Sony just held a financial briefing for overseas investors and analysts related to the third quarter of the fiscal year 2014, and Chief Financial Officer Kenichiro Yoshida gave more color on the rather large difference between the just announced 90 billion yen increase in forecast for full fiscal year sales and the much lower 5 billion yen increase for operating income for the game division.
The first reason is currency: the PS4’s production costs are dollar-determined, and the appreciation of the dollar is having a negative impact on operating income. The expenses due to the sale of Sony Online Entertainment will also cause a loss for the term.
The music service platform change to Spotify will also have a cost that will negatively impact operating income. Finally, there are restructuring costs related to the game segment. For those reasons Sony decided to remain quite conservative in the operating income forecast.
Yoshida-san then confirmed that they can’t yet announce forecasts for the next fiscal year. Those will come in late April or early May, but due to the momentum of the PS4 and the growing PlayStation Plus subscribers, he’s “quite optimistic” for the video game business.
He also mentioned that of the costs recorded for the game divisions this fiscal year, approximately 20 billion yen are one-time costs, that shouldn’t influence future performance.
Incidentally, Yoshida-san also mentioned that the cost reduction operations for the whole company are proceeding on schedule, and CEO Kaz Hirai instructed to change gear from the “finished restructuring phase” to the “continuous cost down phase,” so there will be more opportunities to reduce costs in the future.