PlayStation helps Sony to big profits, but mobile’s struggling
Sony is actually doing all right despite a lot of turmoil, and it’s got the PlayStation 4 to thank. This quarter, the company moved 3 million PS4s, bringing total sales of the console to 25.3 million units. Peripheral and software shipments also went up, boosting gaming revenue by 12.1 percent over last year. Despite lower PS3 sales, the division still hit 288.6 billion yen ($2.3 billion) and made around $160 million. Sony recently said that the PS4 is outselling the Xbox One in most of Europe by nearly double, and has outsold its rival considerably overall. It originally expected to sell 16 million PS4s in 2015, but has now bumped that forecast to 16.5 million.
Sony’s imaging division also did its part. Sony Devices makes the sensors in many high-end smartphones, including models from Apple and Samsung. That unit saw a 35.1 percent increase in sales to 237.9 billion yen ($2 billion), and the company recently said it would invest up to $3.6 billion to boost sensor production. Its Imaging Division (cameras) also saw a 5 percent increase in sales and made 21.3 billion yen in profit ($174 million) thanks to popular (and expensive) cameras like the Sony RX100 IV and Alpha A7 II.
Unfortunately, Sony’s Mobile division continues to be a black hole sucking profits. Sales dropped 16.3 percent over last year, though Sony claims that was partly due to “a strategic decision not to pursue scale in order to improve profitability.” In other words, Sony’s trying to focus on profitable high-end smartphones like the Xperia Z3+, but so far the plan isn’t exactly working. Another division not doing well is Sony Pictures, which dropped 11.9 percent thanks to lower licensing revenues.
Despite that, the company still made 82.44 billion yen in net income ($665 million), triple the profits of last year. That means that the turnaround under CEO Kaz Hirai is actually working, other than in mobile. We’re not sure how much more patience he has for that division, but if it doesn’t start making money soon, it could end up on the Vaio chopping block.