Sony Corp. shares jumped the most in four months in New York as investors ignored a weak profit forecast, looking instead to the company s long-term prospects in entertainment and sensors needed for driverless cars and other emerging products.Sony s annual profit outlook fell short of analysts estimates due to costs for repairs after the Kyushu earthquake, lost sales and slowing demand for smartphone components.

But profit at Sony s games and network services business will rise to 135 billion yen $1.2 billion on anticipated sales of PS4 consoles this year, the company said Tuesday.Sony is looking to cement its lead over Microsoft Corp. s Xbox One and Nintendo Co. s Wii U consoles by launching a virtual-reality headset in 2016.

The PlayStation VR will be available to the more than 36 million people who already own a PS4 when it goes on sale in October for $399.Investors are confident in Sony s ability to introduce new video game products, like the VR headset, that will help it convert more Playstation owners into video game subscribers who pay monthly fees, said Jitendra Waral, an analyst with Bloomberg Intelligence.

The slowdown in demand for image sensors that power cameras in smartphones -- including Apple Inc. s iPhone -- will test Sony s ability to generate more of its earnings from PlayStation 4 gaming consoles, streaming services for its 65 million online users as well as movies and music.

The company s earning power has strengthened considerably, Yoshida told reporters at a news conference.

While much of the drop in demand is seen in mature markets and China, where Sony no longer develops phones, the broader slowdown has implications for the image-sensor business, which supplies camera components to other handset makers.Last week, Sony resumed operations at its Kumamoto facility, which was shut down after the factory, clean rooms and equipment were damaged during the April 16 earthquake on the southern island of Kyushu.

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