PlayStation Network not yet profitable but Sony’s Hirai optimistic

It can’t be easy to make a free service profitable, but Sony’s Kazuo Hirai sees a bright future for his company’s PlayStation Network. Although the network has not seen any black ink so far, Hirai says we can expect to see profitability in fiscal 2011.

In 2010, PSN revenues doubled to 36 billion yen, and in three years, Hirai expects sales to get up to 300 billion yen. The catalysts behind these optimistic projections are increased PlayStation Plus subscriptions as well as more ad revenue. Of course, Hirai and Sony will mostly be helped by the direction of the videogame industry. More digital content will lead to more advertisers paying higher advertising rates as well as more consumers willing to pay for PlayStation Plus subscription fees.

Really, PSN revenues would go up without Sony even trying, so to project a 10-fold increase in three years isn’t outlandish. And because the infrastructure is already in place, such an increase in sales would almost definitely lead to profitability for Sony.