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Thursday, June 21, 2007
Sony Promises More Games to Boost PS3 Demand

Sony expects at least 380 new PlayStation 3 games to hit the market this business year and says that should rev up demand for the console that has so far lost out to Nintendo's wildly popular Wii.

There are about 150 games currently available for the PS3, including online titles.

Sony Chief Executive Howard Stringer said at the annual shareholders' meeting that the company will review its dividend policy once it has achieved its profitability target for the year to March 2008, raising the possibility of future dividend hikes.

"Attractive game software is the key to accelerate PS3 growth over the next year," Stringer said on Thursday.

Sony's game division posted an operating loss of 232 billion yen ($1.88 billion) in the past business year because of hefty start-up costs of the PS3.

"All the production problems have been solved," Stringer said. "We are making a comeback already."

Nintendo's Wii game console has been outselling the PS3 by three to one in Japan and more than two to one in the United States so far this year, according to game magazine publisher Enterbrain and research firm NPD.

A lack of attractive games has been widely cited as a reason for the PS3's relatively weak performance in addition to the fact that it is twice as expensive as the Wii.

More than 200 packaged software titles will likely be released for the PS3 in the year to March 2008, and more than 180 titles are expected to be launched over the Internet, Stringer said.

Sony aims to double its PS3 shipments to 11 million units in the current business year and reduce the game unit's loss to 50 billion yen.

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