Sony don't want anymore losses or at least want to dodge them when they can. The PlayStation 3 was a very heavy investment for Sony and it only started paying off a little while back, the latest hacks on their PSN network aren't helping and are building them up for a heavy hit in the near future. Their next-generation portable (NGP) is set to change this and will be less investment heavy and [hope to be] more profitable.
Sony could use chip foundries to eliminate the cost of building their own semiconductor factory, also buying readily available parts or using contract manufacturers to reduce their upfront investment costs. Since they showed the NGP off earlier this year, Sony have been very quiet regarding the device. No launch date or price has been set and the investment is a key point in determining it's price when it launches.