Archive for July, 2009

Sony Financial Results for April-June 2009 (Fiscal Q1 2009)

Full results here

Overall, company-wide (mostly non-gaming) results were bad. Compared with the same quarter last year, revenue was down 19.2%, and the company went from generating a ¥73.4 billion yen operating profit to a ¥25.7 billion yen operating loss.

For the gaming results, the first thing you notice is they reorganized the company’s divisions and gaming is no longer a separate division and is much harder to separate out.

Category April-June 2008 (millions) April-June 2009 (millions) Year over Year Change
PS2 HW 1.5 1.6 6.67%
PSP HW 3.7 1.3 -64.86%
PS3 HW 1.6 1.1 -31.25%
PS2 SW 19.3 8.5 -55.96%
PSP SW 11.8 8.3 -29.66%
PS3 SW 22.8 14.8 -35.09%
  • Whole world economy is down. It is fair to judge Sony’s performance relative to other consumer electronics and game makers.
  • April-June of 2008 was a hot quarter for software PS3 had several of their biggest-ever games ship in that quarter: GTA 4, GT5 Prologue, and Metal Gear Solid 4. For April-June 2009, they shipped Infamous and had a few OK cross-platform titles (Prototype, Red Faction, UFC) but clearly April-June 2008 was an unusually hot quarter for software by any standard.
  • Japanese currency has appreciated, the dog ate my homework, etc. Seriously, an appreciated currency is bad Japanese export makers like Sony, but great for Japanese consumers. Still, if the company was selling more units rather than fewer units, they wouldn’t have to dwell on these things.
  • Results are still disappointing. Even with all the above qualifiers, these results are still disappointing. Sony shipped the best games for the first half of 2009, and it doesn’t seem to have much of an impact. These results aren’t disastorous, but they are disappointing.

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PlayStation Home gets 2 new spaces and a upgraded movie theater

The US movie theater has just been one screen since the open Beta. Now it’s being expanded to 10 movie screens and a lobby. Some of the screening rooms may be giving stuff away too. Sony said that you might be able to watch full-length TV shows or movies in the screening rooms in the future.

Others updates is a Burn Zombie Burn space. Which has a zombie maze with exclusive prizes, and movies. Then MotorStorm Pacific Rift will get Game Launching. They are working a Space for MotorStorm as well. Here is a sneak peak.

Next (and this is very exciting) as of tomorrow, we will be launching a new event in PlayStation Home – the Fat Princess “Quest for Cake.” Based upon the brilliant PSN title which launches today, all you have to do is click on the PlayStation Events Space chip on your World Map to join in this very special confectionary quest.

You have to find 8 pieces of cake in the Home Space to feed the princess to get your reward, a Fat Princess Throne. Good updates Sony, keep them coming.

The Curtain Rises on the 10-Screen Movie Theater in PlayStation Home, MotorStorm Game Launching Crashes In, and Fat Princess Needs Cake!

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Behold, the birth of Blu-ray

Ever wondered how a Blu-ray disc is born? Check out this step by step gallery.

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No Western Yakuza 3. Sega = Clueless

yakuza_3a

Sega’s US marketing department said they are not going to bring Yakuza 3 to the west:

The reason as to why they won’t be bringing the game over is simple: it won’t sell, he told me. They have a firm stance to believe that would be the case, too. Yakuza 2 has only sold around 40k copies in America on the PS2. The numbers for the original Yakuza aren’t much better.

Sega is wildly out of touch with western gamers.

WESTERN ENTHUSIASTS DO NOT BUY GAMES ON PS2!

As a publisher, you really couldn’t kill your sales any more by beating customers away with stick. I don’t care how good your game is; if it’s only on PS2, the press will ignore it and the western enthusiast market won’t buy it. This may not be the most rational thing in the world, but that’s how it is and how it has been.

Even Final Fantasy XII, which back at it’s release, was one of the biggest, hottest, most reputable series in all of video games, was mostly ignored because it was on old-gen hardware. And that was released in late 2006, when the PS2 still had a small shred of enthusiast mindshare left. Yakuza 2 came out in late 2008, long after any enthusiast gamers were remotely interested in buying new PS2 games.

Yakuza 2 wasn’t even one of the few PS2 titles that actually rings up new-unit sales by catering to a certain non-enthusiast nichce like Guitar Hero or Iron Man. Yakuza caters to exactly the type of gamer who stopped buying PS2 games the day after the PS3 was released.

Yakuza 2 was a better game than Sega’s other late 2008 game: Valkyria Chronicles. The difference was, Valkyria Chronicles was on a current-gen system, and therefore was able to get strong word of mouth buzz, and half-decent sales.

What else is there to say: Sega is clueless, and it’s unfortunate to see such quality software and entertainment be buried by such bone-headed business decisions.

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