E3 2011: Vita to be profitable within 3 years - Sony

Kaz Hirai tells Reuters that upcoming PSP successor will take some time to pay dividends for electronics giant.

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Sony has said it plans on a 10-year cycle for its gaming systems. That's a good thing for the upcoming Vita, as the electronics giant doesn't expect the upcoming handheld to even turn a profit for the first one-third of that span.

Sony hopes to make this profitable by 2015.

Sony consumer products head Kaz Hirai told Reuters this week that the company's goal with the Vita is to make the system profitable within three years. When it launches later this year, the portable will come in two models: A $250 Wi-Fi only model and a $300 3G-enabled model.

Sony's long-haul approach to console planning is nothing new. When the company launched the PlayStation 3 in 2006, it sold the system for as much as $600 and still lost money on every console. The electronics giant wound up posting an operating loss of $2 billion that year, and chalked it up primarily to the decision to set the consumer price at lower than the system's production cost.

For more on Vita, check out GameSpot's in-depth look at the system.

Discussion

127 comments
BasilVZero
BasilVZero

There's always gonna be losses in the beginning, unless your Nintendo, in which every single child would rage at their parents for not having the next new nintendo system xD.

saravananj07
saravananj07

SONY = EPIC Fail company. Still PSVita looks good. But loosing money to gain in the market is unacceptable for a company like SONY. The good news is they aimed to gain profit in 3 years, Unlike ps3 in 5 years. lol

pinicolaroxa
pinicolaroxa

The only way to compete with Nintendo is loosing money, right sony?

SUPERSAMMOSSAUC
SUPERSAMMOSSAUC

there's no way Im buying an upgraded ngp that they realese every 2 years the vita looks just perfect the way it is

SUPERSAMMOSSAUC
SUPERSAMMOSSAUC

Im happy to support the japanese economy after the tsunami and earthquake.

Sigil-otaku
Sigil-otaku

@plaintomato I'll do a quick response to save too much blabber. I largely agree with you on the Vita, not to mention some will already own a PS3 so it would make sense to have a handheld that then gives that Wii U like possibility so I'm not going to deny that but I would like to retain the point against some of the more fanboyish people that it just wouldn't be quite as good as what the Wii U would do. Still that's not an insult on the Vita or PS3. As for gen 7.5 / 8.5, that depends on personal opinion. For me generation is time based, not performance based. It's about the next generations in a time line and not in a power performance scale. Advancements in graphics have largely been made, very good graphics can be done that will last for years regardless of more powerful systems. Can you honestly imagine battlefield 3 looking outdated as quick when we used to get PS1 / 2 / 3 leaps in technology? I'm more interested in gameplay than graphics so long as there is a good graphical output that can last it's gen and there is good core gameplay maintained (by controller layout). Wii U does that and I believe incorporating the old while looking to do new things is what gaming will really be about. What makes a good game is not FPS 20 with good graphics but games that bring something new to the table, like the first metal gear, shadow of the colossus etc. I don't want the same thing just prettier. I want something fresh, different, better etc. Any system can can improve graphics.

hatieshorrer
hatieshorrer

@godmann Thats my point the PS3 made a profit last year but not this year and three years before that more losses. Sony also failed at getting third party exclusives they bought Lair and Heavenly Sword both didnt do very well and Kojima who felt loyal to Sony for publishing MGS 1, 2, and 3 made MGS 4 an exclusive for PS3 even though he had to publish it through Konami. What about Sony makes us think the third party games we want will be on this console. Also it isnt backward compatible with UMDs. The Memory stick is even different from the one on the PSP.

plaintomato
plaintomato

@Sigil-otaku I hear you. And I wouldn't shell out for Vita & a PS3 for Wii U like functionality. Of course, unless the Wii U system turns out to be an 8th generation powerhouse instead of a 7th generation catch-up system, I won't buy a Wii U for Wii U functionality either. On the other hand, I may well shell out for a Vita for powerful dual-stick portable gaming. And IF they can pull off remote play/sychronization with games I want to play anyway, that would be a huge plus. And IF they sell enough units, I could see dev's potentially using it for Wii U like functionality since they will be developing similar interfacing for the Wii U anyway. Which would be another plus. The difference for me is that I could see buying a Vita for what it is, and then taking advantage of any "plus" features. So far, I can't really see buying the Wii U for what it is. If Wii U is truly 8th gen, then maybe. But if it's just gen 7.5, like the Wii was gen 6.5 IMO, then...no. What I'd really like to see would be next gen systems with complete portability integrated through remote play either on a portable or a laptop, or both. Somebody should offer this service - think Onlive with your own library instead of being limited to Onlive's selection. It would change the face of portable gaming. It may be awhile, but the "take-it-with-you" functionality has to be in the future.

Sigil-otaku
Sigil-otaku

@plaintomato Wii U like functionality? possibly, but would it really be quite as good? Just look at the screen size difference. http://kotaku.com/5810272/fun-facts-about-the-wii-u-controllers-size The Vita's is dwarfed by it. Meaning the size of what's on display on vita would be smaller and so less accurate to the touch (easier to hit close by objects or the wrong enemy in crowds etc.). The same feature could be copied but it would be on smaller screen, with less games supporting the feature and it would require purchasing a Vita and a PS3 to do what the Wii U does itself. Personally I don't see to big a problem with Sony trying to imitate Nintendo but it would only prove Nintendo was doing something right if Sony had to go through the effort of copying there ideas which would annoy a few sony fanboys who want to deny anything about the Wii U is good. I don't even get why as if you look at it the Wii U controller is pretty normal, it looks just like the vita's layout almost (big screen middle and controls on either side).

godmann
godmann

@hatieshorrer Well that fact that if they dont handle those problems in the first three years like better protection from hack etc.. they may not see a profit even after 3 years?

dinslacck
dinslacck

i think the vita will not be hacked once come out, because hacking will result in banned by sony online. since the vita support trophies and heavily on social features, most gamers will be happy with their non-hacked vita..

dinslacck
dinslacck

first launch games (uncharted, little deviants etc) will roughly used 4+gb cards.. imagine that the cards today can hold up to 32gb.. i wonder what will next games for Vita will be.. i'm so excited! i'm going to broke this year.. :)

Finale_Wanderer
Finale_Wanderer

It looks amazing graphics-wise but I'm not impressed by the games. They just don't appeal to me, what's with everyone's love of First and Third person shooters?

ryzrocks
ryzrocks

@gobbo00 hey jerk....it was the earthquake that made things bad for Sony..sorry I forgot to mention that...and u a lifeless loser who can't make ur own comment instead teasing others..GET A LIFE LOSER!!!!!!

gobbo00
gobbo00

@PodXCOM HA HA HA HA, (PS3) cost $800 just to make, yea so they had to wait for one owner to buy 21 games before they would see a $10 profit BS. @ryzrocks NO idiot it's has something to do with tectonic plates (earthquake to you).

ryzrocks
ryzrocks

I hope those hackers are happy now..cause because of them ps vita will release late :(

hatieshorrer
hatieshorrer

@BILLNYE6983 Im saying their are about one-hundred games being developed for the 3DS and about ten being developed for the PSVita. On top of that this isnt the same Sony as it was when the PSP was launched. I think that gamers have lost confidence in Sony due to too many promises being broken and their failure to keep credit card info and prevent hacking from succeeding. Sony is again promising a console with hardware worth say four hundred maybe five hundred and charging two hundred fifty or three hundred dose that mean Sony will cut corners by not providing adequate hacking protection. Will Sony provide a way to transfer PSP games to the Vita. Will Vita receive the third party support the 3DS is receiving now. These may not matter to you but I think it will to gamers and taking a loss on the thing implies to gamers that Sony will likely cut corners. After all Sony isnt concerned about profits until after the first three years whats to motivate them to handle these problems until after the first three years.

