Sony announces a depressing profit as it restructures, prepares for PS4

Sony announces a depressing profit as it restructures, prepares for PS4

Sony's recent financial troubles have no doubt been concerning for PlayStation fans who are interested in the long-term health of the company, but fans will be pleased to hear today that Sony posted a net profit in 2012 of nearly half a billion dollars, or $458 million. This was their first net profit in five years.

That's good news, right? Well, not exactly. The only reason Sony was able to post impressive numbers for the year was because they sold off a number of large company assets, most notably their $1.2 billion Tokyo office, and a $1.1 billion New York City building. Sony also canceled TV manufacturing deals with Samsung and Sharp, and sold off their chemical business. 

It's great that Sony has recognized the need to restructure the business, but that profit starts to look depressing in light of the massive cash influx from real estate sales. Next year they won't have the benefit of $2.3 billion in real estate sales.

Sony is optimistic about the future though, and they're projecting that their profits will continue in 2013 to the tune of $505 million. They've trimmed down substantially, and they think they've finally got a handle on how to turn around their electronics business.

“We set out this year with the aim of doing everything we can to get back in the black,” said Sony CFO Masaru Kato in Sony's earnings call according to the New York Times. “This year, we absolutely intend to make a profit in electronics.”

This transformation is most visible in their new philosophy on PlayStation 4 manufacturing.

“Unlike PS3, we are not planning a major loss to be incurred with the launch of PS4,” said Kato, as quoted by Eurogamer. “At the time we developed PS3, we made a lot of in-house investments to develop the chip, the Cell chip. Development of the chip saw the silicon processing and all the facilities invested by us ourselves. But this time, yes we have a team working on chip development, but we already have existing technology to incorporate and also product investment and all the facilities will now be invested by our partners, other foundries, so we don't have to make all the investment in-house.”

The PS4 is currently slated for a “Holiday 2013” release window.