost money on for the first several years.
“From a profitability perspective, PS4 is already contributing profit on a hardware unit basis, establishing a very different business framework from that of previous platform businesses,” said Hirai.
While we’re only six months out from PS4’s November launch, it took Sony more than three and a half years, from November 2006 to June 2010, to squeeze a profit out of the PlayStation 3.
The big difference this time around is that Sony is using a off-the-shelf PC components for the PS4. In November, research firm IHS found that Sony was spending around $381 to build its latest home console. Those prices have obviously come down, which is enabling Hirai to claim a profit even after the cost of shipping each system around the world.
The PS4 is available in 72 countries. In the U.S. it retails for $400, which, until recently, was $100 less than the competing Xbox One. This has helped Sony’s system get well ahead of Microsoft’s device. As of early April, Sony has sold 7 million PS4s to customers. Microsoft has shipped 5 million Xbox Ones to retailers (which means the consumers have not bought all of them yet).
“It’s been a hugely successful launch, but the key to the long-term success of the platform lies in how solidly we can continue to grow the installed base,” said Hirai. “In terms of game titles for PS4, as of April 13, 47 titles had been launched with a total of 20.5 million units being sold via retailers and over the network on the PlayStation Store.”
Sony should roll into the upcoming Electronic Entertainment Expo tradeshow as the clear market leader. During that event, the company plans to unveil its next batch of software to support the PS4. Gamers can likely expect more information on previously announced titles as well as big reveals when Sony Computer Entertainment holds its media briefing on the evening of June 9.
Sony isn’t waiting for E3 to show off everything. The company announced plans to stream gameplay from “an upcoming PS4 title” on Twitch starting at 1 p.m. Pacific time. You can check it out on the official PlayStation Twitch channel: