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Sony Sees Profit Rise despite Waning Interest in Video Games

TOKYO — Sony’s profit edged up 3% in the last quarter, weathering production setbacks from COVID-19 lockdowns in Shanghai and a trend away from video gaming 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 and entertainment company said Friday.

Quarterly sales rose 2% to 2.31 trillion yen ($17.4 billion), on the back of strong demand in Sony’s music operations, including for Harry Styles’ “Harry’s House” and Doja Cat’s “Planet Her.”

Among the better performers in movies was “Morbius,” a film based on the Marvel Comics hero. But Sony is hoping “Bullet Train,” starring Brad Pitt and set for release in August, will do well at the box office.

Sony, which makes the PlayStation video game consoles, Bravia TVs and Columbia Pictures films, said sales from its music streaming service rose during the quarter. Despite some concern about a global economic slowdown, the streaming business was expected to remain stable, said Chief Financial Officer Hiroki Totoki.

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

Also, a shortage of computer chips has slowed production of the Sony’s PlayStation 5 machine.

Sony’s game software sales fell in the latest quarter, while costs for developing software rose. Sony acknowledged the slowdown in shipments may dampen the momentum of game players’ interest in PlayStation 5. But the company is banking on major game titles slated for release later in the year to revive sales.

Sony said it expects its full fiscal year profit to fall to 800 billion yen ($6 billion) from the previous year’s 882 billion yen.

 

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