It's no secret that the PS4 has been, by and large, the defacto best console of the current generation in terms of sales performance. Sony expects the PS4 to exceed 60 million units sold in 2017, and those kinds of lofty goals aren't made lightly by a company that is expecting its console's torrid sales pace to slow down any time soon. While companies can and often do inflate these numbers in order to generate positive discussion, however, it appears that Sony's estimates might have been a little conservative. A report from Bloomberg that emerged late yesterday states that Sony's better-than-expected preliminary earnings have caused analysts to predict it will hit its highest profit levels in almost two decades.
According to the report, Sony rose as much as 4.6 percent in Tokyo trading, and the company expects to make about 73 billion yen (around $650 million USD) by the end of the year - more than double its previous forecast for 2017. What all of this adds up to is an environment where many analysts are suggesting Sony's operating profit - which is its profit before deductions for taxes and interest - should exceed 500 billion yen when all is said and done. The report also suggests a large part of that success is thanks to Sony's games division, which has accounted for nearly 80% of the company's net profit before.
In a few short days, Sony will announce its forecast for the 12-month fiscal period that began this month. If they do announce a profit target of at least 500 billion yen, it will match the company's estimates and success during its 1998 golden year of gaming, which cemented Sony as a home gaming giant. 1998 saw the releases of games like Metal Gear Solid and Parasite Eve, and it's hard to argue that exclusives like Horizon Zero Dawn haven't matched that quality and bolstered the games division to the same heights it had achieved so long ago.
The gaudy profit numbers being reported and expected by Sony make a lot of sense, however, and shouldn't be seen as unwarranted optimism. Sony's PS4 sales have already passed 50 million units this year, and that many people owning the console will undoubtedly bolster the sales of Sony exclusives and gaming peripherals as well.
While the recent success of the Xbox One has finally seen it become a legitimate contender in the console market and the launch of the Nintendo Switch has spurred the industry forward into the future, it appears that the present is still very much dominated by Sony and the PS4. If the expert financial analysts currently suggesting Sony's next twelve-month fiscal period could be one of its most successful ever are correct, Sony's position at the top is unlikely to change any time soon.