Sony expects that the PlayStation 4 won't see losses like the PlayStation 3, according to a recent earnings call. The company said that in-house investments, especially regarding the Cell chip, made the PS3 an uphill battle, but its new manufacturing pipeline spreads out the cost significantly.
"Unlike PS3, we are not planning a major loss to be incurred with the launch of PS4," said CFO Masaru Kato during an earnings call (via Eurogamer). "At the time we developed PS3, we made a lot of in-house investments to develop the chip, the Cell chip. Development of the chip saw the silicon processing and all the facilities invested by us ourselves.
"But this time, yes we have a team working on chip development, but we already have existing technology to incorporate and also product investment and all the facilities will now be invested by our partners, other foundries, so we don't have to make all the investment in-house."
Sony hasn't announced a price for the PlayStation 4 yet, and its manufacturing costs haven't been studied in detail. This doesn't necessarily mean the PS4 will be profitable from the start, but its margins should at least be much thinner than the prior console. Even despite its high price tag, the PlayStation 3 spent almost four years on the market selling at a loss, before finally turning profitable in 2010.