Electronics giant Sony appears to be pulling out of its death spiral.
The consumer electronics firm said on Wednesday preliminary results showed that operating profit had doubled to $1.52 billion in the October-December quarter, while sales rose 6 percent.
This was well ahead of what the cocaine nose jobs of Wall Street expected and they rushed from their expensive loos screaming “buy, buy, buy.”
To be fair, the company is not home and hosed yet. In fact it could not even be said to be at the front gate contemplating a nice hot bath and a rigorous toweling down.
Sony also forecast a preliminary full-year net loss of $1,44,841,1900 but since this was better than the than its forecast last October estimating a net loss of $ 1,959,616,100 for the year no one appears to be quibbling.
The company had said it would delay announcing the official results for the third quarter as its Hollywood studio struggled to recover from a massive hacking of its computer systems. The company, in the midst of a restructuring, said on Wednesday its Chief Executive Kazuo Hirai would announce a “new business strategy” on February 18.
The company will cut 2,100 jobs in the unit by the end of the next fiscal year through March 2016, including around 1,000 cuts already announced.
Sony’s image sensors have emerged as one of its best performing product lines in recent quarters.
John Romero, best known for his on Wolfenstein 3D, Doom and Quake says that consoles are being killed off by PCs and mobile consoles.
Speaking to GamesIndustry.biz at the Strong National Museum of Play in Rochester, New York, Romero said that free-to-play is shaking up the industry.
He said that with a PC you have free-to-play and Steam games for five bucks,” said Romero. “The PC is decimating console, just through price. Free-to-play has killed a hundred top studios.
Romero’s games involve providing the first episode free and if play more, then you pay up.
He said that everyone was getting better at free-to-play design, and it is going to lose its stigma at some point. People will settle into the mindset that there is a fair way of doing it, and the other way is the “dirty way.”
Romero said that with this model there were some technological advantages of PC over consoles.
“With PCs if you want a faster system you can just plug in some new video cards, put faster memory in it, and you’ll always have the best machine that blows away PS4 or Xbox One,” he said.
Romero also thinks that VR headsets are unlikely to make a significant impact on the gaming world.
He said that before using Oculus, he had heard many vets in the industry saying this is not like anything they had seen before.
While he thought that it was amazing, Romero could not see a good future for VR right now.
“It encloses you and keeps you in one spot – even the Kinect and Move are devices I wouldn’t play because they just tire you out,” Romero said.
“VR is going away from the way games are being developed and pushed as they go back into multiplayer and social stuff. VR is kind of a step back, it’s a fad.”
The second generation Nexus 7 should do rather well, but some vendors fear it is going to be walloped by tough competition.
It has been predicted that up to eight million second-generation Nexus 7s should be sold globally in 2013, but, according to Digitimes, that figure might prove tougher than many thought.
Supply chain makers in Taiwan claim that many vendors will launch competing models.
The next generation Nexus 7, co-developed by Google and Asustek Computer is expected to be in the channel by the end of the month.
It features a 7-inch 1980 by 1200 display, a Qualcomm Snapdragon 600 processor, 5-megapixel rear and 1.2-megapixel front cameras.
The expected price will be around US$199 or $249 if you want Wi-Fi support.
While it is a good spec, and a reasonable price, the naysayers say that the first-generation Nexus 7 only managed six million units because it was as cheap as chips.
Since there are now loads of 7-inch devices with competitive prices, the second-generation Nexus 7 will no longer have a pricing advantage.
It will have to see off competition from sub-US$169 7-inch tablets from Acer, HP and Lenovo.