The PlayStation 3 didn't start making a profit for years after its launch. However, Sony doesn't expect the same problem with the new PlayStation 4.
With a piece of hardware that's much easier and cheaper to produce, the PS4 is primed to make money right off the bat. In fact, Sony UK MD Fergal Gara told Bloomberg that the economics of PS4 are "closer to the economics of PS2 than they are to PS3."
"If you consider with PS3, it was a highly bespoke architecture; it was expensive to make. And we weren't making money on many of those devices, even at a high price point. With PS4 we come at it at a very lean price point and our economics will be far, far [more] favorable than the PS3. So that is a job to be commended really for the internal team and of course it's done with the gamer in mind."
Yesterday, a hardware teardown from IHS revealed that the PS4 cost about $381 to make , which is below the system's $399 retail price tag. When you include the retailer cut and other fees, Sony is not yet making a profit on every system sold, but that time isn't far off. In the meantime, Sony will count on software and services for profitability.
No console may ever top the PS2 in terms of sheer popularity and sales but at least the PS4 is off to a good start.