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Sony admits PSPs will not fly off shelves, says phones and PS3s will

Single-purpose devices down all round for troubled giant

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Sony has said that it doesn't think it will be able to sell as many of its portable game devices - PSP and Vita - as it had hoped.

In August, the Japanese electronics firm said it reckoned it could shift 12 million game devices this fiscal year, but it reduced its forecast to 10 million in its quarterly earnings announcement today. Much of the sales will be expected over the Christmas period, since Sony has only sold three million so far.

Sony also cut its sales forecast for TVs by a million to 14.5 million and lopped two million off its expectations for compact digital cameras to 16 million. But the company is hoping that its new phones and PlayStations can hold steady, shipping 34 and 16 million respectively.

Net loss eased at the firm in the quarter ending in September, down to ¥15.5bn (£120m, $194m), from ¥27bn (£209m, $337m) last year on a modest operating income of ¥30.3bn (£234m, $379m). But the gains were helped by a ¥13.2bn (£102m, $165m) windfall from insurance companies on damages from the floods in Thailand and ¥8.2bn (£63.5m, $102.5m) made from the sale of a chemical products business.

Sony is still hoping for an operating profit of ¥130bn (£1bn, $1.65bn) for the full year, but the news still made a 4 per cent dent in its share price.

Fellow Japanese electronics firm Panasonic was hit much harder on the Tokyo Stock Exchange, sliding over 19 per cent after it forecast a net loss of ¥765bn (£5.9bn, $9.6bn) for the fiscal year.

The huge loss is down to restructuring costs, which are now expected to be over 10 times more than the firm previously thought. Its earlier forecast loss was just ¥50bn (£387m, $625m). ®

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