DennisWZH
DennisWZH

@dooms33ker: oh that is a very good point. if sony is indeed selling this at a loss and are relying on softwares to make a profit.. then they are so doomed once the vita get hacked.

BILLNYE6983
BILLNYE6983

@hatieshorrer A released console has more games than a non released console? How is that shocking. PS2 and PS3 both have more games that the 3DS but it really isn't a fair comparison... 3DS isn't even outselling the DS right now. Blame it on whatever factors but the fact remains is that 3DS is not as successful as Nintendo planned. And it is over priced.

dooms33ker
dooms33ker

Jeez, I miss the days of console updates every 5 years... On another note, if the Vita is hacked as quickly as the PSP then Sony is in big trouble. Nearly everyone that I know with a PSP has custom firmware on it.

hatieshorrer
hatieshorrer

@BILLNYE6983 This may come as a shock to you but per every game announced for PSVita their are at least ten announced for the 3DS alone and the 3DS has sold more hardware its first month then the PS3 has in its first six months. If anything the attacks from anonymous have proven Sony cant cut corners and sale us a discounted console.

plaintomato
plaintomato

Dual sticks and cloud save and play on either platform. Sooo nice. Be nicer if it was every game but se la vi. Sony kicked ash this E3. If the Vita sells like hot cakes, we may see Wii U like functionality on the PS3 before the Wii U.

raev92
raev92

Day 1 buy for me! although I think I'm gonna buy the WiFi model since I really don't need the "On the Go" internet and I'm assuming battery life will be shorter for the 3G Model

musicman998
musicman998

Day one buy for me also. I loved my PSP and can't wait to play this bad boy. Please hurry and bring out another Persona for Vita and have it cross platform with PS3.

dre256x
dre256x

3yrs... not good.. ps3 all over again (in-terms of profitability)

Megavideogamer
Megavideogamer

Yes people want more powerful and better Videogame machines both home console and portable handheld. These thing cost a lot of money to create. Sony know that even at $250.00 it is going to be a bit before profit is made. I'm happy with PSvita I except and expect it will cost a fair penny. But it is new tech with always costs more.

rasterror
rasterror

As much as I don't like Sony right now, they really stepped their game up with the Vita, even though the name sucks. It fixes every problem I had with the PSP and I'm glad they're going to flash based cartridges. This will be a day one purchase for me.

painpas
painpas

It is about experiences rather than the games themselves. I think that every game genre and new genre will benefit from the PSVita.

violentmonkey
violentmonkey

everyone's playing with handicaps except nintendo

WolfGrey
WolfGrey

@hatieshorrer Right...thats why they had plenty of exclusives right off.Sounds like somebody saying words with no knowledge again.

DennisWZH
DennisWZH

@BILLNYE6983: no, im merely disliking the fact that sony is selling the vita at a loss when they clearly have the edge in terms of hardware and software. it's like they're not confident they can outsold the 3DS unless they priced it the same.

steelmouth
steelmouth

3 Years any other company in any other industry would be closed up if it had to wait 3 years to turn profit

BILLNYE6983
BILLNYE6983

@hatieshorrer Is that a joke? They have tons and tons of money. They will get exclusives if they need to. Not that there are really even any exclusives anymore. @DennisWZH What... so you are getting on Sony's case for offering a good value. Sony can't win can they? Lol. The PSP was amazingly successful (70 million) for Sonys first attempt at a handheld. The Xbox barely sold past 20 million when they tried to compete with Sony for the first time. This time Sony has more recognition in the market. They have tons of amazing games on the lineup. They have a matching price point and superior hardware. And maybe most important of all they have a much less successful console (so far) in the 3DS to compete with. If Nintendo is smart they will drop price before PSV comes out. If not its gonna sell tons. At that price with that hardware and those games?.

twistedface12
twistedface12

I really hate anonymous hackers they messed sony now it will take some time to release psvita!

