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Sony expects to recoup PlayStation 4 hardware loss at launch

Because average users will buy Plus subscription and games.

PlayStation 4 hardware will make a loss at launch, but Sony expects to immediately recoup the costs when a typical user also buys a PlayStation Plus subscription and games.

Sony Japan executive Masayasu Ito made the comment to Eurogamer today in an interview at the company's Tokyo headquarters.

Eurogamer has heard from well-placed sources that Sony expects to make an approximate $60 loss per $399 unit sold. When presented with the figure, Ito denied it - but only because the company expects a typical user to buy a console with these other items.

Ito would not be drawn on whether more than one launch title would need to be bought before the whole equation resulted in Sony making money, just that the company expected to turn a profit on an average user's initial purchase.

The purchase of one launch title and a Plus subscription would indeed total close to, if not more than, the $60 mark.

But even without the purchase of these items, PlayStation 4 will incur a profit at a sooner point than PlayStation 3, Ito concluded.

Nintendo made a similar comment prior to the launch of Wii U - its console was also sold at a loss but would become profitable with the purchase of a single game.

Last month Sony Computer Entertainment boss Andrew House said he expected PlayStation 4 launch-related losses to come in below those of the PlayStation 3.

Chief financial officer Masaru Kato added at the time that because the PS4 features PC-like architecture - as opposed to the custom components featured inside the PS3 - the cost of production is "much, much smaller".