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PS4 development costs eats into PlayStation profit

PlayStation R&D increased by £75m

Increased research and development expenses related to PS4 were a key cause for the PlayStation division's significant operating loss in Sony's first financial quarter, the company has told investors.

In the three months ended June 30, the games unit generated sales of 118 billion yen (£789m / 1.2bn) - essentially flat when compared to the same quarter last year.

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Sony said this figure was reached by a mixture of slowing hardware sales and an uptake in software. Unit sales of PS3, PSP, and PS2 hardware all fell (Sony neglected to mention Vita here), but this loss was offset by the favourable impact of foreign exchange rates and increased game sales.

The company bundled together PS3 and PS2 in its home console sales figures, and Vita and PSP in its handheld numbers. Combined PS3 and PS2 hardware sales came in at 1.1 million for the quarter, compared to 2.8 million a year earlier, while combined Vita and PSP sales totalled 600,000, down from 1.4 million.

Software sales for all platforms hit 64 million units - up from 43 million a year earlier.

However, the PlayStation division's operating losses increased by 11 billion yen (£75m / $114m) to reach about 15 billion yen (£99m / $150m) - a significant rise that squeezed profit margins.

Sony said the increase was primarily due to research and development costs related to PS4.

The corporation's full-year forecast for PlayStation hardware and software sales remains unchanged from its May outlook. It expects to shift a combined total of ten million PS3 and PS2 units, five million portable systems, and 319 million games.

As a whole, the wider company's revenues were up 13 per cent year-on-year to 1712.7 billion yen (£11.5b / $17.3b), helping it swing from a loss of 24.6 billion yen (£165m / $250m) to a profit of 3.5 billion yen (£23m / $35m).


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