If you’ve been following tech news recently you’ve probably seen a great deal of Sony’s assets closing and seizing to exist. Sony experienced huge losses and will be laying off about 10,000 employees to compensate and to get back on track. What does this mean for Sony’s gaming division though?
According to Joystiq, it seems that the Playstation brand is the least of Sony’s worries. Although Sony’s TV business hasn’t brought in a profit for about 8 years, gaming seems to be a large portion of Sony’s income. Just because Sony is hoping that their gaming division will be a pillar for the future, doesn’t mean they won’t hurt a little though.
On March 30th IGN confirmed that the studio behind SOCOM, MAG, and Unit 13 (Zipper Interactive) would be closed by Sony. Sony said that the studio had finished all of the projects they were working on, and also mentioned Sony would still support recently released titles from the developer. Could this have been associated to the huge lost Sony was struck with? Perhaps. In a statement given to IGN, Sony said that, “The closure is a result of a normal cycle of resource re-alignment within SCE WWS.” Whether or not they are related, closing a studio never looks great, and the games Zipper Interactive produced were consistently reviewed as “good” titles. The Verge also confirms the closure of the studio and received a statement from Sony saying, “…all 80 employees were impacted by the closure but that the company is trying to find new jobs for them.”
Another aspect of Sony’s gaming division is their portable market. Joystiq mentioned that Sony will strengthen their network service business by expanding The Playstation Suites, allowing mobile phones to play classic Playstation titles along with other Sony downloadables. Thats all well and good, but the PSVita, Sony’s flagship portable, is not selling to well. According to IGN as of April 4 The 3DS was selling the PSVita 10-1 in Japan. It’s clear to see even with advance technology and superior control the PSVita still can’t compete with the 3DS. Not only that, but Sony is taking about a $60 loss on every PSVita sold
while Nintendo is still turning a profit on their portable gaming console.(UPDATE: Nintendo’s recent Financial Report reported that the company is actually taking a loss on the 3DS) Seems like bad business sense to me, and that fact that Sony is considering their game division to be one of their main pillars for the future scares me a little.
The Verge mentions again Sony will most likely be cutting 10,000 jobs, and that Sony is expected to report a loss of about $4.6 billion. Kaz Hirai, recently appointed CEO of Sony does have a plan for recovery. His plan is to have One Sony. The Verge stated that, “The key to recovery, he believes, revolves around strengthening the company’s core businesses — digital imaging, gaming, and mobile — and turning around its TV business.” Specifically for gaming, Hirai mentioned increasing the amount of downloadable titles as well as strengthing Playstation Suites as I mentioned earlier.
It seems that the real issue here is Sony’s TV business. That doesn’t mean gaming isn’t being effected though, but perhaps Sony should reconsider doing TV. Sony did report at least 8 consecutive years of losses from their TV division. This seems like a sign to leave that division behind . By getting ride or perhaps just turning it around, the ripples of Sony’s TV business may reflect positively on every other facets of Sony.
So here is what I’m saying Sony, GET YOUR S*%T TOGETHER. We love you and I don’t want to see anymore studios close, even if its just the normal cycle of things.
Have any thoughts about Sony? Let me know in the comments below.