Impressive sales of the PlayStation 4 helped Sony post increased profit in its recent financial quarter.
In its financial reports Sony lumps sales of all home PlayStation consoles together, so we don't have an updated figure for the PS4 (it was 4.2m as of 28th December 2013). However, we do know that PS4 and PS3 sales combined were for the quarter ending 31st December 2013 7.8m. Combined Vita and PSP sales for the quarter were 2m.
Sony's Game division, which looks after PlayStation, saw an impressive 64.6 per cent rise in sales year-on-year to $4.2bn. Why? Because of the launch of the PlayStation in Europe, North America and Latin America in November as well as the favourable impact of foreign exchange rates.
It all amounted to a profit of $172m for the Game business. Kerching.
PlayStation helped Sony to a healthy $257m profit for the quarter off the back of $22bn in revenue - a jump in sales of 23.9 per cent. Also doing well for the wider group were sales of smartphones, which saw a "significant increase".
However, the results come amid sweeping changes at the gargantuan Japanese company. Today it announced the sale of its PC business and drastic changes to its TV business - as well as 5000 layoffs.
Sony will sell its PC business, which includes the Vaio brand, to Japan Industrial Partners, a move it describes as the "optimal solution" to the problem it faced achieving profitability. The deal will be completed by the end of March 2014. After that, Sony will no longer plan, design or develop PC products, and manufacturing and sales will be discontinued after the spring 2014 lineup is launched globally, although Sony will initially retain a five per cent stake in JIP.
On the TV side of things, Sony admitted it will not return to profitability within the 2013 financial year due to "the slowdown in emerging markets and declining currency rates". So, it plans to focus on the 4K market while reducing costs. More importantly, it will split out the TV business and operate it as a wholly-owned subsidiary, a move to be completed by July 2014. These measures, Sony hopes, will return the TV business to profitability during the 2014 financial year.
These changes mean 5000 people will be let go by the end of the year, Sony said. That's 1500 in Japan and 3500 elsewhere. It looks like PlayStation has escaped the cull.
As a result of the restructuring, Sony expects to see a loss for the full financial year - somewhat surprising given it had previously predicted a profit. Kaz has more more work to do, then.