Sony not expecting PS3-like losses for PS4

CFO Masaru Kato says company's investment for next-generation console is "much, much smaller" than last model.

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For the PlayStation 4, Sony is not expecting to incur losses on the same level it did with the PlayStation 3, according to Sony Computer Entertainment CEO Andrew House.

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"We will not generate anything like the losses we did for the PlayStation 3," House told Bloomberg.

According to the report, Sony lost more than $3.5 billion in 2007 and 2008 after the PS3 launched for $600 in 2006. CEO Kazuo Hirai has said the system did not become profitable until late 2011.

Sony aims to avoid PS3-like losses for the PS4 in part due to a smaller investment in the PS4 relative to the PS3, CFO Masaru Kato said on a recent earnings call.

Kato said Sony spent "hundreds of millions" in designing the PS3's chip set and "billions" on semiconductor fabrication because these technologies were not readily available.

"There were no manufacturing capacity or technology to manufacture these chipsets. So the amount of investment that went into PS3 was quite big," Kato said.

By comparison, Kato said the PS4 is a much "lighter" platform in terms of investment due to its PC-like architecture.

"At the core, we are taking off-the-shelf technology available and we are putting our proprietary technology around that core chipset," Kato said. "The amount of investment is much, much smaller. I cannot give you the absolute amount."

The PS4 launches worldwide this holiday for $399/€399/£349, a full $100 below Microsoft's Xbox One.

Sony is no longer guaranteeing that PS4 orders in the United Kingdom will be available on launch day.

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