Japanese electronics giant Sony is betting big on PlayStation in its three-year financial plans. The struggling company believes that its PlayStation brand will help the company back to profitability.
During its corporate strategy meeting, Sony announced plans to give the various divisions within the group more autonomy in a bid to reach 500 billion yen ($4.2 billion) in earnings during the 2017 financial year.
Each of Sony's businesses will be classified as "growth driver", "stable profit generator" or "area focusing on volatility management".
The Game & Network Services business, which includes PlayStation, falls under the "growth drivers" category. Because of this, Sony is intend to expand the reach of PlayStation consoles and PlayStation network. Sony's PlayStation 4 sold 18.5 million since it went on sale in November 2013, with almost half of PS4 owners have access to PlayStation Plus.
Sony's TV and mobile communications vertical, in the meanwhile, is now categorised as "volatility management". CEO Kazuo Hirai said he would not "rule out considering an exit strategy", Sony's statement is an indication that the company would be finding suitable partners for these struggling units.
"Since both markets are experiencing intense cost competition and commoditization, Sony will strive to further increase the added value of its products by leveraging its in-house technologies and component devices. By carefully selecting the territories and product areas it targets, Sony will seek to limit its capital investment and establish a business structure capable of securing stable profits."
Sony was aiming to be a big player in the smartphone business, but it failed miserably to sell enough devices. Players like Apple and Samsung have dominated the smartphone marker where Sony once had a lion share. Sony recently announced that it would cut as many as 2,100 jobs in its smartphone division.
The tech giant now says that it will look for growth by focusing its efforts in four key areas: the PlayStation division, Sony Pictures, Sony Music and its devices business, which includes camera sensor.
"Sony is positioning Devices, Game & Network Services, Pictures, and Music as the segments that will drive its profit growth over the next three years," the firm reported to investors on Wednesday. "It will implement growth measures and engage in aggressive capital investment in these areas with the aim of achieving both sales growth and profit expansion."
The firm has spun off its personal-computer unit and recently said it would pull the plug on its in-house music streaming service. Instead, Spotify will provide digital music for select Sony devices, including the PlayStation 4. The new music service - PlayStation Music - will partner with Spotify to bring the service to 41 key territories.