Sony won't incur 'major loss' from selling PlayStation 4 hardware

"We don't have to make all the investment in-house," says Sony exec about PlayStation 4 hardware development.


Unlike the PlayStation 3, Sony is not planning lose a major amount of money from selling PlayStation 4 hardware, the first-party publisher has said.

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Speaking to investors in an earnings call today, Sony chief financial officer Masaru Kato said "we are not planning a major loss to be incurred with the launch of PS4."

The PlayStation 3's unique and expensive components had to be mostly developed in-house by Sony. "We made a lot of in-house investments to develop the [PlayStation 3 Cell processor]," said Kato, adding that "development of the chip saw the silicon processing and all the facilities invested by us ourselves."

Sony has never officially divulged how much money it loses on every PlayStation 3 sold, but numerous analysts have attempted to work out the deficit. The Wall Street Journal estimated in 2010 that Sony lost about $18 on each PlayStation 3 sold at the time.

With the PlayStation 4 launch later in 2013, however, Kato says "we have a team working on chip development, but we already have existing technology to incorporate, and also product investment and all facilities will now be invested by our partners."

"We don't have to make all the investment in-house," concluded Kato.

The PlayStation 4 features an APU developed in conjunction with AMD, containing an 8-core 64-bit processor and a custom Radeon GPU. The next-generation console also features 8GB of GDDR5 RAM.

During the system's unveiling in February, PlayStation 4 lead systems architect Mark Cerny also said the decision to use off-the-shelf computer parts would be more friendly to software developers than the PlayStation 3's bespoke Cell processor.

Elsewhere in the call, Sony confirmed previous expectations to make an annual profit of ¥43 billion (approximately $435m/£239m).

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