The 2011 fiscal year is over for Sony which means its time for them to tell their investors how they did. This year, the news is not good. Sony’s Consumer Products and Services Division, which includes the Playstation family, PCs, Cameras, and LCD TVs, posted a 2.8 billion dollar loss for 2011. Sony blamed their losses on PS3 price cuts and slowing PS2 sales. The PSP, PS3, and the PS2 all declined from FY10, which is to be expected at this point in the hardware cycle. One of the few bright spots for Sony is that PS3 software sales have increased.
Sony posted some lofty expectations for FY12. They predict that they will sell 16 million combined units of PS2 and PS3 hardware next year. This year, Sony sold 13.9 million PS3 units, and 4.1 million PS2 units. Sony expects to sell 16 million portable consoles, but did not give a specific breakdown of their expectations for the Vita and the PSP. The PSP sold 6.8 million units last year.
What are the implications of this news for gamers? On the Vita front, Sony’s expectations are incredibly optimistic. The PSP market has all but disappeared in the US, and the 3DS is enjoying a great degree of success in the East.. It’s hard to imagine PSP sales exceeding 5 million units. This means that Sony is expecting the Vita to sell somewhere in the neighborhood of 10 million units the next fiscal year. Unless Sony is outright lying, they presumably know something that we don’t know about Vita’s hardware. I would expect a huge focus on the Vita at E3.
With this news, we can make some educated guesses about the PS4. It’s difficult to imagine Sony following the same strategy as they did with the PS3 and creating an incredibly powerful piece of hardware that they will lose money on. Sony doesn’t seem to be in the financially healthy enough to absorb a huge loss. We can also guess that Sony will try to prolong this current generation of consoles as long as they can. Unless Nintendo’s Wii U is a true evolutionary leap over the X-Box 360 and PS3, I’d expect Sony to try and ride the PS3’s momentum as far as it can take them.
Those are just one man’s educated opinions. What do you think of this news and how it will effect you as a gamer?