Sony sales highlight PlayStation Vita's struggle

Sales down, profits down, forecasts down.

UPDATE: We've just listened in to Sony's investor call, where shareholders have the chance to ask questions about the company's results. Sony refused to break down individual platform sales for PlayStation Vita when asked, despite having done so in the past.

The company also noted that its software sales report does not count digital downloads, which may have negatively affected overall totals.

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The results are the first since ex-PlayStation boss Kaz Hirai formally took charge of the entire Sony business.

ORIGINAL STORY: Sony has checked in with its quarterly sales report, which paints a moody picture of the company's Game division and business as a whole.

Sales in the Game segment sunk 14.5 per cent year-on-year, providing a loss of 3.5 billion yen (28.69m). This time last year, that number was a positive 4.1 billion yen.

Sony blamed this on falling PS3 and PSP sales, which were only "partially" offset by sales of PlayStation Vita. Sony, however, chose not to reveal specific Vita sales, which were instead lumped together with sales of PSP - which still outsells Vita, weekly, in Japan.

Even combined, PSP and Vita sales were less (1.4 million) than what PSP managed alone during April-June last year (1.8 million).

This report was the first in which Sony lumped PS2 and PS3 sales together, as well. Combined, those two home consoles sold 2.8 million units - down from 3.2 million the year before.

Software sales dipped, too. Combined sales of PSP and Vita games were 5.8 million - that's less than PSP's sole total of 6.6 million for the same period last year.

"Sales are expected to be essentially flat and operating income is expected to decrease significantly year-on-year."

In home console land, 20.1 million PS3 and PS2 games were sold. But again, that was down on the year before, when 27.6 million games were shifted.

As a result, Sony's lowered Game expectations for the year head (ending March 2013). The division will see "essentially flat" year-on-year figures, Sony predicted, and operating income will "decrease significantly".

PSP and Vita will also sell less than Sony had previously expected. The forecast had been 16 million combined sales, but that's been revised down to 12 million.

Nevertheless, Sony's relatively stable Game performance will be the least of its worries.

Overall, Sony Corporation recorded a total loss of 200 million for the quarter - the majority of which was lost in the business' mobile and TV divisions.

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