PodXCOM
PodXCOM

@MrGreenBeanz "Ehh... not exactly. Remember the PS3?" Yes, I remember ($599!). But it costed Sony $800 to just make! Only last years did it started to make money.

hatieshorrer
hatieshorrer

Wow in three years the PSVita will be awesome but until then the loss Sony takes on the Hardware will prevent Sony from buying exclusives from third party developers and allow the 3DS to get a massive lead. (Sony isnt learning from their mistakes.)

DennisWZH
DennisWZH

personally, i dont like this plan.. it's like saying they have no condifence that their tech can compete with the 3DS.. to me, i would priced it at 300 for the wifi and 350 for 3G, the consumers arent blind, we all know that the vita is by far the more superior piece of hardware, and also has more software due launch day.. we will still buy it even if it's slightly more expensive than the 3DS

gobbo00
gobbo00

"Sony has said it plans on a 10-year cycle for its gaming systems. That's a good thing for the upcoming Vita, as the electronics giant doesn't expect the upcoming handheld to even turn a profit for the first one-third of that span. " I call BS you lot all think that investors are going to bite the pillow so you can buy this cheap? Sony guy: Ok we are going to launch a handheld that we are going to loose 300 dollars on each unit, & hope they buy at least 31 full price games before we see a 10 dollar return! Investor: GTFO don't mind the door as it slams on your A** on the way out.

gowofwarKratos
gowofwarKratos

The 3D technology in 3Ds is not what attract me more in 3Ds but the old classic from Nintendo, play them again is what worth. In my opinion have difference is good in both Vita and 3Ds what makes me remember about Mega drive and Super Nintendo, both had aspects that made them special for each customer. Also we can't forget the games, that is the fuel that moves a Console.

gowofwarKratos
gowofwarKratos

Sure a company can't expect get profit in a short time, that's why they put as much technology as possible too to hold for years into the next model. Well, the problem is the memory stick that is expensive.

vader501st
vader501st

They're taking one hell of a chance with the Vita. This time, I think both 3DS and Vita are well worth their asking price. Although the Vita is in need of a stronger games library, but it's still early to tell.

monson21502
monson21502

@danielmbg, wish i could give you more then one thumbs up. i keep rereading ur post and trying to thumbs it up by mistake lol... psp only took off when the price lowered and its userbase got high enuff to make psp only rpgs.. then it sold like hotcakes in japan.. here in the usa it was better to just own a ps2 then a psp.. same thing will happewn here again.. will be better to buy a ps3 then a ps vita. and if u already own a ps3 theres really no need to own a vita.. i just dont see many people buying it at this price or time....

monson21502
monson21502

@danielmbg. your right psp was a fail.... and it was all sonys fault!!! they supported ps2 way into the psps life and even into the ps3s life.... this time if sony tries to support ps3 vita and the ps4.. one of those will fail or die off... sony cant afford to run all 3... so either vita fails, ps3 doesnt get sold for ten years. or the ps4 will fall way behind like the ps3 did...oh crap! i forgot about the sony phone... well never mind thats auto fail:P ps brand has lost alot of ground this gen they better be carefull imo

danielmbg
danielmbg

I still kind skeptic about it, but I want to know if its going to be a success or just another fail like PSP (yes, for me it was a fail). I think it deserves a look before deciding between 3DS or PSVita. And WHY PSVITA, they should have kept NGP, it was way better. I don't care about the meaning of a name, I want good names. And I still think that they should have done it in 3D, it would be great.

monson21502
monson21502

its gonna be funny watching sony fans eating crow as they have to buy sony made only memery cards;P.. remember with sony they only copy stuff that makes them money... that wont be normal sized they will be big and bulky not to have more room for the gamers neeed.. but to hold anti pirate code in them.. just like blu ray:)

megakick
megakick

3 years? that is a big commitment for SONY. SONY floods the market with proprietory products and then trash it when it fails. Yeah SONY does a lot for their consumers like take their money.

good_sk8er7
good_sk8er7

@Oni_Taedo Have you not been watching e3?