Sony profits rise 346 percent thanks to PlayStation, but mobile continues to struggle

PlayStation 4 Pro - 4 to finally get external hard drive support

Sony has released its second quarter earnings for 2017, revealing a significant $18.2 billion USD in sales. This surpassed forecasts of $16.4 billion and marked a 22.1 percent year-on-year rise in sales.

Operating profit, meanwhile, came in at just under $1.8 billion, compared to $1.2 billion expecting — a massive 346.4 percent rise year-over-year.

Sony’s PlayStation brand was largely responsible for the significant increase in profit. Around 4.2 million consoles were sold during this time, with overall lifetime sales now north of 60 million. This signifies a 35.4 percent year-on-year to $3.8 billion, with operating income in this division hitting 482 million, marking a 188.3 percent rise.

Exclusive games such as Uncharted: The Lost Legacy and Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice, as well as multiplatform giants like FIFA 18 and Destiny 2, were some of the major titles released in this quarter.

It’s also been just over a year since Sony released the PlayStation VR, a virtual reality peripheral for the PS4. In this 12-month period, Sony has sold over one million VR headsets, making it the second largest VR device by market share, after the Samsung Gear VR, which is much less expensive and compatible with an array of smartphones.

On the other hand, Sony Mobile Communications brought in roughly $1.5 billion, resulting in a loss of $22 million. This is compared to the $32.5 billion operating income from the same time last year. Mobile  This makes mobile the only Sony division to lose money this quarter. The XZ1 Premium is the notable phone release during this time.

Sony attributed the deterioration to “a change in the geographic mix of smartphone sales, an increase in the price of key components, as well as the negative impact of the appreciation of the yen against the U.S. dollar.”

Sony’s semiconductor business is also up this year, which is used in some of the top smartphones in the world. The division benefited from an operating income of $436.6 million, compared to a $37 million USD loss in the same period last year.

Finally, Sony Pictures also saw a significant increase in earnings, thanks in large part to July’s Spider-Man: Homecoming. As the product of an unprecedented cross-studio collaboration with Marvel Studios, there was a great deal of anticipation going into the webslinger’s newest cinematic outing, resulting in the film grossing nearly $880 million USD worldwide. The film division brought in $68 million, a 140 percent year-on-year increase.

Altogether, Sony says it’s on track to have its most profitable year since 1998, as originally predicted in its first quarter earnings this year. For context, Sony had the original PlayStation console — its first foray into gaming — going strong in 1998 after four years on the market. During this time, the console also featured recently released revolutionary titles like Final Fantasy VII and Gran Turismo.

The full earnings report can be viewed here.