Sony: The Past, The Profit And The PS4

It’s seems during the seventh generation of consoles the three main manufactures have all incurred their list of problems and successes. The Xbox 360 revolutionised online gaming but only if you could get past the technical problems of the infamous 3 red lights. Nintendo sold more Wii consoles than Hugh Hefner has had women but each year Nintendo barely registered a profit. As for Sony, the same scenario. Millions of consoles sold but due to material and staffing costs the word profit was never muttered. Back in 2011 – 2012’s financial year Sony recorded their biggest loss to date despite the fact 70 million PS3’s had sold worldwide.

However, after one year in charge Sony’s Kaz Hirai has changed the company’s fortunes. After streamlining the company by cutting staff, selling off expensive office buildings and selling their stakes in DeNA and M3, Sony has managed to hit their target of a 458 million dollar profit. All of this in spite of software and hardware sales marginally being down, they were able to re-coup the dip in sales by increasing their market shares in smartphones and TV’s. All in all a good year for Sony.

This led the company to further state that they expect to sell around 10 million PS4’s before the end of March 2014. A figure they can confidently report as PS2 sales have finally been removed from the financial forecast for the year. Sony has also turned to other manufactures to produce some of the key parts and components to help make the PS4. This doesn’t come as a surprise as the huge manufacturing costs of the PS3 were caused largely due to in house development. Rather than paying someone to make their Cell Chip for them they invested in their own manufacturing team by purchasing the necessary equipment to develop such a product, which racked up an enormous cost.

Furthermore, Sony seemed to have learned from other past mistakes. Having finally listened to third party developers, Sony has fashioned a machine that is essentially easy to program for. The best (or should I say worst?) example of third party developers struggling to produce a game for Sony’s PS3 was Skyrim. Not only was the game fraught with perhaps more bugs and glitches than the Xbox 360 version but also the DLC did not arrive until a year and a half later than the 360 versions. Sony would come across this problem time and time again but according to Kaz Hirai all of these problems will be a thing of the past once the PS4 is released.

The PS4 launch (whenever that is) could be possibly one of the best software launches in history. Sony themselves have four of their very own titles ready for launch include Killzone 4, which many of us saw at the unveiling back in February, quite simply stunning. With other strong third party titles in the mix such as Assassin’s Creed 4, InFamous, Watchdogs, Fifa 14, Destiny, Gran Turismo and Battlefield 4 along with rumours of various ports of titles such as GTA5, Beyond, The Last Of Us and Call of Duty the PS4 could perhaps have the best launch line up in gaming history.

Obviously all eyes are beginning to turn towards Microsoft this month to see what the new Xbox has in store but I’m sure both companies will be quietly confident in their ability to shift consoles. The only problem now is the wait.

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