Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Sony plans to ship 11m PS3s (Forbes)

Tokyo - Sony said on Wednesday that it aims to ship 11m PlayStation 3s worldwide this year, ramping up competition against its rivals after missing its recent targets.
Sony shipped 5.5m PS3 consoles in the year to March, below its target for 6m due to production problems with its high-definition DVD player that gave rivals Nintendo and Microsoft an early lead in the console war.

Sony said it expects losses in its game division to narrow this year after swallowing the huge start-up costs of the console.

"Although it seems to be difficult to fully turn around the performance at the game division in the current fiscal year, increased sales of the PS3 should help narrow losses here notably," chief financial officer Nobuyuki Oneda said.

The electronics giant is aiming to increase sales of the PS3 in Japan, the US and Europe, although Oneda admitted that rival Nintendo's Wii console continues to eat into its market share.

Nintendo, which has long dominated portable consoles, is seeing strong sales of its next-generation Wii, known for its innovative motion-sensitive controller, while Microsoft's Xbox 360 beat both to market.

Nintendo's Wii took 58% of the Japanese home video game market in March, while the PS3 had a 20% share, Oneda said.

The PS3 enjoyed a sell-out launch in Japan and overseas but this was largely because there were limited supplies.

Sony was forced to delay the global launch of the PS3 by about six months to last November due to problems with the high-definition DVD player and pushed back the rollout again until March in Europe and some other markets.

Sony is also pinning its hopes on sales of software and expects to release new titles including "Hot Shots Golf 5" and "The Eye of Judgment" this year.

It has established a worldwide software studio and is working "aggressively" to deliver new titles, said corporate executive Takao Yuhara.

Sony said earlier on Wednesday that it suffered its biggest quarterly loss in four years partly due to huge investments in the PS3.

The so-called "Father of the PlayStation," Ken Kutaragi, said last month he was stepping down as head of Sony's game division, which is sliding deeper into the red.

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