Sony Hit Hard: Wiis Outnumber PS3s Fivefold

The boys at Sony’s video game department have announced a loss of $1.91 billion in the year ended March 31. There are growing concerns among investors that continued losses in the game division may offset progress made by vigorous sales of the Sony Bravia – a popular brand of flat TVs. Today, Sony declared it would try to increase its capacity to make sensor chips by spending about $500 million over the next three years. Such sensor chips are used in cell phones and digital cameras, Sony’s bread and butter. In May, Nintendo sold 251,794 units of the Wii, as compared to the 45,321 units of the PS3 that Sony sold. The video game wars between the two giants commenced late last year. Due to a high price tag and a lack of popular titles, the PS3 has seen slow demand thus far. Sony plans to ship 11 million PS3 units from March 2007 to March 2008.

“‘If there were half a dozen good titles people wanted to play on the PS3, I'm sure it would actually be doing quite well,’ KBC Securities analyst Hiroshi Kamide said.”

“We are only less than a year into the new (console) cycle. It is wrong to say Nintendo has won and Sony has lost ... It's not game over, but it's not very encouraging.”

Even in the U.S., the Wii maintained its lead in the video game industry for its fourth month in a row in April. Nintendo sold about 360,000 consoles, twice that of Microsoft’s Xbox 360 and over four times that of Sony. Nintendo’s stock has increased nearly 300% over the past two years, with huge gains first driven by its DS and then furthered by popularity of the Wii. For now, Sony will have to give up the crown that it won – thanks to the success of both the PS1 and PS2 consoles - in the $30 billion video game industry of the past decade.
Tags:  Sony, S3, Wii, PS3, son, Ive, AR