(Updates Sony stock price)
By Franklin Paul
LAS VEGAS Jan 7 Sony Corp (6758.T) (SNE.N)
gaming chief Kaz Hirai hopes to turn a profit on the
PlayStation 3 console business in the entertainment
conglomerate's next fiscal year, fueled in part by falling
costs for the parts used to make the device.
"We want to get to the positive side of the equation as
quickly as possible," Hirai, who is chief executive of Sony
Computer Entertainment, said late on Sunday on the sidelines of
a news conference at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las
Shares of Sony American Depositary Receipts rose as much as
4.3 percent to $54.66 on the New York Stock Exchange. At
mid-afternoon, the ADRs were up $1.70, or 3.24 percent, at
"The next fiscal year starts in April and if we can try to
achieve that in the next fiscal year that would be a great
thing. We are going through the budgets right now. That
(profitability) is not a definite commitment, but that is what
I would like to try to shoot for."
His comments came after Sony announced stellar holiday
sales for the PS3. The company said on Sunday it sold 1.2
million PlayStation 3 video game consoles in North America over
the period, two-thirds what it sold in the rest of the year.
The Tokyo-based electronics and entertainment conglomerate
currently loses money for each PS3 it sells.
Sales of the PS3 have lagged those of Microsoft Corp's
(MSFT.O) Xbox 360 and Nintendo Co Ltd's 7974.OS Wii consoles
due to what analysts say is its lofty price and a dearth of
Great games, which draw consumers to buy the console,
matched with declining component prices, will hopefully lead to
profitability for the PS3 and the company's gaming division
overall, Hirai said.
"Component costs are coming down, and the number of
components ... we are seeing a reduction," he said. "The 40
gigabyte PlayStation 3 obviously has fewer components (than
more powerful models), and uses less power, which means that
components required to dissipate heat, for example, can be
smaller, so there is some cost reduction there."
"So costs are coming down significantly," he added, noting
that the decline is in line with what the company had
(For more from the Consumer Electronics Show, please visit the
MediaFile blog: blogs.reuters.com/mediafile/)
(Reporting by Franklin Paul; Editing by Quentin Bryar, Richard