Fri, Feb 08, 2013 - Page 15 News List

Sony trims losses, profit on track

NEW GAME:The Japanese electronics giant is expected to launch a new PlayStation console on Feb. 20 in New York — seven years after the launch of the PlayStation 3

AFP, TOKYO

A customer checks Sony Corp’s latest 84-inch flat-panel LCD TV, the Bravia X9000, at a discount chain store in Tokyo, Japan, yesterday.

Photo: EPA

Japanese electronics giant Sony yesterday said that its net loss from April to December shrank to ¥50.87 billion (US$544 million), compared with a ¥201.45 billion loss in the same period a year earlier, adding that it was on track to achieve a net profit of ¥20 billion in the year to March.

The results, which follow reports that Sony will this month announce the launch of its latest PlayStation games console later this year, showed that the firm also returned to profitability on the operating side compared with a year earlier.

Its nine-month operating profit was ¥82.96 billion, reversing a year-earlier operating loss of ¥65.86 billion, Sony said.

Sales in the period increased 3.6 percent to ¥5.07 trillion thanks to strong demand for mobile products and movies, offsetting falling sales of LCD televisions and in the key games unit, the company said.

Last month, Sony said it was selling its US headquarters in Manhattan for about US$1.1 billion as part of a huge restructuring, with separate reports saying it may also unload one of its main buildings in Tokyo, which houses the company’s struggling television division.

Sony’s announcement of new PlayStation console will come at a “PlayStation Meeting” set for Feb. 20 in New York, the Asahi Shimbun newspaper and Kyodo news agency reported yesterday.

Sony declined to comment on the reports.

The company last week sent out invitations to a mystery event in New York, but declined to give details, sparking rumors the world would get its first look at the newest console, seven years after the PlayStation 3 (PS3) was launched.

The mass-circulation Asahi said that the PlayStation 4 would be launched for the year-end shopping season in Japan and the US with a price tag of more than ¥40,000.

Its controller would look similar to the PS3, but would have an embedded touch pad, the daily said.

A powerful microchip would let users download games, music and videos faster than smartphones or personal computers, while a “share” button would make it possible to upload Twitter and Facebook messages, it said.

The PlayStation series has proved a huge hit with games fans. The PS3, which was released in November 2006, has sold more than 75 million units, while the first PlayStation, launched in 1994, sold more than 100 million. In addition, more than 155 million units of the PlayStation 2 have been sold since its debut in 2000, making it one of the best-selling consoles of all time.

Sony rose 2.56 percent to ¥1,519 yesterday in Tokyo.

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