Sony reported less than stellar results for Fiscal Year 2011 today. Sony posted revenues of 6.5 trillion yen ($81.5 billion), down 9.6 percent from 7.2 trillion yen ($90.1 billion) from the same period a year ago. The company also posted losses of 456.7 billion yen ($5.7 billion), compared to losses of 259.6 billion yen ($3.3 billion) from the same period a year ago.
Sony's Consumer Products and Services, the division that handles its video game platforms and software, faired much worse. For the fiscal year that ended on March 31, 2012, the division had revenue of 3.2 trillion yen ($39.3 billion), down 18.5 percent from 3.8 trillion yen ($48.3 billion) compared to FY 2010, and losses of 229.8 billion yen ($2.9 billion) compared to profits of 10.8 billion yen ($135.5 million) in the same FY period a year ago.
The weakest sector in the division was related to PlayStation 3 hardware, though most of the company’s video game hardware sales were down compared to FY 2010. During the fiscal year, Sony sold 13.9 million PlayStation 3 units worldwide, compared to 14.3 million sold in FY 2010. The PlayStation 2 sold 4.1 million units, down from 6.4 million from the same period a year ago, and the PSP sold 6.8 million, down from 8.0 million in the previous fiscal year. Sony blamed some of the PS3 sales decline on a "strategic price reduction" during the fiscal year.
While PS Vita sales were not counted in the FY, CEO Kaz Hirai said during an earnings call that it had sold 1.8 million units of the new hand-held by the end of March.
On the software front, PlayStation 3 software did pretty well – 156.6 million units were sold worldwide, up from 147.9 million in the previous year. PlayStation 2 software declined to 7.9 million software units sold, down from 16.4 million in the same period a year ago, and 32.2 million PSP software units were sold, also down from 46.6 million from the previous year.
Looking ahead to the current fiscal year, Sony expects profits to improve, and forecasts revenues of approximately 7.4 trillion yen ($92.9 billion), a 14.0 percent year-over-year increase, and profits of 30 billion yen ($376.5 million). On the hardware front, Sony expects to sell approximately 16.0 million PlayStation 3's and PlayStation 2's combined, and 16.0 million PS Vita and PSP units combined. On the software front the company expects to sell about the same amount of software as it did during FY 2011.