Driven by demand for games, movies and other content stimulated by the epidemic, Japan’s Sony has raised its full-year profit forecast by a third, but said that due to the global semiconductor shortage, the company is working hard to build enough PlayStation 5 consoles.

The electronics and entertainment conglomerate said on Wednesday that some customers may have to wait longer to use their game consoles as it competes with other companies (from smartphone manufacturers to car companies) for chips.

Chief Financial Officer Hiroki Totoki said at a press conference: “Due to the shortage of semiconductors and other components, it is difficult for us to increase PS5 production.”

Sony expects to sell 7.6 million PS5 consoles by the end of March.

The PS5 sells for up to US$500 (approximately Rs 36,500). After being launched on online retail sites in the United States and Japan in November, the product quickly sold out due to the demand for video games from people stranded at home due to the coronavirus lockdown. .

The switch to new consoles is also expected to encourage gamers to switch to online downloads or subscription services, thereby helping Sony increase the profitability of its gaming division.

Sony now predicts that in the 12 months ending in March, operating profit will reach 940 billion yen (approximately 65,280 crore), compared with the previous forecast of 700 billion yen (approximately 486 crore).

Tortoki also said that since late November, Sony has resumed shipments of some image sensors to Chinese customers.

Sony is concerned about the potential impact of its sensor business after the United States restricted sales of chips using American technology to Chinese smartphone manufacturer Huawei.

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In November, Huawei revealed its plans to sell its cheap brand smartphone manufacturer Honor. After the spin-off, Honor said last month that it had signed deals with chip suppliers and component manufacturers (including Sony).

According to analysts, Huawei is Sony’s second-largest image sensor customer after Apple, accounting for about one-fifth of its US$10 billion (about 730 billion rupees) revenue.

Sony’s operating profit for the October-December quarter increased by 20% from a year ago, reaching 359.2 billion yen (approximately Rs 24,950 crore), far exceeding the average expectations of the six analysts surveyed by Refinitiv 179 billion yen (approximately 1,234 billion rupees).

Sony has historically been known for hardware such as Walkman music players and TVs. In recent years, while streamlining its consumer electronics business, it has invested a lot of money to enhance its entertainment products.

This year, it plans to close a factory in Malaysia that produces home audio equipment, headphones and other products.

Thomson Reuters 2021 ©

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