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Reuters: Sony may post $1.1 billion loss

Reuters reports that Sony Corp “will likely” have an operating loss of approximately $1.1 billion this year, its first in 14 years. According to the wire service, some global economic slump that’s going on right now has caused inventory for the company to stack up in all its divisions and prices to fall.

It was already expected that Sony would be cutting thousands of jobs and closing manufacturing plants, but an analyst quoted in the report believes the company will now “further accelerate its restructuring.” There’s no word on how the PS3 and PSP divisions of the company will be affected. The silver lining in this for consumers is that the PS3 is rumored to receive another price drop in the next few months.

Report: Sony ‘on brink of upheaval’ – factory, division closures

Look, we know the economy is in shambles; a perambulating corpse, gnawing its way through the hopes and dreams of the global populace … but this is getting ridiculous. Reports of “drastic cost cuts” at Sony have us really spooked – think not only “factory closures” but also “the abolition of several major divisions,” according to the Times of London. (In response to the report, Sony told Reuters, “We don’t have any such plan.”)

While there’s no mention of specifics (will the PlayStation brand/division be affected?), the Times does quote a Credit Suisse analyst who says that, unless Sony takes aggressive steps to consolidate power in the hands of prez Howard Stringer – it will be unable to “close the gap with competitors such as Apple and Nintendo.” Perhaps more evident to those of us watching the gaming industry specifically is the mention of “frustrations … and a clear internal cultural clash between Japanese Sony and its US and European operations.” We thought Kaz was going to bring some of that good, ol-fashioned American can-do attitude to Japan back in ought-six? Nevertheless, we want to talk to the investors directly:

Listen guys, we know Sony’s got some problems. We know that. But you’ve got to just chill out and relax – chillax even – and wait until the Big S shows off whatever Team ICO’s got in the oven. Not buying it? How about this: Microsoft is feeling the economic pinch also, but the grapevine seems to think the Xbox division will be spared. Nintendo isn’t the only competition out there, you know?

Pachter: PS3 price drop in April, 360 to follow, Wii staying put

Video game market prognosticator Michael Pachter of Wedbush Morgan sees a PS3 price-drop in April — to the tune of $100. Sound familiar? Pachter also believes that the Xbox 360 will be reduced in price shortly thereafter, while the Wii will likely keep its $249 price point for the duration of 2009.

In an email advisement reported on by GameDaily, Pachter said that Wedbush Morgan expects “sales of [PS3] will once again begin to grow” following the spring price reduction, something that the firm believes Microsoft will counter “with the feature-laden Pro model likely [coming] down in price to $249 at or before this year’s E3 show in June.”

As for the Wii, Pachter doesn’t see Nintendo marking its console down unless it “sees signs that demand is slowing, which means a price cut may not happen until late in the year, if at all.” We’ll see your year, Pachter, and raise you at least nine more months.

Sony cutting plants, 8,000 jobs by April 2010

As we’ve spun wildly, frolicking in the shower of new, exciting games being released, there has, apparently, been a little financial trouble in … well, in all of existence. We’ve now emerged from our game coma long enough to survey the damage which is, again, hitting close to home for us gamers: BBC is reporting that Sony will cut 5% of their electronics division — 8,000 jobs — and close a tenth of its manufacturing sites.

Two things: 1. We don’t know how many of the cuts will be directly related to the PS3 and PSP, if any. 2. This makes perfect sense in an economic climate like this, with decreased demand guaranteed by the financial meltdown, Sony will want to make fewer products. We are, however, troubled by a quote from Katsuhiko Mori, a hedge fund manager who said “The number sounds big, but this staff reduction won’t be enough.” Here’s hoping he’s wrong.

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