PS3 costs Sony $4.7 billion on the way to profitability

Sony HQ.Sony’s Q2 fiscal-year earnings report reads a bit like a good horror story. The most interesting for our purposes is that “networked products and services” division, which includes the Playstation brand. It also includes a whopping $654 million loss this quarter, which Sony attributes to declining PS2 sales and appreciation of the yen. The PS2 sold some 600,000 units less this year than last. Ouch.

Maybe worse, though, is that the numbers have given math nerds around the web enough info to figure that the PS3 has cost Sony roughly $4.7 billion over the course of its life. That’s a monstrous figure, particularly since this is Sony’s third-gen console. Microsoft lost about as much with the original Xbox, but the 360 hasn’t hurt Redmond nearly as badly.

There is some hope, though. As manufacturing costs continue to plummet and sales rise with the PS3 Slim, Sony thinks the brand will become profitable as early as next year. That would be a hell of a turnaround, and frankly one I doubt we’ll see, but I’m willing to hope a little for Sony’s sake.


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