Sony lost more than $3.5 billion in 2007 and 2008 thanks to the PS3's initial cost; it launched in November 2006 for $599 and didn't become profitable until late 2011. Even after the company cut manufacturing costs with the introduction of the slim model, it still lost roughly $40 per system as of December 2009.
Sony's plan this time around involves lower development costs at the outset. "The amount of investment is much, much smaller," Chief Financial Officer Masaru Kato said, pointing to Sony's PC-like design decisions for the PS4. The system was announced in February, and will hit retail shelves this holiday season for $399.