Sony announced today that it expects it will take a $172 million loss due to the cyber attack that caused the shut down of the company's console Playstation Network online service. The announcement came as part of an overall financial update for the company ahead of its official results. Sony is now predicting that it will take a $3.2 billion loss for its fiscal year that ended on March 31. The loss was due mainly to Sony taking a one time charge because of GAAP (generally accepted accounting practices) rules here in the US.
The $172 million charge for the Playstation Network shutdown will be put into Sony's current fiscal year that started on April 1 and will end on March 31, 2012. However, the massive earthquake and tsunami that struck last March didn't greatly affect the company's overall global finances (it occurred three weeks before its fiscal year ended) but it did push its Japan-based operations to a new loss for the fiscal year. Sony will release its official financial results for the year on Thursday.
The $172 million loss due to the Playstation Network shutdown actually seems small, especially since PSN has yet to be restored in Japan and other Asian countries. In addition, the Playstation Store has yet to be restored worldwide. The online store gets revenue via downloads of games, movies and TV shows and it's been down now for over a month, although online rumors have the store as being put back online later this week. We think that Sony will certainly have to revise its Playstation Network losses upward in the months ahead.