Sony Admits PS Vita is Currently a Failure

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Sony's (NYSE: SNE ) latest handheld game machine sold less than seven million units during its first 12 months at retail. That is less than 10 percent of the 75 million PlayStation Portable units that Sony has sold since 2005. In order for PS Vita's sales to catch up to PSP, Sony would have to sell roughly 10 million units per year for the next seven years.

While that could happen, Sony's outlook is not very encouraging. The company expects to sell no more than 1.3 million units during the current quarter.

In an earnings call this week, Sony EVP and CFO Masaru Kato admitted that the company's strategy is not working.

"Now one thing clear for us [is] that in terms of profitability, we have to do a better job in promoting the PlayStation Vita mobile product," he said.

"How do we do that? Well, gaming business software is the name of the game. So as a fundamental measure, we are putting all -- a lot of resources, not just first party, but also asking third parties to put out more attractive software."

Finally, Kato teased the possibility of a price drop.

"The other thing, well, marketing, pricing of the product, et cetera, I cannot talk about pricing of this platform, but those are the things that we are looking into to improve our profitability in the mobile handheld gaming business," he said.

Sony is trading down more than one percent today. The stock took a beating last year, dropping roughly 40 percent, but has gained more than 31 percent in 2013. This week, however, Sony declined nearly five.

Part of the decline has been attributed to the firm's bevy of losses . The company reported its eighth consecutive quarterly loss, diminishing investor hopes that Sony would announce its first profit in two years.

Sony will hold an event on February 20 to announce the future of the PlayStation business. It is widely speculated that the company will unveil the first details about its next console and/or the first details about its streaming game service. The company paid $380 million to acquire Gaikai last year, prompting many to speculate that streaming games are in Sony's near-term plans.

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This article appears in: Investing , Stocks
Referenced Symbols: SNE

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