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Sony shares slide on new PS4

Feb 21 2013 08:38 AFP


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Tokyo - Sony shares fell 1.54% on Thursday after the Japanese electronics giant announced its next-generation PlayStation 4 in New York, but without unveiling the console or saying how much it would cost.

The firm said it would be launching the new console for the holiday season, touting it as a "significant shift from thinking of PlayStation as a box or console to thinking of the PlayStation 4 as a leading place for play".

Sony, Nintendo and Xbox maker Microsoft dominate the global games console market, which is worth about $44bn annually, according to industry figures.

But they have come under increasing pressure recently in the face of tough competition from cheap - or sometimes free - downloadable games for smartphones and tablets.

Sony's latest console is a key part of the company's bid to return to profitability after four years in the red.

Its PlayStation 3 has sold more than 75 million units, while more than 155 million units of the PlayStation 2 have been sold since its debut in 2000, making it one of the best-selling videogame consoles of all time.

On Wednesday in Tokyo, Sony said it would book a one-time gain of ¥115bn by selling a six percent stake in M3 Inc. to Deutsche Securities. The unit supplies online medical information to doctors.

The move represents Sony's latest asset sale as it eyes a full-year profit, while undergoing a massive corporate overhaul that includes thousands of job cuts and the sale of a chemical division and its US headquarters in Manhattan.

Japan's electronics sector, including Sony, Panasonic and Sharp, has suffered from myriad problems including a strong yen, slowing demand in key export markets, fierce overseas competition, especially in television sales, and strategic mistakes.

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