Sony posts record Q1 profit as new strategy lift its game

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The logo of Japan’s Sony Corp is displayed in front of the company’s headquarters in Tokyo on Tuesday. Kazuhiro NOGI afp

The biggest highlight of the financial results of the company for the first quarter of the year seems to be the usual suspect, which is the PlayStation division.

Operating profit was ¥195 billion ($1.75 billion) in the June quarter, the Tokyo-based company said Tuesday, compared with analysts' average projections for ¥145.4 billion. Revenue rose 5.1 percent to ¥1.95 trillion, topping the forecast for ¥1.87 trillion.

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"Sales are expected to be significantly higher than the April forecast primarily due to higher-than-expected PlayStation 4 ("PS4") software sales including sales through the network, the impact of foreign exchange rates, as well as an expected increase in PS4 hardware unit sales". Sony also raised its outlook for sales to ¥8.6-trillion from ¥8.3-trillion, citing higher-than-expected videogame sales.

It was Sony's first major deal under Yoshida, who noted that the music business has enjoyed a resurgence in recent years due to streaming services provided by companies like Spotify and Apple. Sony hasn't said if or when it could sell its remaining holding. Rather than doubling-down on engagement strategies like Microsoft, Sony is putting strong effort into robust first-party games like God of War, Insomniac's Spider-Man, Death Stranding and The Last of Us II in an effort to both sell consoles and software. The company also had a few surprises to share in the quarter at the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3).

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Every month, PlayStation reminds its playerbase why it's a good idea to be a PlayStation Plus subscriber. Operating profit almost halved to JPY 29.1 billion, due to one-time insurance and divestment gains a year ago, but is expected to grow to JPY 120 billion over the full year to March 2019.

This morning, Sony announced the newest games PlayStation Plus subscribers will get to download for free the month of August. Cooling demand for smartphones was the primary driver in Sony's weaker-than-expected full-year forecast in April.

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Japanese consumer electronics maker Sony Corp.

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