The first quarter of Sony’s 2016 fiscal year saw marked declines in sales and/or operating income almost everywhere across the company — except in the PlayStation division, according to the company’s quarterly earnings report.
Sony reported sales of 1.61 trillion yen ($15.66 billion) during the three-month period ending June 30, a 10.8 percent year-over-year decrease. The company’s operating income of 56.2 billion yen ($546 million) was 42 percent lower than in the same quarter in 2015.
Sony primarily attributed the "significant decrease" in sales to the effects of a stronger yen and a 33.7 percent drop in sales for the company’s smartphone division. As for the "significant decrease" in operating income, Sony cited weak results in its semiconductors segment, including 13.6 billion yen ($132 million) in expenses stemming from the series of earthquakes that struck Kumamoto, Japan, in mid-April.
However, Sony’s Game & Network Services division, which is the corporate name for the PlayStation business, did very well in the quarter. Sales came in at 330.4 billion yen ($3.21 billion), a 14.5 percent year-over-year jump that Sony attributed to a "significant increase" in sales of PlayStation 4 games. Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End was released during the quarter and racked up sales of more than 2.7 million copies during its launch week, making it the fastest-selling first-party PS4 game to date.
The PlayStation segment’s operating income was up by 126.3 percent over last year to 44 billion yen ($427 million), an increase that Sony said was "primarily due to the strong performance of Uncharted 4." The company also profited from reductions in PS4 manufacturing costs. Both revenue and operating income were boosted by a 38 percent year-over-year increase in digital sales, which made up 46 percent of sales for PlayStation.
Sony’s PlayStation division managed all that while undergoing a corporate relocation, realignment and rebranding. On April 1, Sony merged its video game development and publishing arm, Sony Computer Entertainment, with its network services unit, Sony Network Entertainment International. The consolidated group is now known as Sony Interactive Entertainment, and its worldwide headquarters are located in San Mateo, California, rather than Tokyo.