Japanese consumer electronics giant Sony cut its outlook for fiscal year ended March 31 and now expects a loss of $3.18 billion for the period as it took a hefty charge over impact of Japanese earthquake on its operations.

Sony expects a loss of 260 billion Japanese Yen ($3.18 billion), compared to its February forecast for a profit of 70 billion Yen ($855 million). Sony had posted losses in the past two financial years.

The maker of PlayStation 3 video game machines said it will record a non-cash charge of about 360 billion yen ($4.39 billion) in the fourth quarter of the fiscal year ended March 31, 2011 to establish a valuation allowance against certain deferred tax assets in Japan.

Meanwhile, the company also slightly trimmed its full-year sales and operating revenue forecast to 7.18 trillion Yen ($87.73 billion) from 7.2 trillion Yen ($87.98 billion). The impact of the Earthquake on sales is estimated to be about 22 billion yen ($268.8 million), Sony said in a statement.

A massive earthquake that struck Japan on March 11 has forced Sony to suspend production at several plants in the country as it has become difficult for the plants to get raw materials and components.

In addition, Sony said its currently known costs associated with the unauthorized network access on its PlayStation Network are estimated to be about 14 billion yen ($171.1 million) in the fiscal year ending March 31, 2012.

Since April 20, Sony'sPlayStation Network (PSN) has been shut after it was the victim of a hack attack. The hackers illegally infiltrated Sony's database, accessing the personal information of 25 million users. Information such as names, addresses, e-mail addresses, birthdays, passwords, and user names, as well as online user handles were all exposed as part of the hack. Sony's music and video sharing service, Qriocity, was also illegally accessed and subsequently shut down.