Sony looks to PlayStation to revive fortunes, could ditch smartphones

Sony continues to spin off struggling divisions, including its video and audio business

Sony will invest more money in the PlayStation as it fights to return to a profit, and could reportedly exit from selling smartphones and TVs.

Sony will pump extra cash into its games and network services division in a bid to attract more users to the PlayStation and its PlayStation Network of online games. The company has sold 18.5 million PlayStation 4s since they went on sale in late 2013, of which 4.1 million were sold in the 2014 holiday season.

Sony will also provide more funding for the division that makes image sensors for devices including the iPhone 6. That cash will go towards researching new technologies and increasing production.

It's part of a wider set of changes underway at Sony, which has already sold off its Vaio PC business and is showing less and less interest in hardware. Along with the gaming and imaging divisions, it sees its biggest growth drivers as movies, music and TV production.

Sony announced a turnaround plan on Wednesday aimed at producing ¥500 billion (US$4.2 billion) in profit by 2017. It will invest in divisions that can boost its bottom line and get rid of businesses that aren't as profitable. The electronics and entertainment giant has suffered a string of loses recently, including a ¥128 billion loss for its last fiscal year.

Sony will also spin off its video-and-audio business into a wholly owned subsidiary, the same strategy it used last year for TVs. Separating the businesses allows them to focus on turning a profit.

Other business will be split from the parent company, Sony said, but it didn't provide details.

For now, Sony is keeping its mobile communications segment, which will post a loss of ¥215 billion for the year to March 31 and see 2,100 jobs cut. But according to news reports, CEO Kazuo Hirai isn't ruling out an "exit strategy" for phones and TVs, markets that Sony described as volatile and competitive.

Image sensors and the PlayStation helped Sony lower its predicted loss for this fiscal year. In its most recent earnings report,, the company forecast a loss of ¥170 billion for the year, down from the ¥230 billion loss it predicted in October.

Sony will give its music division more money to explore streaming services. In January, it ended its own streaming service and partnered with Spotify to develop a new offering called PlayStation Music. That service allows PlayStation users to stream music while playing games.

Fred O'Connor writes about IT careers and health IT for The IDG News Service. Follow Fred on Twitter at @fredjoconnor. Fred's e-mail address is fred_o'connor@idg.com

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags business issuessonygamesconsumer electronics

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Fred O'Connor

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?