April 30, 2006
Sony on Thursday said it expects its game division to post a loss of 100 billion yen, or $817M in the current fiscal year for start-up costs related to the Playstation 3 video game system.
The PS3’s expensive components, which include the new Cell processor and the Blu-ray disc drive are large factors in the pending loss for the company.
In addition, the machine will be sold below cost in order to sell the device to mass market consumers in the holiday 2006 season.
Analysts estimate that the PS3 will cost Sony from $500 – $800 to manufacture. Many of its parts consist of cutting-edge technology will be manufactured on a large scale for the first time.
Sony is betting that high-definition games and movies will sell the product to a large audience, much like the last two Playstation consoles did in the previous ten years.
To date, Sony has remained the market share leader in home consoles with over 100M in sales each for the Playstation and Playstation 2.
The company entered the handheld market in 2004 with the PSP. However, it has seen slower sales against the less advanced Nintendo DS handheld in worldwide markets.
April 29, 2006
Sony Corp. expects its upcoming PlayStation 3 console to be out of the starting gate more quickly than Microsoft Corp.’s Xbox 360, it said Thursday.
The company, which recently pushed back the launch of its console to November, said it expects sales during the first four to five months after launch to be about 6 million units. Microsoft, which launched the Xbox 360 in November last year, expects sales to hit between 4.5 million units and 5.5 million during about the first seven months.
Sony has spent about ¥50 billion (US$425 million) during the past year on development and launch preparations for the PlayStation 3, said Nobuyuki Oneda, Sony’s chief financial officer, at a Tokyo news conference to announce the company’s full-year results.
“After the introduction of the PS3 we will focus our efforts on expanding the platform as rapidly as possible,” Oneda said. “We will also attempt to lower the manufacturing costs by reducing the number of parts used in hardware and reducing the costs of the semiconductors and other key components. By so doing, we aim to bring the PS3 business to profitability at the earliest possible time.”
During the fiscal year just ended, Sony shipped 16.2 million PlayStation 2 consoles. The number is slightly higher than the year earlier but Sony expects this to fall rapidly during the current year as customers favor the soon-to-be-launched PlayStation 3. Sony said it predicts about 10 million PlayStation 2 consoles will be sold this year.
The handheld PlayStation Portable device did well during the year, but again Sony expects sales in the current year to decline. The PSP, which was launched in Japan in late 2004, shipped 3 million units in its first few months on sale. In the following 12-month period shipments were 14.1 million units, Sony said Thursday. For its current fiscal year, from March to April 2007, this is expected to drop to 12 million units.
Software shipments for the PlayStation consoles hit 267 million units, which is just below the previous year’s total. Within this, PlayStation 2 software shipments dropped 12 percent, and PlayStation Portable software shipments jumped more than 600 percent.
Overall, Sony’s game business saw sales increase by 31 percent to ¥959 billion, while the division’s operating profit sank 80 percent on PlayStation 3 start-up costs, to ¥8.7 billion.
April 27, 2006
Famitsu has confirmed that Namco Bandai Games will be developing Tekken 6 for the PlayStation 3. There is no set release date for the game.
Expect for Tekken 6 to make an appearance at E3. Make sure you are with us during the event (May 9-12) for the latest on Tekken 6.
Sony has been silent as far as the price of its future console is concerned, thus encouraging the spreading of rumors. According to the latest “unofficial information” of this sort, PlayStation 3 is supposed to cost $399 and will have a 60 GB HDD.
Also, PSM (the independent PlayStation magazine who started the new rumor) says PlayStation 3 will ship in the first half of November
An earlier statement on the subject came from vice president of Sony Computer Entertainment Europe George Fornay, who said the next-gen console would come with a price tag of 499 euros. Later, Sony claimed that Fornay’s comments have been “mistranslated or misunderstood”.
Earlier this month, a Sony spokeswoman said that further details on pricing or launch would become available at a press event ahead of the E3, on May 8
A PlayStation 3 costing only $399 would be a serious blow for Microsoft’s Xbox 360, which also costs $399. The price aside, Sony console comes equipped with a high-definition Blu-Ray drive, while the Xbox 360 could (eventually) match this up with a $100 HD disc drive.
However, Sony might very well choose to keep the actual price of the PS3 secret for the time being and reveal it this fall, to give its marketing campaign a serious boost.
April 26, 2006
Despite recent online reports suggesting that Oblivion will be heading to the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360, this is not true.
Bethesda’s denied the rumor.
“At present we have no announced plans to bring Oblivion to any platforms other than PC or Xbox 360. We’ll certainly let folks know if that changes,”.
There was a list that had supposedly leak out that showed Oblivion was coming on November 6th to the next-gen consoles.
April 25, 2006
SEGA’s begun its E3-teasing with a very welcome announcement – Virtua Tennis 3 is on its way to PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360.
Due out next spring and on display at E3, VT3 is the most visually detailed VT game yet – SEGA’s promising “photo-realistic graphics and advanced player animations” including detailed facial expressions. SEGA’s creative director Matt Woodley reckons “the quality is so sharp and clear you can even see the veins on the players’ necks”. And the whatever-else on Maria Sharapova, my dad will be hoping.
There’ll be new gameplay features too. Although the fundamental tennis game is unlikely to change a great deal (given how brilliant it was anyway, we can’t say we mind that much), we can expect a host of new mini-games to join the most popular from previous VT titles.
Mini-games of course contribute to VT’s Career mode, which will be back here, taking you all over the world and across every court surface – with new players and refined artificial intelligence for the ones you’re up against. You’ll also be able to customise your own character to a previously unachievable degree.
No word on online multiplayer yet, but it seems like a bit of a shoo-in.
A recent report from the Chinese language Wealth Group is stating that KYEC will start landing PS3 chip orders within the next few days. Not surprisingly, KYEC declined to specifically comment on any specific chip orders, and merely confirmed that PSP orders have commenced.
From the Wealth Group report:
Sources at equipment makers stated that KYEC has already started testing engineering chipset samples for PS3. The IC testing house also undertakes testing of the graphics processing unit (GPU) for the PSP as well as the southbridge for the Xbox 360.
This is terrific news for people following the progression of the Playstation 3 since, to paraphrase the immortal words of the film Schindler’s List, the chip is life.