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Annual PS3 sales down, Vita sales withheld

Sony Corporation loses billions of pounds.

Update: A subsequent and soporific earnings call has revealed a new worldwide Vita sales total as well as an ambitious sales forecast for the year ahead.

Original story: Sony's full-year financial results for April 2011 to March 2012 are a frown personified.

Sony Corporation, as a whole, lost $5.55 billion (US dollar conversion supplied by Sony, accurate as of 31st March 2011, when the financial year ended). That's -£3.44 billion.

Sony had braced for worse but, nevertheless, this is still Sony's biggest loss in at least a decade.

Obligatory Kaz Hirai cackle pic.

The PlayStation business, part of the Consumer Products and Services division, lost $2.80 billion (-£1.74 billion). This includes the ailing telly business, but remember that Kaz Hirai reshuffled Sony after his appointment as CEO on 1st April.

Nonetheless, Sony also singled out a decrease in 'game business' sales. This was predominantly due to lower hardware sales and less money made - thanks to the August 2011 PS3 price cut.

Sony sold fewer PS3s last year than the year before - 13.9 million compared with 14.3 million. Nevertheless, it was still Sony's second strongest PS3-selling year. The worldwide PS3 sales total now stands at 63.9 million.

Sony sold fewer PS2s - 4.1 million compared with 6.4 million last year. This was put down to "platform migration".

Sony sold fewer PSPs - 6.8 million compared with 8 million last year. This was the lowest annual tally the PSP has recorded in five years.

But what about the PS Vita? Sony, ominously, hasn't released numbers [see the update at the top of the page -Ed].

Sony's presentation slides group PSP and Vita sales together at 6.8 million - the same total attributed to PSP on Sony Computer Entertainment's corporate site. But whether that 6.8 million figure actually includes Vita sales up to 31st March 2011 is unclear.

Next year, however, Sony expects PSP and Vita to combine to make 16 million sales.

Sony expects the same from combined PS2 and PS3 sales, which represents a year on year drop of 2 million units.

Sony also expects to turn a company-wide profit of 30 billion yen (£234 million) by the end of March 2013. Can super-Kaz do it?

Incidentally, other major contributing factors worth bearing in mind are collateral from the Great East Japan Earthquake (March 2011) and damage from floods in Thailand (autumn 2011). There's also the horrid currency conversion, and that huge tax loss Sony detailed recently.

Sony didn't specify how much the PSN Hack of April 2011 cost. Remember, Sony estimated the bill at £105 million last year.