Sony has released their annual forecast for the last fiscal year and…it’s not looking great. Despite the success of the PlayStation 4, the decision to subsidise the entire TV sales department and selling themselves out of the PC business has only cut Sony’s profit margins. The company’s report revealed a billion dollar overall loss. Launching a console isn’t cheap.
The loss, of $1.29 billion, was unfortunate especially considering the dramatic rise in overall sales for Sony – up to $75 billion over the last year. Unlike Microsoft, Sony has been served well by their games department, selling 7.8 million units, a million more than the previous year. However the department still suffered an overall loss of $78 million, mostly due to the launch of the PlayStation 4.
The biggest pitfall though, as far as gaming is concerned, is in the Vita, Vita TV and the PSP, which all operated at massive losses over the last year. This follows from the talk that Borderlands 2 may be the last triple-A title on the Vita as Sony and developers start shuffling out of the non-smart phone handheld market.
Sony expects further major losses over the coming year, once again due to major company restructuring.
Our Take: Everyone seems to operate at a loss these days. I’m now really interested to see Microsoft’s gaming analytics. Seeing as the cost to manufacture the Xbox Ones with Kinect must have been higher than the cost of the PlayStation 4, then the lack of sales surely puts them in a worse position. Sony needs to start thinking a few years ahead, like Nintendo.
The newly announced ‘cheaper’ Xbox One may be able to boost the power of the CPU by not including the Kinect in the bundle. Talking to Polygon, Yusuf Mehdi spoke about how the processing time usually reserved for Kinect, may now be able to power other things.
We are in discussions with our game publishers about what we might do in this space and we will have more to talk about soon.
10 per cent of the Xbox One’s CPU is reserved for Kinect. That ‘space’ as Mehdi puts it, could be used to speed up framerate or improve the graphics of the games already on the system.
He went on to say that Microsoft still believe in their vision of the Xbox One with the Kinect and as a result, consumers who purchased the console at its more expensive price will receive nothing extra.
Our view is that the Xbox One with Kinect is the premium experience. The things you are able to do are pretty magical. I think that [early adopters] are hopefully delighted as well with their usage.
Our Take: 10% won’t do all that much, but I’d still be interested to see just how it effects the console and why that space was still reserved for those people who never plugged the Kinect in. Surely that was something they could have figured out at launch, freeing the space up for other processes until the peripheral was connected?
During today’s invite-only Sony press event, Todd Liss of PlayStation reportedly told IGN that the streaming service PlayStation Now is set to launch with ‘hundreds of titles’. He gave no word on pricing or availability.
Sony showed off two games at the event than streamed via PlayStation Now. One was Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception which streamed on the PS4, while the other was Ratchet and Clank: Into the Nexus which streamed on the Vita. This confirms the reports that the games will be able to be streamed cross-platform.
Our Take: This service just sounds more and more awesome the more news we get. I would love for something like this to come to Xbox One; it would really make use of the 360’s giant library. I have to say though, following the loss that Sony made, I can see some of the games on here being fairly expensive to rent out. Pricing may become a bit of an issue.
Get out your trumpets, Flappy Bird is coming back! Dong Nguyen, the creator of the immensely popular app, spoke to CNBC today about Flappy Bird’s triumphant return.
The game will return to the App Store with several new features. The first will be barriers in place to make the game ‘less addictive’. (An issue Nguyen had with the game when he first removed it.) Secondly it will feature multiplayer support, although he didn’t mention how that would actually work.
The game reportedly made Nguyen $50,000 a day from advertising revenue, a figure he’s probably kept up since it was removed due to it’s remaining iPhone user base. Whether this newer version will come as an update or a standalone is still unknown.
Our Take: This guy is a genius. If this was his plan all along and he actually pulls it off, he won’t be out of a marketing job for the rest of his life. He made massive headlines when the game first appeared and everybody loved it. He made massive headlines when he took it down and from the drama that ensued and now he’s making headlines again. If it goes as well as it did before, he’ll be a millionaire.