Sony has upped revenue targets for its games division, with company CEO Kazuo Hirai anticipating significant sales growth following the launch of the PlayStation VR (PSVR) headset. The Japanese giant is reportedly targeting an operating profit margin between 8 and 10% – up from between 5 to 6% – in the year ending March 2018.
With the PlayStation brand continuing to yield impressive financial results, the introduction of the PSVR to its product line is Sony's latest attempt to integrate other aspects of their business with its games division. The revenue estimates for the increased targets amount to between ¥1.8tn (£13bn, $17.6bn) and ¥1.9tn.
"Games and network services are the biggest growth drivers in our mid-term plan," Hirai was quoted as saying in a Bloomberg report. "Beyond just games, VR offers an opportunity to make full use of multiple Sony technologies, such as cameras and shooting, content production capabilities and entertainment assets."
With a PS4 user base from its 40 million units sold worldwide and a lower cost of entry into the virtual reality market when compared with high-end headsets such as the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive, the PSVR is clearly being seen internally as a strong sales prospect for the tech juggernaut.
Strangely, the report does not mention the impact the upcoming 'PlayStation 4 Neo' could have had on Sony's revised projections. While the upgraded PS4 has yet to break cover, Sony Interactive Entertainment president Andrew House confirmed the existence of the Neo in a June interview.
As the console is set to feature 4K support in some form, it is highly unlikely that Sony has not already considered how its ailing TV business factors into a possible push for 4K video, or even gaming.
Despite Sony neglecting to show its next home console at its E3 2016 showcase, a recent report suggested that the Neo is still set for release before the end of 2016. With its industry rival Microsoft teasing the specs and features of its next-generation Xbox – the Xbox Scorpio – it is very unlikely that Sony will wait too much longer before publicly discussing its own machine in greater detail.
Sony's focus on its games and network services – as well as movies via Colombia Pictures – comes amid reduced forecasts for its mobile division, which dropped from mobile unit sales to ¥900bn from ¥1.05trn.
Sony recently released its new Xperia X line in the UK, with the Sony Xperia X as its 'flagship' smartphone. You can read our review of the Xperia X here.