Sony expects hefty PS4 sales
Sony Corp. expects the PlayStation 4's lower price and wider variety of entertainment services to drive its forecast to sell 5 million units of the game console by the end of March.
The projection for its new generation machine, set to be introduced at $399 in November, compares with 3.55 million units sold in a similar period for the PS3 which was offered in some regions at $599, Andrew House, the head of Sony's game operation, said in an interview yesterday. The previous console was released in November 2006.
Sony's PS4 will be on U.S. shelves a week before Microsoft Corp. starts selling its Xbox One for $499 as both seek to reignite growth in the console business as casual players switch to games on smartphones and tablet computers. Sony is staggering the release of its machine in an effort to avoid shortages that hurt sales of its predecessor, and is positioning the PS4 as a portal for games, films and music.
“The advantage of PS4 is that we already have a network and community in place,” House said at the Tokyo Game Show. “More importantly we have services from the launch of the device rather than have them appearing gradually as at the time we did with PS3.”
At least 20 games will be available as it competes with the Xbox One as Sony works with about 620 software developers to produce content.
The machine will be released in North America on Nov. 15 with 32 markets to be reached by the end of this year while Japan sales will start Feb. 22. The PS4 will be introduced in Asia in December, including sales in Hong Kong, Singapore, Korea, Malaysia and Taiwan.
“This will be well ahead of the Xbox One,” Damian Thong, an analyst at Macquarie Group Ltd. in Tokyo, said in an e-mailed report. The timing is “a clear positive since Asia is a big opportunity,” he wrote.
Sony rose 0.2 percent to 2,131 yen as of 9:05 a.m. in Tokyo. The stock has more than doubled this year, compared with a 42 percent gain in the Topix index.
The PS4 is a central element of Chief Executive Officer Kazuo Hirai's plan to revive Sony with games and mobile devices, and he has set a target of being No. 1 in the U.S. market, the biggest chunk of the $63 billion global market as estimated by DFC Intelligence. The top position currently is held by the Xbox 360.
“It's become an old concept that consoles are just for games,” House said at the game convention in Makuhari, near Tokyo. “PS4 will not only meet the expectations of core gamers but possibilities of the console are way beyond that.”
The new consoles will be offered in Sony's home market for 39,980 yen ($402), the company said this month. Orders have already topped 1 million, House said Aug. 21.
The PS4 and Xbox One are each projected to sell 3 million units worldwide this year, the estimate of Michael Olson, an analyst with Piper Jaffray in Minneapolis. By comparison, smartphone shipments in the second quarter alone totaled 229.6 million, according to researcher Strategy Analytics.
In the last round of consoles, Sony placed third in the U.S., according to NPD Group data through 2010. Microsoft overtook Nintendo Co.'s Wii two-and-a-half years ago and has led since.
The unveiling of the PS4 in June impressed game enthusiasts and industry analysts with its price and policies that included unrestricted swapping and trade-ins of used games.
The PS4, with a combined processor and memory architecture from Sunnyvale, California-based Advanced Micro Devices Inc., features a PC-like design that Sony executives say will make developing games easier.
Sony's game unit posted an operating loss of 14.8 billion yen in the quarter ended June 30, the company said last month.
The weakening yen against the dollar is negative for Sony's game business as it pays for components in the U.S. currency, House said. Still, the weakening Japanese currency against the euro boosts sales in Europe when repatriated in the yen, he said.
“Currencies are obviously extremely difficult to predict,” said House. “As we see sort of some balance between those two movements most recently, I think, the effect overall is rather neutral.”
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Home price gains slow for 6th-straight month
- Jimmy Dean moves beyond breakfast
- Tech giants lead rush for profits in foreign countries
- GNC revenue, sales drop, but vitamin retailer says plan in place
- Fed to keep cards close to the vest
- 3 ways to dig up dirt on people
- Export-Import Bank in dispute in Congress
- EPA hearings to bring coal debate to Pittsburgh streets
- Hotels, restaurants lead job additions in Pittsburgh region
- U.S. Steel’s 2Q loss beats analysts’ estimates
- Consumer confidence jumps to 90.9 in July