Is Sony a sinking ship?

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Sony (like everybody else, it seems) has released its quarterly financials – and things are not looking particularly rosy for the company that dominated the video game market just one generation ago.

According to Sony, demand for its home console hardware – the PlayStation 3 and the PlayStation 2 – has dipped considerably. It’s moved 2.8 million consoles fir the quarter (ending June), down from the 3.2 million units they moved in the same period last year.  Handheld systems are down even more – despite the relatively recent release of their sexy new handheld, the PlayStation Vita.

They’ve remained a little mum on specifics, lumping the Vita and the aeons-old PSP together obfuscating the Vita’s reportedly low numbers. Combined, the Vita and the PSP sold 1.4 million units, down from the 1.8 million units the PSP did on its own the year before. you might thik the drop in sales can be attributed to the fact that everybody who wants a PlayStation already has one; so game sales should be up. Unfortunately, that’s not the case.

Software sales are down by seven million units across home consoles, and down by  one million units across handhelds.

What it means for Sony is that the company’s once very profitable video game division is now posting an operating loss of $45 million. Is Sony out for the count?

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I doubt it; in fact I think that the company’s PlayStation 3 Super Slim  – if it’s real, and cheap enough – could stimulate the entire videogame industry, which is in a bit of a doldrums at the moment.

Last Updated: August 2, 2012

Geoffrey Tim

Editor. I'm old, grumpy and more than just a little cynical. One day, I found myself in possession of a NES, and a copy of Super Mario Bros 3. It was that game that made me realise that games were more than just toys to idly while away time - they were capable of being masterpieces. I'm here now, looking for more of those masterpieces.

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