According to The Wall Street Journal, which examined Sony's fiscal third-quarter financial performance, the company loses 6 cents on "every dollar of PS3 hardware sales." Considering the PlayStation 3 current retails for $300, we can safely assume then, that the company loses about $18 per unit.
Admittedly, losing money on console sales is typical in the gaming industry. But Sony's losses have been slightly out of the ordinary. Not only has it been going on since launch, but when the console was released, iSuppli estimated that it cost Sony a whopping $805 to build the PS3.
For its part, Sony isn't focusing on the past. Sony Chief Financial Officer Nobuyuki Oneda told the Journal that it plans to cut PS3 production costs by "15 percent in the fiscal year ending March 2011." He said that alone would help the company generate "tens of billions of yen."
At least Sony is moving in the right direction. In December, iSuppli, a company that guesses at the cost of building game consoles and other products, said that Sony was losing about $37 per PS3 unit in production costs. If it's losing $18 now, the company seems to be on track to making the PS3 profitable in the near future.
Regardless, Sony's console has enjoyed a resurgence of sorts over the past few months as the device's more affordable price tag has prompted some to pick one up. But once each of those sales turns a profit for Sony, you can bet the company will finally breathe a sigh of relief.