Sony sees profits rise despite declining interest in video games

TOKYO– Sony’s profit edged up 3% last quarter, weathering production setbacks from COVID-19 lockdowns in Shanghai and a trend away from video games as pandemic restrictions eased elsewhere.

Tokyo-based Sony Corp’s April-June profit totaled 218 billion yen ($1.6 billion), up from 212 billion yen a year earlier, the Japanese electronics firm said on Friday. and entertainment.

Quarterly sales rose 2% to 2.31 trillion yen ($17.4 billion), driven by strong demand in Sony’s music business, including Harry Styles’ “Harry’s House” and “Planet Her by Doja Cat.

Among the best performers in cinema was “Morbius”, a film based on the hero of Marvel Comics. But Sony hopes “Bullet Train,” starring Brad Pitt and slated for release in August, will do well at the box office.

Sony, which makes PlayStation video game consoles, Bravia TVs and Columbia Pictures movies, said sales of its music streaming service increased in the quarter. Despite some concerns about a global economic slowdown, streaming business is expected to remain steady, chief financial officer Hiroki Totoki said.

Sales fell in the video games and technology services sector. One reason was that as restrictions related to the coronavirus pandemic eased, people were playing games less and going out instead, Totoki said.

Additionally, a shortage of computer chips slowed production of Sony’s PlayStation 5 machine.

Sony’s game software sales fell in the last quarter, while software development costs rose. Sony has acknowledged that slower shipments could dampen the momentum of gamer interest in the PlayStation 5. But the company is banking on major game titles slated for release later in the year to boost sales.

Sony said it expects full-year profit to fall to 800 billion yen ($6 billion) from 882 billion yen a year earlier.

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Yuri Kageyama is on Twitter https://twitter.com/yurikageyama

John C. Dent