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PlayStation and image sensors help Sony turn a profit

James Trew , @itstrew
10.29.15
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Twelve months ago, Sony was busy recalculating the losses it was expecting to report, due to its beleaguered mobile division. Today, the firm's announcing a 33.6-billion yen ($278-million) profit thanks (once more) to PlayStation and its image sensor division. Overall revenues came in slightly lower than a year ago (down by 0.5%), but a general uptick across the company's many divisions has helped push it into profitability. Despite this, mobile sales continue to slide (down 15-percent this quarter). Sony's Xperia brand is an expensive pastime, costing the company approximately $1.9 million per day in losses.

There are other forces at play, too. Sony's image sensors have been a consistent strength for the business -- two of them are in every modern iPhone. In fact, it's growing enough that Sony span the division out into a separate company to encourage this expansion. The sales from the firm's "Devices" division (which the sensors are part of) increased a modest-sounding 7.4-percent over last year, but Sony also lists the positive impact of a weaker yen as a contributing factor to the growth

On the gaming side of things, continued strong sales of PlayStation 4 titles drove a 16.5-percent increase, once again, with exchange rates cited as being a contributing factor -- but also as a negative impact to the overall revenue. That's to say, a strong dollar helps when things are made in Japan, but as more of PlayStation's business is conducted in the US, the positive effect is mitigated.

No doubt Sony is trying to figure out how to stymie it's mobile losses, but with response to the last Xperia flagship lukewarm, and lucrative US-deals bungled, there's a lot of pressure on the Z5 to perform.

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