PlayStation game sales drive sharp rise in Sony profits

That gain came from the sale of Sony’s camera module unit and the receipt of insurance payouts for earthquake damage

The electronics and entertainment giant now forecasts 500 billion yen ($4.5 billion) in net profit for the fiscal year to March 2019, up from its earlier estimate of 480 billion, in what would be a record profit for the second straight year. That boosted royalties received by Sony, sending operating profit up 28% from a year ago to ¥32.1-billion.

Operating profit was ¥195-billion (US$1.75-billion) in the June quarter, the Tokyo-based company said Tuesday, compared to analysts' average projections for ¥145.4-billion.

Annual sales are now projected to rise slightly, with operating profit unchanged.

"Sales are expected to be significantly higher than the April forecast primarily due to higher-than-expected PlayStation 4 ("PS4") software sales including sales through the network, the impact of foreign exchange rates, as well as an expected increase in PS4 hardware unit sales".

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The quarterly results are the first under new CEO Kenichiro Yoshida, who replaced Kazuo Hirai in April.

In May, Sony unveiled a $1.9-billion deal to buy industry titan EMI Music Publishing, which has the rights to songs by the likes of Queen and Pharrell Williams.

As to how that translates to tangible sales, we know the PlayStation 4 had sold-through 73.6 million units as of December 31, 2017. Sony recorded a one-time gain of ¥53.9-billion from the sale and said its remaining shares have a fair value of ¥95.3-billion. From its release to date the console has sold in its millions - 75 million to be more precise. The last known figure of the PlayStation 3 console was around 80 million units in total, so it's safe to say that the PS4 has outsold the PS3 in a little less than five years since its launch.

Sony more than doubled its net profit in the fiscal first quarter to June, helped by the sale of its shares Spotify and a strong performance in Playstation sales. It kept its profit forecast for the year ending March at 670 billion yen, down 9 percent on year, citing various risks including competition in smartphones.

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