Sony's Pivot to the PlayStation 4 Appears to Have Paid Off Big Time

By Tom McKay on at

Once-struggling tech giant Sony has had a very good 2017, buoyed in large part by the continued success of the PlayStation 4, the Washington Post reported on Tuesday. In its most recent quarterly filings, the company reported profits were up approximately 346 percent relative to the same period last year.

According to the Post, the strong earnings were propelled by sales of the PlayStation 4, games and premium accounts. The report notes that Sony has now sold approximately 67.5 million PS4s worldwide, more than double an earlier mid-year estimate of 30 million Xbox One units. As the Post noted, Sony’s cord-cutting service PlayStation Vue as well as its pricey PlayStation VR have also rolled in large amounts of revenue, with the latter product outselling competitors like the HTC Vive by large margins.

Other successes have included divisions which manufacture sensor components for devices like Apple smartphones, while Sony’s film division rolled in an additional $68 million.

Since taking control of Sony in 2012, CEO Kazuo Hirai turned around the company in large part by spinning away divisions that made virtually all of its major products—from televisions and sound systems to computers and phones—and focusing on a few businesses like gaming and entertainment under the core Sony brand. Just a few years ago, the so-called “One Sony” plan raised questions about whether the company would still have an identity or whether it was just desperate downsizing.

It seems like gambling on the PS4 and paring down its other hardware businesses has paid off. The whole matter really underscores just how much tech giants have riding on consoles and their profit-generating premium services. While Microsoft may have fallen behind on this console cycle, it’s counting on the release of its amped-up Xbox One X in November to help close the gap—though it’s been pretty quiet about exact sales numbers. [Washington Post]