Tokyo: Sony Corp’s introduction of a cheaper PlayStation 3 will have a big impact on video game sales in the next business year following a limited boost this year, the head of game maker Square Enix Holdings said.
Square Enix President Yoichi Wada said on Wednesday the PS3 cut would be positive for game sales but not enough to warrant an upward revision to its sales and profit forecasts in the current year to March 2010.
Last week Sony said it would roll out a slimmer, cheaper version of the PS3 in the first week of September at $299 in the United States, 299 euros in Europe and 29,980 yen in Japan, a quarter of the previous price.
The move is expected to give a lift to sales of the PS3 and game makers, which include Electronic Arts Inc., Activision and Capcom Co.
Square Enix and its recently acquired Eidos unit have announced 3 titles for the PS3, including the latest edition of its popular Final Fantasy series, which it is planning to launch this winter.
“In terms of the impact (the PS3 cut) will have on this financial year’s earnings, I don’t think there will be a major difference,” Wada said. “But I expect there to be a big impact from next year.”
Square Enix, also known for the Dragon Quest game series, has forecast its operating profit to double to 25 billion yen in the current year to March on sales of 180 billion yen.
Under exchange disclosure rules, Square Enix would need to revise up its operating profit forecast if it determined the result would likely be 30% above its estimate.
Square Enix shares closed up 2.4% at 2,335 yen, outperforming a 1.4%rise in the benchmark Nikkei average after Bank of America Merrill Lynch raised its target price on Square Enix to 2,800 yen from 2,530 yen and reiterated its “buy” rating.
In a report to clients the brokerage said Square Enix has a strong line-up of games able to sell more than a million copies including Batman from Eidos, Dragon Quest 9 and Final Fantasy 13, which it predicts will be released in November or December.