PlayStation boss John Kodera said a few months ago that he suspects Sony is getting close to selling as many PS4 consoles as ever. Falling hardware sales are part of the console's natural life cycle, of course, but it does not seem to have any effect yet. From April to June Sony changed 3.2 million PS4s – only 100,000 less than sold in the same period last year. Only over 40 million games were purchased and the number of PlayStation Plus subscribers remained relatively stable at 33.9 million (from 34.2 million at the end of March). In total, the Sony PlayStation arm has captured nearly $ 750 million in profits (JP ¥ 83.5 billion), which is more than twice as much as another department.
Although console sales start to sink, there are plenty of highly anticipated games coming out that will keep money flowing in the right direction. Battlefield V and Red Dead Redemption 2 Spider-Man The game is coming in just over a month and then it's Assassin's Creed: Odyssey ] all fall in October. In the longer term, players also have Ghost of Tsushima and Hideo Kojima's eery Death Stranding to look forward.
If PlayStation is Sony's golden goose, the smartphone section is the tower in its side. A few months ago, Mobile actually made Sony some money, but it seems to have been an instant deviation from the norm. Smartphones lost the company around $ 247 million (JP ¥ 27.6 billion) in the previous fiscal year, and the first three months of the new financial calendar do not provide better news. Another loss of almost $ 97 million (JP ¥ 10.8 billion) is the wart of today's books, and Sony does not expect it to get any better. In its forecasts for the rest of the year, the company expects sales to fall further, mainly in Europe, and the already "serious competition" is facing even more tougher. The Xperia XZ2 family has not blown anyone out, it seems, and the new mid-rangers and XZ2 Premium are unlikely to reverse the division's assets.
Sony Pictures also lost some money to the company in the quarter, but it is quite good for the course. The movie biz was around $ 68 million (JP ¥ 7.6 billion) in red, but it is less than the company lost in the same period last year. Only two films were released during the quarter, and Sicario: The soldier's day was only in cinemas for two days before the books were closed for another three months. At the end of the last fiscal year, Sony Pictures achieved a profit of nearly $ 370 million (JP ¥ 41.1 billion), so a sketchy first quarter should not be a cause for concern – the people upload full movies to YouTube instead of followers However, it may be.
Sony's other departments are pretty good. Its music department brought in around $ 288 million in profits (JP ¥ 32.1 billion) thanks to strong streaming revenues and the success of the mobile free-to-play game Fate / Grand Order which is lumped into category. At the end of this fiscal year in March 2019, Sony said it would stop creating physical PS Vita games. With The Fate / Grand Order is going well, maybe the future of Sony's handheld gaming strategy will contain more mobile titles.
The home entertainment and audio division made a healthy $ 156 million 17.4 billion) in profits, mainly due to increased TV and headphone sales. Sony's camera business also had a strong quarter, with a profit of around $ 234 million. Sales of Sony products under the semiconductor banner – including camera modules and smartphone sensors – kept true. The department estimated $ 261 million (JP ¥ 29.1 billion) in profits, which is surprising because it is one of Son's most stable businesses. Most big-name smartphones use Sony sensors, and the new 48-megapixel number announced a week ago will undoubtedly find a home in the next-generation flagship.
Everything said, it's a dramatic quarter for Sony. Playstation hardware, software and services continue to record the largest numbers, and other departments perform characteristically. The company is flushing money from selling some of its Spotify shares after the streaming service was released earlier this year, banking $ 768 million or $ 501 million in pre-tax profit after expenses. It looks good that Sony has not changed its forecast for the year, but warns that it will hit when it completes the purchase of $ 2.3 billion of a significant piece of EMI Music Publishing.
The elephant in space is Sony's smartphone division, but again, it has been lurking for some time now. With all other parts of the business due to making money this year, how long is new CEO Yoshida going to continue to bankroll a historic loss-making division that does not show any signs of recovery in the near future?